Diagnosis of Chronic Kidney Failure
Chronic kidney disease or chronic kidney failure is diagnosed through blood tests that measure creatinine and urea, or BUN, levels as these are the main toxins eliminated by our kidneys. Urine is also analysed to discover the exact volume and composition of urinary output. These results are used to calculate the overall percentage of kidney function (glomerular filtration rate, GFR) which subsequently determines the degree of kidney failure.
|stage||description||glomerular filtration rate (GFR)|
|1||Kidney damage with normal GF||> 90 mL/min|
|2||Kidney damage with mild loss of GF||60–89 mL/min|
|3||Moderate loss of GF||30–59 mL/min|
|4||Severe loss of GF||15–29 mL/min|
|5||Kidney failure||< 15 mL/min or dialysis|
It is essential to diagnose kidney disease in its early stages (1 to 3) in order to prevent the loss of kidney function and onset of cardiovascular complications, thus preserving function for several years and delaying the need to resort to dialysis. Most individuals do not notice any particular symptoms; they may feel a little tired or have swollen legs.
It is important to follow the nephrologist’s indications when first diagnosed with kidney disease so as to reduce the rate of kidney function deterioration, e.g., reduce salt intake, lose weight or follow an appropriate diet, amongst others.
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