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Chronic kidney disease includes conditions that damage your kidneys and decrease their ability to keep you healthy by filtering wastes from your blood. If kidney disease worsens, wastes can build to high levels in your blood and make you feel sick. You may develop complications like:

  • high blood pressure
  • anemia (low blood count)
  • weak bones
  • poor nutritional health
  • nerve damage

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a slow and progressive loss of kidney function over several years. Eventually, a person may develop kidney failure.

There are five stages of CKD—based on two GFR tests at least 90 days apart. Stages 1 and 2 occur only in people whose kidneys are not normal. They may have been born with just one kidney. They may have kidney cysts, urine that backs up into the kidneys, or protein in their urine. Most people find out they have CKD at stage 3, 4, or 5. In the early stages, the risk of heart disease is higher than the risk of kidney failure. So, to feel your best, you need to protect your kidneys and your heart!

You may have kidney disease and not feel it! A GFR is a test of how well your kidneys work. GFR is glomerular filtration rate. Glomeruli are kidney filters that clean water and wastes out of your blood. A GFR is about the same as your percent kidney function. So, a GFR of 58 means you have about 58% function.

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