Skip to Content

End-stage Kidney Disease, Ambulatory Care

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

End-stage kidney disease

happens when your kidney function is so poor that you need dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant to survive. End-stage kidney disease (ESRD) usually occurs after long-term kidney disease.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Fatigue, drowsiness, or weakness
  • Nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Itchy skin
  • Muscle cramps or leg movements you cannot control
  • Bone pain
  • Shortness of breath or chest pain

Seek immediate care for the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath or chest pain
  • A rash or a new wound that is very painful
  • Severe muscle cramps or pain
  • Heart beating faster than normal for you

Treatment for end-stage kidney disease:

Dialysis is a treatment to remove chemicals and waste from your blood when kidneys can no longer do this. You may be given medicines to decrease blood pressure, pain, or itching. You may also need medicine to decrease nausea, or to treat or prevent anemia (low number of red blood cells). A kidney transplant may be done to replace your kidney with a healthy, donor kidney.

Manage end-stage kidney disease:

  • Protect your dialysis access site. Do not let anyone take blood or blood pressure readings on the arm where you have your arteriovenous fistula or graft. Cover your peritoneal catheter with a bandage. Do not touch the catheter.
  • Limit fluids to 1 liter a day (about 34 ounces) , or as directed by your healthcare provider. This can help you manage swelling between dialysis appointments.
  • Weigh yourself at the same time every day. Use the same scale, and wear the same amount of clothing. Record your weight and bring it with you to follow-up appointments.
  • Do not use NSAIDs or aspirin. They can increase the risk of bleeding in your stomach.
  • Do not smoke. Smoking harms your kidneys. If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Ask for information if you need help quitting.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Hide