Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR): Test For Kidney Wellness

Somya Verma

, Health A2Z

Some of the medical advancement has helped us know more about chronic diseases. Some of them being Kidney disease and heart diseases. One of the ways you can know about your kidney wellness is Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR). One of the reasons and work of this particular test is to tell you about how your kidney is working.


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Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) is mostly recommended when the symptoms of Kidney damage is very evident. You must know the importance of this particular test.


What is the Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR)?


It is a test for kidney wellness. The estimated glomerular filtration rate is the best test to know the good and healthy state of kidney function. It can also be used to determine your stage of kidney disease. Generally, your doctor will ask you to get a creatinine test, your age, body size, and gender.


Your GFR tells your doctor about which stage of kidney disease are you suffering. It helps them plan your treatment. If your GFR number is low, your kidneys are not working as well as they should. The earlier kidney disease is detected, the better the chance of slowing or stopping its progression.


Your test results are studied and then the stages of chronic kidney disease are calculated. This test is important to know if you require a kidney transplant or where and how critical is your renal disease.


What stages does Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) indicate in kidney damage?


You must know what is the rate for each of the levels of GFR. Here are the various stages and rates of GFR associated with them:


Stage Description Glomerular Filtration Rate GFR


Stage 1 Kidney damage (e.g., protein in the urine) with normal GFR 90 or above

(GFR) Kidney damage with a mild decrease in GFR 60 to 89

Stage 3a Moderate decrease in GFR 45 to 59

Stage 3b Moderate decrease in GFR 30 to 44

Stage 4 Severe reduction in GFR 15 to 29

Stage 5 Kidney failure Less than 15


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Glomerular Filtration Rate, is it important?


A lot of you as we know are aware that their blood pressure and cholesterol numbers are important in knowing their risk for heart and blood vessel disease. Still, very few know what is glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Few are aware that it is one of the numbers that tell them about the health of their kidneys.

You must be aware of how it is measured and why it is used. Managing a chronic disease better is almost equal to getting it treated.

If your GFR number is low, this means that your kidneys are not working as much as they should. Early detection will allow for early treatment. Early treatment may keep kidney disease from getting worse.


What you must do if Glomerular Filtration Rate is not normal?


According to the National Kidney Foundation, there are some steps involved when your GFR is not normal. More tests will be done to understand why it is low. The results of these tests may provide clues about what is happening. Examples of tests that might be ordered are:


Urine tests


The type and amount of protein which can be a sign of a kidney infection. Those which take account of Red blood cells (a sign of bleeding in the urinary system) and White blood cells (a sign of infection).


Ultrasound or CT


Scan to get a picture of your kidneys and urinary system. These pictures show the size of your kidneys and whether or not tumors, kidney stones, or cysts are present.


A biopsy


This is done to remove a tiny piece of the kidney for evaluation. The sample is studied under a microscope to see what kind of kidney damage is happening.


We are sure you must be well aware of all the aspects of the Glomerular Filtration Rate. Some people are more likely than others to develop kidney disease. You may be at increased risk for kidney disease. If you are diabetic or dealing with high blood pressure or hypertension, then you are very much prone to it.


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