Understanding the Glomerular Filtration Rate

Posted by Alerna Kidney Health on

GFR stands for glomerular filtration rate, and checking a person’s GFR with a blood test helps physicians know how well, or how poorly, a person’s kidneys are doing at filtering waste from the body. They give these tests to those who may be at risk of developing kidney disease. Along with a urine test, they help the doctors determine if you are in the early stages, or later stages, of kidney disease.

The GFR works on a number system. Those who have a GFR test with a reading of 60 or greater are in the normal range. While this is good news, some doctors will want you to take the urine test as well, just to be on the safe side. Additionally, make sure to discuss and possibly schedule a follow up GFR test.

If the GFR result is below 60, then it means you could have kidney disease. It is time to talk with your doctor about what you need to do in order to keep your kidneys as healthy as possible. It is important to take critical steps to keep them at this current level of health and hopefully prevent more damage. Your doctor will let you know what medications you should take and what you should steer clear from, as well as some lifestyle changes you can make. They can let you know if you might have to undergo dialysis as well.

If the GFR result is lower than 15, then it could be indicative of kidney failure. Those who are in this stage are likely going to need to have dialysis or a kidney transplant. The doctor will be able to let you know what options you have and what the best course of action will be for your particular situation. 


Our informational articles are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. Because everyone is different, we recommend you work with your medical professional to determine what’s best for you.

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