With chronic kidney disease, the kidneys don’t usually fail all at once. Instead, kidney disease often progresses slowly over a period of years.
This is good news because if CKD is caught early, medicines and lifestyle changes may help slow its progress and keep you feeling your best for as long as possible.
To help improve the quality of care for people with kidney disease, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) created a guideline to help doctors identify each level of kidney disease.
The NKF divided kidney disease into five stages.
When the doctor knows what stage of kidney disease a person has they can provide the best care, as each stage calls for different tests and treatments
Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is the best measure of kidney function. The GFR is the number used to figure out a person’s stage of kidney disease.
A math formula using the person’s age, race, gender and their serum creatinine is used to calculate a GFR.
Below shows the five stages of CKD and GFR for each stage:
End stage renal disease (ESRD) is the last stage (stage five) of chronic kidney disease (CKD). This means kidneys are only functioning at 10%–15% of their normal capacity. Kidneys are important organs that contribute to your overall well-being. When kidney function is this low, they cannot effectively remove waste or excess fluid from your blood.Kidneys are also responsible for other functions that support the body, such as balancing electrolytes and producing certain hormones. When chronic kidney disease develops into ESRD, dialysis or a kidney transplant is necessary to stay alive.
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