Kidney Disease

How do you know the extent of my kidney damage?

When we do your regular blood tests at clinic, we can use the results to calculate your estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR). This gives us a rough idea of the amount of remaining healthy kidney function provided by your kidneys. Young people with completely healthy kidney function will have an eGFR of 90% or more but people can remain well with much less than this. You might start to experience some significant symptoms once your percentage of remaining kidney function is down to 20- 30% of normal. Once your kidney function reaches 10-12% of normal, you will need to have a specific treatment in the form of dialysis, transplantation or conservative management.

Stages 1 and 2 (mild or early stage CKD):
your kidney function is 60% or more but your urine test, kidney x-ray or kidney biopsy show some signs of kidney damage.
Stage 3 (moderate CKD):
your percentage of remaining kidney function is 30 to 59%.
Stage 4 (advanced CKD):
your percentage of remaining kidney function is 15 to 30%. This is the point at which you might start to feel symptoms and this is also the time to start thinking about treatment options for kidney failure.
Stage 5 (kidney failure):
your percentage of remaining kidney function is less than 15% and you need to start treatment in the form of dialysis, transplantation or conservative management.

Most people looking at this website will be at stage 4 or 5

What is Established Kidney failure?

As described in the previous section, doctors divide chronic kidney disease into five stages, based on the kidney function shown by your blood tests. If your blood tests show kidney function of 15 percent or less, this is called chronic kidney disease stage 5, also known as established kidney failure. You may also hear it called end stage kidney failure.

If you have established kidney failure, you may get symptoms because of waste building up in your blood. But this doesn’t happen to everyone. You may not get symptoms until your kidney function is much lower than 15 percent.

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