Chronic kidney disease (CKD), also known as chronic renaldisease, is a progressive loss of renal functionover a period of months or years. The symptoms of worsening kidney function areunspecific, and might include feelinggenerally unwellandexperiencing areduced appetite. Often, chronic kidney disease isdiagnosed as a result of screeningof people known to be at risk of kidney problems, such as those withhigh blood pressureordiabetesand those with a blood relative with chronic kidneydisease. Chronic kidney disease may also be identified when itleads to one of its recognized complications, such ascardiovascular disease,anemiaorpericarditis.Chronic kidney disease is identified by ablood testforcreatinine. Higher levels of creatinine indicate a fallingglomerularfiltration rate(rate at which the kidneys filter blood) and as aresult a decreased capability of the kidneys to excrete wasteproducts. Creatinine levels may be normal in the early stages of CKD, and the condition is discovered if urinalysis(testing of aurine sample) shows that the kidney is allowing the loss of proteinorred blood cellsinto the urine. To fully investigate the underlyingcause of kidney damage, various forms of medical imaging, bloodtests and often renalbiopsy(removing a small sample of kidneytissue) are employed to find out if there is a reversible cause forthe kidney malfunction.
Recent professional guidelines classifythe severity of chronic kidney disease in five stages, with stage 1being the mildest and usually causing few symptoms and stage 5being a severe illness with poor life expectancy if untreated.Stage 5 CKD is also called established chronic kidney disease andis synonymous with the now outdated terms end-stage renaldisease (ESRD), chronic kidney failure (CKF) or chronic renalfailure (CRF). There is no specific treatment unequivocally shown to slowthe worsening of chronic kidney disease. If there is an underlyingcause to CKD, such asvasculitis, this may be treated directly withtreatments aimed to slow the damage. In more advanced stages,treatments may be required for anemia andbone disease. SevereCKD requires one of the forms of renal replacement therapy; this
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