“GFR” stands for
Glomerular Filtration rate
Your GFR is a measure of how well your kidneys are filtering waste from
your blood, and it can be estimated from a routine measurement of creatinine
in your blood.
Creatinine is a waste product formed by the normal breakdown of muscle cells. Healthy kidneys take creatinine out of the blood and put it into the urine to leave the body. When kidneys are not working well, creatinine builds up in the blood.
As people age, GFRs drop. However, a low GFR with a value below 60 suggests that significant kidney damage has occurred. This means that your kidneys are not working at full strength.
It is extremely important for you, especially if you are at high risk, to see your doctor or other healthcare provider once a year and ask about your GFR. Your doctor will use your GFR as a clue toward determining how well your kidneys are working. Other factors include protein (albumin) in your urine and the possibility that you may have diabetes or high blood pressure.
Warning signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease.
Consult with your physician if you or someone you know exhibits any of the following warning signs or symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease:
- High blood pressure
- Pain in the small of the back just below the ribs (not aggravated by movement)
- Puffiness around the eyes
- Nausea, vomiting and discolored urine
- Swelling of the feet and hands (especially in children)
- Burning or difficulty during urination
- More frequent urination (particularly at night)
Americans are paying more attention to their health than ever before. Blood pressure levels and cholesterol numbers are becoming common knowledge. As a result, many are becoming active participants in the maintenance of their own health by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
One of the most often overlooked areas vital to human health is your kidneys. Lack of knowledge can lead to Chronic Kidney Disease and other serious ailments. Regular monitoring of your weight and blood pressure is not enough. You must also know your GFR and make it part of an overall plan designed to maintain good kidney health.