CKD affects between 10-16% of the adult population in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia (Matsushita et al., 2013). Additionally, the disease places a substantial burden on the healthcare system, as well as the patient and their caretakers. CKD is associated with a reduced quality of life, as well as increased morbidity and mortality (Schulman, Vanholder, & Niwa, 2014).
The function of your kidneys is to maintain the balance of minerals and electrolytes in your body, such as calcium, sodium, and potassium. The kidneys also filter fluids and wastes from your body in the form of urine which is then removed from the body during micturition. CKD is diagnosed in stages ranging from one to five. The stages are determined by the Glomerular Filtration Rate [GFR]. The GFR is the rate at which the kidney can relieve the body of toxins or excess fluids and is determined by the quantity of nephrons [the functional filtration units of the kidney]. The GFR is decreased the further progressed the disease becomes due to the destruction of the nephrons (Porth & Porth, …show more content…
A physician will typically order a complete blood count [CBC] to check erythropoietin hormone levels [hormone that stimulates bone marrow to produce red blood cells]. When the kidney is severely damaged, its ability to make the erythropoietin hormone decreases. This would show on the CBC test as a low red blood cell [RBC] count, otherwise known as anemia. Potassium may be higher and bicarbonate levels may be lower when you have CKD. This would usually lead to metabolic acidosis. Blood urea nitrogen [BUN] percentages will become elevated in kidney failure as urea accumulates into toxic levels. Urea is a byproduct of protein breakdown in the liver that your kidney is meant to filter out. The amount of proteinuria [excess protein in the urine] is widely used as a diagnostic test of the severity of CKD and as a means of predicting future decline in GFR (Cravedi & Remuzzi,