Stages of kidney failure
Chronic kidney failure is measured in five stages, which are calculated using a patient’s GFR, or glomerular filtration rate. Stage 1 CKD is mildly diminished renal function, with few overt symptoms. Stages 2 and 3 need increasing levels of supportive care from their medical providers to slow and treat their renal dysfunction. Patients in stages 4 and 5 usually require preparation of the patient towards active treatment in order to survive. Stage 5 CKD is considered a severe illness and requires some form of renal replacement therapy (dialysis) orkidney transplant whenever feasible.
Glomerular filtration rate
A normal GFR varies according to many factors, including sex, age, body size and ethnic background. Renal professionals consider the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) to be the best overall index of kidney function.The National Kidney Foundation offers an easy to use on-line GFR calculator for anyone who is interested in knowing their glomerular filtration rate. (A serum creatininelevel, a simple blood test, is needed to use the calculator.)
Use of the term uremia
Before the advancement of modern medicine, renal failure was often referred to as uremic poisoning. Uremia was the term for the contamination of the blood with urine. It is the presence of an excessive amount of urea in blood. Starting around 1847, this included reduced urine output, which was thought to be caused by the urine mixing with the blood instead of being voided through the urethra. The term uremia is now used for the illness accompanying kidney failure.
A whole food, plant-based diet may help some people with kidney disease. A high protein diet from either animal or plant sources appears to have negative effects on kidney function at least in the short term.