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Chronic Kidney Disease Diagnosis

To diagnose Chronic Renal Disease, investigation must begin by asking about the history of the present illness. Chronic Renal Disease may be expressed by a person’s statements of a decrease in urinary frequency, body malaise, chest tightness, apnea and postural apneic episodes. These symptoms may be associated with other medical conditions. Thus, laboratory parameters are relevant in diagnosing CKD, as follows:

Blood Count Test – A complete blood count must be taken to have a baseline on the person’s blood counts, especially Hemoglobin and Red Blood Cells.

Urine Analysis- A Urine Analysis must be taken to look for presence of metabolites which may help determine the cause of CKD. Examples of these metabolites are glucose, urate crystals, and Magnesium salts. The presence of RBC in the urine means that there is traumatic damage in the urinary system, possibly due to kidney stones. An increase in the white blood cell count and a high bacterial content in urine are indicative of infection.

Serum Creatinine Level Test- Serum Creatinine level is an important parameter to determine the extent of kidney damage.

Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) Test- Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) may also be calculated to determine the stage of CKD, to be able to classify the person with Chronic Renal Disease and to help determine an appropriate course of treatment.   

Chronic Kidney Disease Stages: Interpreting Diagnostic Test Results

Chronic renal failure is classified into 5 Stages. The first 3 Stages are mostly asymptomatic but there is deterioration of the kidneys and decreasing function. Symptoms are only typically evident in Stage 4 where the GFR is usually below 30ml/min. In this stage, people may complain of decrease in frequency of urination. Localized edema may be observed mostly seen in the lower extremities. This is due to the retention of fluids in the body, secondary to the dysfunction of the kidneys.

The 5th Stage is associated with the poorest prognosis. End Stage renal disease or Stage 5 may be signified by a Glomerular Filtration Rate below 15 ml/min. In some cases of End Stage Renal Disease, GFR is 2 to none. End Staged Renal Disease is life threatening because it often leads to fatal complications and shutting down of some organs as a mechanism of the body to compromise the loss of kidney function.

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It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition.