AKA End-stage Renal Disease

As it progresses, chronic or longstanding kidney disease reduces your kidneys’ ability to filter waste and excess fluids from your body. End-stage kidney disease, also called end-stage renal disease (ESRD), is the final stage of chronic kidney disease. It occurs when your kidneys can no longer meet your body’s day-to-day needs.

Several serious illnesses can cause end-stage kidney disease, including diabetes, high blood pressure, polycystic kidney disease and recurrent kidney infections.

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook

The progression from the early stages of chronic kidney disease to end-stage kidney disease is often very slow. You may not always notice the initial symptoms when they occur.

Some of the more prominent signs of end-stage kidney failure include:

  • Changes in urine output
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling of your hands and feet

Diagnosis of end-stage kidney disease requires testing to determine its severity, including:

  • Blood tests
  • CT scan
  • Ultrasound
  • Urinalysis

Although end-stage kidney disease can be a life-threatening illness, medical advancements like dialysis and kidney transplants may allow you to live longer than ever before.

Experts in Care

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Why Choose Penn State Health for Care

In-center and In-home Dialysis Options

Penn State Health offers a wide range of dialysis therapies, including in-center hemodialysis, at several convenient locations throughout the region. We also provide in-home hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

Our experts help you understand your options so you can choose the one that’s best for you and your individual health needs. About one in three of our patients with end-stage kidney disease receive dialysis treatments at home.

Comprehensive Care from Skilled Clinicians

Our team of nephrologists, in collaboration with the Kidney Foundation of Central Pennsylvania, has received national recognition and research funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute for providing peer mentoring that actively engages you in your care to help improve your quality of life. Our experts offer a variety of care options, including dialysis and kidney transplant.

For four consecutive years, we’ve been recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a high-performing specialty. Our medical team is consistently recognized nationally through Best Doctors in America and America’s Top Doctors awards. Our specialists also participate in worldwide conferences and speaking engagements in countries including India, Korea, Germany, Japan and others.

Support Groups

Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other patients and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles.

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Convenient Locations

Find the care your family needs, close to home, at one of our many locations throughout central Pennsylvania.

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