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What are the 5 stages of kidney failure?

The 5 stages of kidney failure.’ So, if you have ever wondered about the complications of kidney disease

Understanding Kidney Function

In the stages of kidney failure, the kidneys act as the body’s filtration system, ensuring that wastes and excess fluids are flushed out, as well as maintaining proper electrolyte balance. Every minute, our kidneys filter about 200 liters of blood, making about 2 liters of urine. Isn’t it amazing?”

Kidney damage with normal/GFR

Stage 1 – Known as ‘kidney damage with normal/GFR’, is the initial stage of kidney disease. At this point, there may be signs of kidney damage, but kidney function remains normal with a glomerular filtration rate (GFR). 90 or more. You may experience slight protein presence in the urine or have an abnormal kidney ultrasound. Detecting kidney disease at this stage is important to prevent it from progressing.”

Kidney damage with mild GFR decrease

Stage 2 – Also known as ‘kidney damage with mild GFR reduction’. In this stage, a mild decline in kidney function begins, with a GFR between 60-89. You may experience symptoms such as fatigue, increased urination at night, or mild fluid retention. Early intervention, such as managing blood pressure and blood sugar levels, can prevent further deterioration and give your kidneys a fighting chance.”

Moderate GFR Decrease

Stage 3 – Commonly referred to as ‘moderate GFR reduction’ is a turning point. At this stage, kidney function has declined significantly, with a GFR between 30-59. Symptoms become more noticeable and may include persistent fatigue, swelling in the hands and feet, and changes in the frequency and color of urine. It is essential to take necessary steps – through diet, medication and lifestyle modifications – to slow the progression of kidney disease.”

Severe GFR Decrease

Stage 4 – Also known as ‘severe GFR reduction’, indicates a severe decline in kidney function with a GFR of 15-29. Symptoms become more pronounced, including severe fluid retention, nausea, vomiting, and uncontrolled blood pressure. At this stage, preparation for kidney replacement therapy such as dialysis or transplantation becomes important. Consultation with a nephrologist is highly recommended to discuss treatment options.”

Kidney failure or end-stage renal disease (ESRD)

Stage 5- We have reached the final and most serious stage, ‘Kidney Failure‘ or ‘End-Stage Renal Disease’ (ESRD). At this point, kidney function is severely impaired, with a GFR less than 15. Symptoms become extremely debilitating, which can include extreme fatigue, muscle cramps, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, and frequent infections. Dialysis or kidney transplant becomes a necessity to sustain life.”


Flashback through the five stages of kidney failure Remember, detecting kidney disease early and making the necessary lifestyle and dietary changes can significantly slow its progression. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned, seek professional medical advice immediately.

5 stages of kidney failure
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