Kidney function can be checked by a urine and blood test. It is reflected by the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). The lower the GFR is, the more kidney function loses. Actually, there are five stages of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), reflecting different kidney function. In general, at the end stage renal disease (ESRD) or kidney failure, a dialysis is required.
Five stages of Chronic Kidney Disease
Stage 1: Kidney damage with normal Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) (90ml/min or above). It means that people have more than 90% of kidney function. Kidneys can still work normally. In this first stage of kidney disease, the goals of treatment are to slow the progression of CKD and reduce the risk of heart and blood vessel disease.
Stage 2: Kidney damage with mild decrease in GFR (60-89ml/min). When kidney function starts to decline. If patients have high blood pressure or other disease, they need to make it under control. Stage 1 and stage 2 are both reversible.
Stage 3: Moderate decrease in GFR (30-59ml/min). When kidney function has advanced to this stage, the kidneys are working excessively. Symptoms such as proteinuria, fatigue, swelling and high blood pressure become more common. Stage 3 kidney disease is irreversible.
Stage 4: Severe reduction in GFR (15-29ml/min). Kidney function has reduced to less than 30%, complications or symptoms becomes obvious and severer. Treatment is taken to prevent kidney failure.
Stage 5: Kidney failure (GFR less than 15). When the kidneys do not work well enough to maintain life, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant.
You can see that, dialysis can be avoided if the kidney function is more than 15%. However, some people with more than 15% of kidney function need dialysis if they have very high creatinine level or other uncontrolled complications such as heart failure or high blood pressure.
To sum up, whether people need dialysis should take many factors into account. You should take a test and consult your doctor. Any questions, you are welcomed to contact us.