Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is one of the most common chronic conditions in the world today. In the United States alone, at least 30 million people or 15% of the country’s adult population are diagnosed with CKD. In most cases, these cases will progress to end-stage renal disease.
It is the final stage of CKD where patients begin regular dialysis to survive since the kidneys are already non-functional.
As the disease progresses patients may experience symptoms like the inability to urinate, fatigue, itchy skin, drowsiness, weight loss, bone pain, and easy bruising.
Over the years, doctors have used laboratory tests to determine the presence of end-stage renal disease. Tests including urine and blood tests, CT scans, ultrasounds, and kidney biopsies provide a clearer picture of the kidney’s condition.
Some of the most common treatments for ESRD include:
Damage to the kidney is irreversible at this point. So, the goal of treatment is to alleviate symptoms and provide the best quality of life.
Doctors usually recommend diuretics to help with swelling from fluid retention in the body, vitamin D and calcium supplements to protect bones, and medications that regulate anemia and fatigue. In some patients, medications for high cholesterol and high blood pressure may also be recommended.
Proper diet is very important for patients with ESRD. In most cases, doctors give recommendations for a low-protein diet. High protein diets can often cause a higher waste generation in the body. Lowering protein intake will help relieve some of this burden on the kidney.
Currently, ESRD is only treated with dialysis and kidney transplant. For many, the waiting period for a transplant is long and uncertain. So, most doctors encourage dialysis treatment as the best option until a transplant is in dire need. Dialysis is a good option for many cases due to its ability to help slow down damage and ease discomfort.
NICR and End-Stage Renal Disease Research
The role of NICR in researching end-stage renal disease is crucial for expanded knowledge and bettering of treatments.
These efforts help evolve the approaches to end-stage renal disease and allow patients to remain hopeful and comfortable during their treatment process.
NICR helps address some of the most common chronic diseases today. Its role continues to grow with the COVID-19 pandemic where research has been vital to determine the root cause and deal it with it efficiently.
During the most trying times of the healthcare system, NICR has been at the forefront. Patient health and encouraging high-risk communities to get vaccinated remain a priority.
Interested in learning more about NICR contributes to in research for end-stage renal disease? Click here and visit our research experience page.
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