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What Does Low GFR Mean

What Does Low GFR MeanIf GFR number is lower than normal range, we need to be alert about our kidney, because it is an indicator for kidney condition.

What is GFR?

GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate) is a medical indicator of kidney condition. It describes how well our kidneys filter our blood. In our kidneys, glomeruli work as a filter and when blood flow through it, clean blood is separated from wastes. Clean blood keeps circulate in our body and wastes, which includes metabolic wastes and unwanted fluid, are excreted out of the body as urine.

What does low GFR mean?

For a healthy adult, GFR should be in the range of 100-130ml/min/1.73m2 and a low GFR in medicine means kidneys can not work as well as they did before to filter blood. That is why we need to be alert about kidney when tests report low GFR.

In medicine, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is divided into 5 stages according to GFR. In CKD stage 1, GFR is higher than 90, but kidney damages can be detected through imageological examination, routine blood test or routine urine test. In CKD stage 2, GFR decreases mildly and it stays in the range of 69-89. CKD stage 3 is marked by moderately decreased GFR of 30-59 and when illness develops to CKD stage 4, GFR stays in the range of 15-29. However, if GFR is lower than 15, we say patients is in CKD stage 5.

When kidneys are damaged mildly, there is no obvious physical discomfort, because kidney is of great compensatory function. In general, when GFR is lower than 60 or we can say when CKD develops to CKD stage 3, some symptoms like high blood pressure, swelling and back pain appear. For this reason, test result is said to be normal when GFR is higher than 60.

CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) is marked by progressive decrease of GFR, and if we want to stop further aggravation of illness and prevent kidney failure, we need to start from improving kidney condition.

Tag: CKD Basics GFR

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