Overview

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The kidneys are involved in many vital body functions. They are important for seperating unwanted components and toxins from the blood and excrete them in the form of urine. Furthermore they produce hormons (Renin, EPO) and contribute to the regulation of the acid-base balance through varying reabsorption of bicarbonate. High bloodflow and metabolic turnover are indicators for their massive workloads. Because of this, a decline in function of the kidney can lead to severe problems.

Chronic kidney disease is defined as kidney damage lasting for at least three month [1].
Prevalence of chronic kidney disease ranges from 3% to up to 17% across European countries [2]. It is estimated that more than 800.000 people in Austria are affected [3].

Furthermore chronic kidney disease is often accompanied or caused by risk diseases like hypertension or diabetes. Treatment and control of this underlying diseases is vital for slowing or even halting progressing of chronic kidney disease. Unfortunately a number of medication used for the treatment of these diseases are harmful for the kidney as well. This can result vicious cycle if renal function is not paid enough attention to.

Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is used as an index to estimate the capacatity of the kidneys.
Based on this value The National Kidney Foundation (https://www.kidney.org/) categorizes chronic kidney disease into five different stages.

stages

Picture taken from https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/gfr (04/02/18)

Measurement of GFR is usually done by ordaining creatinine clearence. As this method is quite elaborate, because it would be necessary to collect a 24-hour urine sample, it is possible to calculate an estimated GFR based on specific formulas. See Calculator for more information.

Please consider that GFR based on creatinine clearence is only an approximate value as creatinine plasma levels depend on various conditions for example muscle mass. Additionally for full assessment of renal function more parameters as protein excretion through urine are needed.

Visit a medical specialist for professional care in case of chronic kidney disease.

[1]”Part 4. Definition and Classification of Stagesof Chronic Kidney Disease”. In: American Journal of Kidney Diseases 39.2 (2002), S46-S75

[2] K. Bruck et al. “CKD Prevalence Varies across the European General Population”. In: Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (Dec.2015)

[3] Friedrich Prischl. “Universum InnereMedizin – Ursachen der chronischen Niereninsuffizienz”. In: Universum Innere Medizin (2005), pp. 1-8