WHAT ARE THE STAGES OF KIDNEY DISEASE?

Because there are many stages of chronic kidney disease, there are many symptoms which correspond to the different stages. Chronic kidney disease is divided into five different stages based the rate at which the glomerulus filter the blood per minute. This is referred to as the glomerular filteration rate (GFR), and reflects how well a persons kidneys are filtering his or her blood. Doctors can determine the GFR by studying the creatinine levels present in a blood test! A persons GFR is normal if it is greater than 90 m per minute. GFR is an accurate measure of how well a persons kidneys are functioning.

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A person with stage one chronic kidney disease (this is considered to be normal) will have a GFR that is slightly lower than 90 ml/minute. A person with stage two chronic kidney disease (the disease has progressed to the mild form at this stage) will have a GFR that is between 60-89 ml/minute. A person with stage three chronic kidney disease (the disease has progressed to the moderate form at this stage) will have a GFR between 30-59 ml/minute.

A person with stage 4 chronic kidney disease (the disease has in a severe form at this stage) will have a GFR between 15-29 ml/minute, and a person with stage five chronic kidney disease (the person is at end stage renal failure at this stage) will have a GFR that is less than 15 ml/minute.

People in the first stage of chronic kidney disease do not show any symptoms. Their serum and creatinine levels come back normal in routine blood tests. The only way stage one chronic kidney disease is detectable is through routine lab measurements, or through incidental diagnosis when other diseases are evaluated. Symptoms of stage one chronic kidney disease include: loss of protein in urine, structural damage that shows up on x-ray, ultrasound, or MRI images, or a family history of polycystic kidney disease.

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People in the second stage of chronic kidney disease have mild kidney damage, but show no symptoms. Possible symptoms of stage two chronic kidney disease include: nocturia, elevated blood pressure, abnormal urine, and normal or slightly elevated serum creatinine levels. Their kidney functions are at 60-89%.

People in the third stage of chronic kidney disease have moderate kidney damage. Their kidney functions are at 30-59%. These people either show no symptoms, or show mild symptoms which are accompanied by abnormal urine, and elevated serum creatinine levels.

People in the fourth stage of chronic kidney disease have severe kidney damage. Their kidney functions are at 15-29%. These people show many symptoms which can either be mild, vague, and nonspecific to very severe. The underlying cause of kidney failure, and the disease itself determine the symptoms exhibited.

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