Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) Explained
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), you may be feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information being thrown at you. One term you will hear frequently is GFR, or glomerular filtration rate.
Your glomerular filtration rate is an indication of how well your kidneys are working, and is used to determine your stage of kidney disease.
The test itself requires a blood sample that is sent to a lab for analysis. Your blood sample will be tested for creatinine, which is the chemical waste product of creatine. Creatine supplies energy to your muscles. You may also provide a urine sample to test for protein in your urine – an indication of kidney disease.
Your GFR will be determined using a formula that includes a combination of factors such as your creatinine levels, age, gender, height, weight, and ethnicity. A high GFR indicates a higher percentage of kidney function. The stages of chronic kidney disease are approximated to the following GFRs:
Stage 1 – 90-100% kidney function
Stage 2 – 60-89% kidney function
Stage 3a – 45-59% kidney function
Stage 3b – 30-44% kidney function
Stage 4 – 15-29% kidney function
Stage 5 – 15% or less kidney function
When your GFR is low, it indicates that your kidneys are not working as they should. Detecting kidney disease early will allow you to start treatment sooner and may help keep the disease from progressing.
After being diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, your nephrologist may order this test at regular intervals to assess the disease’s progression and plan the appropriate treatment. At Cincinnati Home Dialysis, we provide early stage treatment for chronic kidney disease. Your care team can help determine which treatment option best aligns with your lifestyle and needs.