patient stories
Peritoneal dialysis at
home using Amia
see his story

A Canada-wide cycling
trip with dialysis
see his story

Coping with CKD
thanks to home dialysis
see her story

What is Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?What are the different CKD stages?
There are five stages of chronic kidney disease

Your doctor can determine how well your kidneys are working by calculating your glomerular filtration rate (GFR).

To calculate your GFR, your doctor will use a formula that combines your:

glomerular filtration
The process in which your kidneys filter your blood to eliminate surplus waste and fluids
serum creatinine levels

The GFR determines how well blood is filtered by your kidneys; this is one way to measure your kidney function. Your doctor will use your GFR to establish the stage of your kidney disease and guide treatment decisions.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) stages
Stage Description GFR What this means
1 Kidney damage with normal or high GFR 90 or above
  • Your doctor will try to determine what is causing your kidney disease and manage other health issues (e.g. diabetes and high blood pressure)
  • Regular visits to doctor for monitoring
2 Kidney damage with mildly low GFR 60–89
  • Your doctor will estimate how quickly your CKD is progressing and manage other health issues (e.g. diabetes and high blood pressure)
  • Regular visits to doctor for monitoring
3 Kidney damage with moderately low GFR 30–59
  • Your doctor will test for complications (e.g. anemia, bone disease) and begin treating if needed
  • Regular visits to doctor for monitoring
4 Kidney damage with severely low GFR 15–29
  • You will discuss treatment options with your doctor if kidney failure develops
  • Continue treatments and monitoring
5 Kidney failure Below 15
  • If kidney failure symptoms develop, start dialysis, or transplant
  • If no symptoms, wait until GFR is 6 to start dialysis
  • Continue treatments, testing and monitoring
Adapted from

Please remember that every chronic kidney disease patient is unique—age, medical condition, physical condition and lifestyle choices. All these factors must be taken into consideration before determining a treatment option according to your CKD stage. You and your doctor will come up with the best course of action for your individual situation.