Kidney Korner: The Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is the gradual decline of kidney function over time. Once we hit our 40s, our kidney function naturally begins to decline, even without us having done something to cause it. This decline can be accelerated by other chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart conditions. It is important to understand how CKD is assessed, what the different stages are, and what they mean.

​How it is Measured
There are two important numbers to consider when looking at kidney function: creatinine and eGFR. Creatinine is a measurement of the amount of toxins in the blood or urine. eGFR is a calculation of the kidney function. We will be focusing on eGFR for this post. 

The Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease
Stage 1: Kidney damage with a normal kidney function, with an eGFR of 90 or higher
Stage 2: Mild loss of kidney function, with an eGFR between 60 and 89
Stage 3: Stage 3 has two sub-stages, 3A and 3B. 
3A is moderate loss of kidney function, with an eGFR of 45-59.  
3B is moderate to severe loss of kidney function, with an eGFR of 30-44.
Stage 4: Severe loss of kidney function, with an eGFR of 15-29
Stage 5: Kidney failure with need for transplantation or dialysis, with an eGFR of <15

Living with CKD can be managed through a number of different options like diet, regular movement, and proper medication usage, as well as managing other contributing factors, like the ones listed above.

Munjal’s Musings
“Many people can live long, healthy lives with only one healthy kidney. That is only 50% of the kidney function, or Stage 3 CKD.”

Chronic Kidney Disease does not mean you are headed for the dialysis chair. Have an open, honest discussion with your care team about where you stand, your options, and how to continue living your best life. If you have questions or concerns about your kidney function, call our office to make an appointment with Dr. Munjal. As always, stay safe and healthy!

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