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Health Tip: Understanding End-Stage Renal Disease

When the kidneys have all but shut down

(HealthDay News) -- End-stage renal disease (ESRD), sometimes called kidney failure, occurs when kidney damage becomes so severe that the organs function at less than 10 percent of normal capacity. When this happens, the kidneys are almost completely unable to help the body excrete waste and regulate bodily fluids.

Long bouts of chronic kidney disease, most often brought on by diabetes, is the most common cause of ESRD, the U.S. National Library of Medicine says.

People with ESRD must undergo lifesaving dialysis, in which a machine performs many of the normal functions of the kidneys.

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