In this stage, your eGFR is less than 15ml/min. It means your kidneys have stopped working or are close to stopping. This is called kidney failure, end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). It sounds scary but remember most people with CKD don’t get to this stage. CKD can usually be managed well and people with it can live long lives.
How you might feel: Your kidneys have stopped filtering waste and fluid from your blood so you are likely to have a range of serious health issues at this stage, including anaemia, high blood pressure and a build-up of substances including acid in your body. Along with the symptoms listed in the earlier stages, you may have other symptoms including trouble breathing and leg or ankle swelling.
How doctors will treat you: Most will need renal (kidney) replacement therapy (RRT). This means either dialysis to clean your blood, or a kidney transplant. If you’re older or frailer, you might prefer supportive care, with no dialysis or transplant. You may also be prescribed a range of medicines and a special kidney-friendly diet. You may need to limit fluids and foods containing salt and the minerals potassium and phosphate, which build up in your body when your kidneys aren’t working.