The last stage of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is known as End Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD). Usually, CKD progresses slowly to ESKD over a period of years, although that is not always the case.  The diagnosis of ESKD is established when the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) reduces to less than 15 mL/min. This is when the kidneys can no longer support the daily needs of the body and therefore require dialysis or transplant to stay alive.


Some of the conditions that can lead to kidney disease are:

Signs & Symptoms:

  • Making little or no urine
  • Swelling of feet, ankles, hands or face
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Generalized weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Itching
  • High Blood pressure


Any part of the body can be affected by kidney damage. Some of the complications associated with kidney disease are:

  • Anemia
  • Heart rhythm abnormalities which can be life threatening
  • Loss of bone minerals leading to osteoporosis and increased risk of fractures
  • Malnutrition
  • Dysfunction of the nervous system (which can lead to decreased ability to concentrate) or seizures.
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Thyroid dysfunction


There are 2 treatment options for people suffering from ESKD

  1. Dialysis: Dialysis is a process in which a machine is used to clean the blood. There are two different dialysis options available: Hemodialysis (in-center, home and nocturnal) and Peritoneal dialysis.
  2. Kidney transplant: This involves a surgery where a healthy kidney is given to a patient from someone else’s body.

Dietary Changes:

Special changes have to be made to the diet in ESKD. The changes may include:

  1. Consuming foods with low protein content.
  2. Limiting the intake of salt, phosphorus and other electrolytes.
  3. Limiting the fluid intake.
  4. Including fruit and vegetables.
  5. Decrease the consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol
  6. Consuming adequate calories and focusing on exercise and other physical activities

ESRD | Dialysis Clinical Program

Disclaimer: The UCLA Health System cannot guarantee the accuracy of such information. The information is provided without warranty or guarantee of any kind. Please speak to your Physician before making any changes.