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Kidney Failure

Also called: End-stage renal disease, ESRD, Renal failure

Summary

Healthy kidneys clean your blood by removing excess fluid, minerals, and wastes. They also make hormones that keep your bones strong and your blood healthy. But if the kidneys are damaged, they don't work properly. Harmful wastes can build up in your body. Your blood pressure may rise. Your body may retain excess fluid and not make enough red blood cells. This is called kidney failure.

If your kidneys fail, you need treatment to replace the work they normally do. The treatment options are dialysis or a kidney transplant. Each treatment has benefits and drawbacks. No matter which treatment you choose, you'll need to make some changes in your life, including how you eat and plan your activities. But with the help of health care providers, family, and friends, most people with kidney failure can lead full and active lives.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Start Here

  • (American Kidney Fund)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Kidney Disease Education Program)

Diagnosis and Tests

Treatments and Therapies

Living With

  • (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
  • (National Kidney Foundation) - PDF
  • Creatinine: FreeFacebookCredits2012 Health Topic From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Kidney Disease Education Program) - PDF Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health Easy-to-Read (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

Related Issues

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • (National Kidney Foundation)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • (National Kidney Foundation)

Specifics

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Statistics and Research

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • (American Kidney Fund)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Reference Desk

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in

Find an Expert

  • From the National Institutes of Health

Children

  • (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) - PDF
  • (National Kidney Foundation)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • (National Kidney Foundation)

Patient Handouts

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