End stage renal disease (ESRD) is the last stage of chronic kidney disease (CKD). When CKD, polycystic kidney disease (PKD) or other kidney diseases develop into ESRD, dialysis or a kidney transplant is necessary to live. Kidneys function at only below 10 to 15% of their normal capacity; they cannot effectively do their job, such as remove waste or excess fluids.
ESRD occurs when the kidneys are no longer able to work at a level needed for day-to-day life. The most common causes of ESRD are diabetes and high blood pressure. ESRD almost always comes after chronic kidney disease. The kidneys may slowly stop working over 10 to 20 years before end-stage disease results.