What are the Stages of Kidney Failure?

Kidney disease is a chronic, progressive disease. It could be caused by other severe diseases that slowly lead to kidney damage. When functions of the kidneys are weakened, wastes begin to build up in your body and cause all kinds of symptoms. Therefore, it is important to identify your kidney failure stages. For example, your glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is the best indicator of how well your kidneys are working.

Kidney failure stages, GFR and kidney damage
Never forget how important our kidneys are!

Most of all, many kidney specialists use a standard classification system to describe these common symptoms and stages. The following is a chart of the five stages of kidney failure. For your information, GFR is the rate at which the kidneys filter waste and relates to a patient’s “kidney function.”) The lower your GFR is, the more damaged your kidneys are.

Kidney failure stages, GFR and kidney damage
What your GFR means.

Kidney failure stages: based on kidney damage and GFR

Stages of chronic kidney disease
Stage Description GFR What this means to you
1 Kidney damage with normal or high GFR 90 or above
  • Your doctor will try to find the cause of your kidney disease and begin treatment.
  • Manage other health problems, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • See your doctor regularly to monitor your condition.
2 Kidney damage with mildly low GFR 60-89
  • Your doctor will estimate how quickly your disease is progressing.
  • Manage other health problems, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • Continue regular monitoring.
3 Kidney damage with moderately low GFR 30-59
  • Your doctor will check you for complications, such as anemia and bone disease, and begin treatment if needed.
  • Continue monitoring.
4 Kidney damage with severely low GFR 15-29
  • Decide what type of treatment you want if kidney failure develops.
  • Continue treatment and monitoring.
5 Kidney failure Below 15

Other ways to find out:

In addition to tracking your GFR, blood tests can show when substances in your blood are out of balance. If phosphorus or potassium levels start to climb, a blood test will prompt your health care provider to address these issues before they permanently affect your health.

Kidney failure stages, GFR and kidney damage
Take good care of your kidneys

When you have doubts about which stage you are in, you may want to consult your doctor to make sure.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.