GFR (glomerular filtration rate) is the best and reliable test to screen for kidney damage and determine the stage of patients' kidney disease, by measuring the amount of blood flowing through kidneys every minute.
According to American Kidney Foundation, normal GFR values range from 90-120 ml/min/1.73m2 for healthy adults. Of course, the normal value changes along with some factors such as age, race, gender, height, weight, etc. For example, the function of all organs is more likely to decline with age, so is the level of kidney function.
Generally, doctors order this test if you are suspected to have kidney problem or you have some signs that your kidneys are not working properly. Also, GFR test can help doctors to detect how far your kidney disease has progressed.
If you have the following conditions, you may need to take this test:
- Uncontrolled hypertension or diabetes
- Persistent proteinuria or hematuria
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Family history of kidney disease such as PKD
- Urinary blockage
According to the results of GFR tests, you can clearly know whether your kidneys are healthy. If not, what stage your kidney disease is.
According to GFR, chronic kidney disease is divided into 5 stages. Here, we can get an overview.
- Stage 1 with normal GFR (GFR>90ml/min)
- Stage 2 with GFR (60-89ml/min)
- Stage 3 with GFR (30-59ml/min)
- Stage 3 with GFR (15-29ml/min)
- Stage 5 or end stage with GFR (less than 15ml/min)
In different stages, patients need to develop different diet plans and take different medical treatments. Only if effective treatment is used can patients achieve to improve GFR level and reverse their kidney damage.