There are five stages of kidney disease. Your glomerular filtration rate (GFR)–considered by medical professionals to be the best measure of kidney function–lets kidney care experts figure out your stage of kidney disease. Understanding it can help you learn how to take control and slow the progression of your condition. Determining your GFR levels requires a simple blood test. Use this GFR Calculator tool to help you determine which stage of kidney disease you are in currently.
Completely healthy kidney function is measured at a GFR of around 100, which means that the kidneys are working at 100 percent. Your kidney function is still considered normal if the GFR number is 90 or greater. If your GFR is 45, you know that your kidneys are working at approximately 45 percent of the normal rate.
Tracking your GFR levels is easy and free when you GRF Calculator, the online resource to help you understand and manage all aspects of your kidney care.You also get access to:
Stage 1 CKD is diagnosed when a person has kidney damage and CKD risk factors with normal or high GFR. In Stage 1, there are often few to no symptoms. Management includes a healthy diet, blood pressure regulation and good glucose control in people with diabetes. Early CKD is usually diagnosed when there is:
In Stage 2 CKD, the GFR is mildly decreased between 60-89, indicating the person has kidney damage and mild loss of kidney function. Similar to Stage 1 CKD, following a healthy diet, controlling blood pressure and managing diabetes are key ways to slow the progression of CKD. Early CKD is usually diagnosed when there is:
Stage 3 CKD, a moderate decrease in kidney function, is divided into 3A (GFR is 45 to 59) and 3B (GFR is 30 to 44). This can occur when someone is in stage 3 of CKD:
When CKD has progressed to Stage 4, it's time to begin preparing for dialysis and/or a kidney transplant. If GFR falls below 30, most people need to find a kidney nephrologist and talk about treatment options.
A person with Stage 5 CKD has end stage renal disease (ESRD) with a GFR less than 15 ml/min. At this advanced stage of kidney disease, the kidneys have lost nearly all their ability to do their job effectively, and eventually dialysis or a kidney transplant is needed to live.