Stages of Kidney Disease

With chronic kidney disease (CKD) the kidneys usually don’t 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.

There are five stages of kidney disease, each of which calls for different tests and treatments.

The Five Stages of Kidney Disease

GRF, which stands for glomerular filtration rate, estimates kidney function. If your GFR is 26, that means your kidneys are working at approximately 26 percent of the normal rate.

5 Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease
Stage GFR Level Description

Mild: Stage 1 (At Risk)

GFR > 90 Stage 2, GFR 89-60

  • Kidney damage with mild loss of kidney function
  • Few to no symptoms
  • Manage through healthy diet and blood pressure regulation

Moderate: Stage 3A

GFR 59-45 Stage 3B, GFR 44-30

  • Could have fatigue, urination change, sleep problems and kidney pain
  • Speak to your doctor about a kidney-friendly diet, managing high blood pressure and prescription medications that may help

Severe 4

GFR 29-15

  • May develop high blood pressure, anemia, bone disease or cardiovascular diseases
  • Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, taste changes, nerve issues, difficulty sleeping, and poor appetite and energy
  • See a kidney doctor to manage your disease and ask about kidney transplant
  • A dietitian may help manage your diet

End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD): Stage 5

GFR < 15

  • Symptoms include loss of appetite, nausea, itching, swelling and making little to no urine
  • Treatment options include dialysis or kidney transplant

KDOQI Clinical Practice Guidelines for Chronic Kidney Disease
National Kidney Foundation


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