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Stage 5 Kidney Disease

Please note that the following information is provided as a general guide and is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is important to consult your healthcare team for personalised recommendations and to address any specific health concerns. For medical or health matters, please consult your GP, contact NHS 111, or call 999 in case of a medical emergency. We are unable to provide personalised responses regarding specific health enquiries or comment on individual medical conditions.

What is Stage 5 Kidney Disease?

Stage 5 kidney disease means that the kidneys have lost almost all of their function and can no longer keep up with the body's needs. This stage is also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Symptoms of Stage 5 Kidney Disease


Symptoms are severe and may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Loss of appetite

  • Fatigue and weakness

  • Changes in urination

  • Swelling in hands and feet

How is it Diagnosed?

Doctors use blood and urine tests to measure kidney function. The GFR is less than 15.

Possible Treatments for Stage 5

  • Dialysis: A treatment that filters your blood for you. There are two main types:

    • Haemodialysis: Done at a dialysis centre or at home.

    • Peritoneal Dialysis: Can often be done at home.

  • Kidney Transplant: A surgery to place a healthy kidney from a donor into your body.

  • Medications: To manage symptoms and prevent complications.

  • Diet Changes: To support remaining kidney function and overall health.

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Managing Stage 5 Kidney Disease with Diet

Strict Protein Control

  • Why: To reduce waste build-up.

  • What to do: Follow your dietitian's advice on protein intake.

Limit Sodium, Potassium, and Phosphorus

  • Why: To prevent complications.

  • What to do: Avoid high-sodium, high-potassium, and high-phosphorus foods.

Fluid Management

  • Why: To avoid fluid overload.

  • What to do: Follow your doctor's advice on how much fluid you can drink each day.

Special Nutritional Needs

  • Why: To maintain health and strength.

  • What to do: Work closely with a dietitian to ensure you get the right balance of nutrients.

Additional Tips

Work with a Dietitian

  • A dietitian can help you create a meal plan that meets your needs and fits your lifestyle.

Regular Check-ups

  • Keep up with regular doctor visits to monitor your kidney function and overall health.

Manage Other Health Conditions

  • Control diabetes, high blood pressure, and other conditions that can worsen kidney disease.

Prepare for Possible Treatments

  • Discuss options like dialysis or a kidney transplant with your healthcare team to plan ahead.

Stage 5 kidney disease, or end-stage renal disease, requires advanced treatments and careful management. By following dietary guidelines and working closely with your healthcare team, you can help manage your condition and maintain your health.

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