End-Stage Renal Disease
What Is It?
End-stage renal disease is a condition in which the kidneys no longer function normally. "Renal" describes anything having to do with the kidneys. Nearly everyone is born with two kidneys. They both need to fail for end-stage renal disease to develop.
Kidneys eliminate poisons from the body, and keep a normal balance of fluid and certain minerals in the body. When the kidneys can no longer perform this function, a person becomes very ill and ultimately dies.
In end-stage renal disease, the kidneys function at a fraction of their normal capacity. When this occurs, there are only two options: replace the job the kidneys are supposed to do by using a machine, instead (kidney dialysis) or transplant a new, healthy kidney. A single new kidney can do the work of the two kidneys.