Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a long term condition where the kidneys are not working properly. It cannot be cured but it can be successfully treated and managed.
A guide to understanding your kidney disease
Stages of kidney disease
Healthcare specialists divide kidney disease into five stages. These stages are widely recognized around the world. The stages are determined by how much remaining kidney function you have.
Your percentage of remaining kidney function is 60% or more
Your urine test, kidney x-ray or kidney biopsy show some signs of kidney damage
Your percentage of remaining kidney function is 59% > 30%
Your percentage of remaining kidney function is 29% > 15%
You might start to experience symptoms and this also the time to start leaning about treatment choices for established kidney disease.
Your percentage of remaining kidney function is 14% or less
You are approaching the need to start your treatment choice at this stage.
What will happen to me in the future?
Most people with mild to moderate CKD (stages 1-3) can prevent their kidneys from getting worse by adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking some medications. Your family doctor and community health services can often support you to do this. If your CKD progresses to stage 4-5 you will need to start thinking about the treatment choices available for kidney failure. These include having a kidney transplant, undergoing dialysis or conservative management.
Your long term outlook will be affected by your age and whether you have other medical conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes. Statistics can give you a general indication about survival for patients with CKD, but these only give an average and do not reflect the outcome for each individual.