The Five Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease


The five stages of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) are based on how well the kidneys are working. Early stages can have few symptoms, which is why it’s important that you ask your doctor to perform a test called the Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR). This test helps doctors determine how well your kidneys remove waste and extra fluid from your body. The higher the number, the healthier kidneys are.

Stage 1 | GFR 90 or higher

This early stage of CKD means GFR levels are higher than 90 but there are signs of kidney disease, such as protein in the urine.

It’s a good idea at this stage to learn about things you can do to keep your kidneys as healthy as possible. This can include diet changes that help your kidneys work their best. Learn more about a healthy kidney lifestyle at

Stage 2 | GFR 60-89

Stage 2 of kidney disease shows reduced kidney function with GFR rates between 60-89.

Stage 3 | GFR 30-59

As GFR gets closer to 44, your doctor will continue to monitor and observe your kidney function as well as increase efforts to treat blood pressure and other related conditions.

Stage 4 | GFR 15-29

As patients enter CKD Stage 4, they may begin feeling unwell and show noticeable jaundice. Stage 4 of CKD is the last stage before kidney failure. Doctors begin discussing kidney replacement options for on-going dialysis and possible transplantation.

Stage 5 | GFR Less 15

People with a GFR less 15 begin on-going dialysis treatments or make the decision to receive medical care without dialysis for the remainder of their life. People who qualify for a kidney transplant continue on dialysis until a matching donor is identified and surgery can be scheduled.

Don’t let Chronic Kidney Disease sneak up on you or someone you love. Ask for a GFR test at your next wellness checkup. If you have CKD, at any stage, learn about ways to lead a longer, healthier life. You can live a satisfying life  with CKD with the right information and healthcare team.