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Anatomy of the Kidney  
Glomerulonephritis

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Definition  

Chronic renal failure is an deficiency in kidney function. Kidneys clean waste from the blood, which passes out of the body in urine.

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Causes  

Chronic renal failure is often caused by diseases such as:

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Risk Factors  

The following factors increase your chance of developing chronic renal failure. If you have any of these risk factors, tell your doctor:

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Symptoms  

Symptoms include:

  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Not sleeping well
  • Less desire to eat than usual
  • Nausea
  • Itching
  • Shortness of breath
  • Altered taste
  • Altered mental state
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Diagnosis  

Your doctors will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.

Your bodily fluids and tissues may be tested. This can be done with:

  • Blood tests
  • Biopsy

Images may be taken of your kidneys. This can be done with ultrasound .

Patients who are already at high risk for kidney disease should be tested more frequently so any damage can be diagnosed early. Patients with kidney disease will be referred to a specialist called a nephrologist, who is dedicated to managing kidney diseases.

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Treatment  

Although chronic kidney disease cannot be cured, it is possible to slow the damage to the kidney in most patients. Your doctor may recommend any of the following:

  • Controlling protein in the urine by restricting the amount of protein in the