Renal Failure Stages | What Determines the Stage of Kidney Failure

The Different Stages of Renal Failure

Experts say that acute renal failure is a disease that is highly preventable.
Chronic renal failure has 5 different stages. According to medical professionals, signs and symptoms may not become apparent until the later stages. This means that when people start getting signs and symptoms, their kidneys are already greatly affected and are struggling to keep up with the demands of the body. Here are the five stages of renal failure:

  • Stage 1 Renal Failure

Patients who enter this stage report that there are no visible signs and symptoms yet. There is minimal disruption in the functions of the kidneys (kidneys still function more than 90%). The creatinine and urea levels are still considered normal. The estimated GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate) is still about 90 milliliters per minute or more. Doctors will try to find the cause of the damage and try to reverse the effects.

  • Stage 2 Renal Failure

The kidneys have reduced function, but still retain about 60-89% of function. The urea and creatinine levels could either be normal or mildly elevated. GFR could be about 60-89 milliliters per minute. Medical professionals will have to monitor blood pressure, general health, and creatinine levels. They may also try to stop the damage or slow down the worsening of the kidney function.

  • Stage 3 Renal Failure

Renal Failure StagesKidney function may be about 30-59% during this stage. The kidney damage is worse, with early symptoms of kidney failure setting in, such as poor appetite, itching, and fatigue. There may be excess urea in the blood with increased creatinine levels. Kidney specialists try to continue stopping or slowing down the damage in the kidneys. Patients are told more about the disease, as well as the treatment options.

  • Stage 4 Renal Failure

Kidney function is only about 15-29% with severe kidney damage. By this time, the kidneys find it very difficult to keep the person alive. More signs and symptoms appear, which then may call the need for dialysis. Doctors will also assess the need for transplantation.

  • Stage 5 Renal Failure

Otherwise known as end stage renal failure, kidney function is less than 15%. Kidneys are barely functioning, which then result to increased creatinine and urea levels in the body. Renal replacement therapy is started, which could either be through dialysis or transplantation.


With worsening conditions related to end stage kidney failure, the treatment and management options also become more aggressive. However, doctors emphasize that this disease is preventable. It is important to be able to identify the disease in the early renal failure stages as there are high chances of reversing the effects and the damage to the kidneys.

Hello, my name is Stevan. And this is my blog. As a future doctor I am worried that a lot of people find out they are very ill when its too late already. With this site I want to help people find out what their symptoms mean and what to do next if they are related to kidney malfunction. Timely treatment of disease can save many lives.

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