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Home > Understanding Kidney Disease > Kidney Diseases > CKD > CKD Basics >

Is GFR the Only Measurement of Kidney Function

2014-09-23 11:34| Font Size A A A

Is GFR the Only Measurement of Kidney FunctionChronic kidney disease is a progression of disease and refers to gradual decline of renal function over a period of months or years. How much renal function you have depends on how well your kidneys are functioning well. Well then, how do you know your kidney function levels?

Actually, GFR (glomerular filtration rate) is an indicator to reflect kidney function. According to GFR, kidney disease is divided into five stages. And each stage has the different degree of kidney damage. People with stage 1 CKD with the normal kidney function which the GFR is about 90 or above. A person with stage 2 CKD with GFR 60-89 means that his kidney has got the slight damage. Both stage 1 and stage 2 kidney disease, patients will not experience obvious symptoms since our healthy kidneys has strong compensatory ability, a half of renal function can guarantee our body health. However, people begin to suffer from some obvious symptoms like proteinuria, high blood pressure, swelling, hematuria and so on when the illness condition develops into Stage 3 CKD with GFR 30-59. What’s serious, when GFR decreases to 15-29, your kidney disease has already entered into Stage 4 Kidney Disease which may need to dialysis or kidney transplant in near further. Additionally, once the GFR is less than 15, then, patients are in the stage 5 kidney disease, namely end stage renal disease, and it is life-threatening and can not be reversed.

Through the above analysis, we can see that GFR is a reliable indicator to measure renal function. But it is not the only measurement to know the kidney function. Creatinine is also one of important and reliable indicator to reflect renal function. Creatinine is the metabolic creatine phosphate in our muscle and normally, healthy kidneys are responsible to discharge the extra creatinine from the body. Once there is something wrong with your kidneys, it is easy to lead to high creatinine level. And it is not easy to occur until half of renal function has lost. Therefore, high creatinine level is always associated with severe kidney damage. The normal range of creatinine is about 0.5-1.2mg/dl. If you have an abnormal ranges, you should pay attention to your physical condition. In addition, the BUN (blood urea nitrogen) is a reference of kidney function.

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