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I have kidney disease

Patient situation

Diagnosis of chronic kidney disease

Blood test

Urine test


Kidney biopsy (if needed)

CKD stage 1 describes a slightly reduced function of the kidneys and CKD stage 5 is the terminal stage. Your physician calculates the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) for classification. It indicates how well the kidneys cleanse the blood of toxins and excrete those into the urine. The GFR is expressed in milliliters per minute. The lower the GFR, the worse your kidneys are functioning.

For example, a GFR between 60 and 89 indicates slightly decreased kidney functioning. This corresponds to CKD stage 2. A GFR between 15 and 29 suggests severely impaired kidney function with CKD stage 4.

If the GFR is lower than 15, kidney replacement therapybecomes more and more likely due to inadequate kidney function. At this stage, you and your physician will decide on when is the most ideal time to start a replacement therapy.

Establishing a treatment plan

If you have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, the second step is to develop a treatment plan that suits your personal situation. It aims to slow down the progression of the disease and to alleviate any symptoms and reduce complications. Your treatment can target problems, such as:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension): Checking whether the blood pressure is in the normal range
  • Kidney-related anemia (kidney anemia): Checking whether there are enough red blood cells in your blood and if the electrolyte and acid metabolism which are responsible for the transport of oxygen to the organs are in balance
  • Diabetes: Checking blood sugar levels

Mental state

We are aware that there’s currently a lot going on in your head.

If you have unpleasant thoughts, stick to the following principles:

  • I am not alone!
    My physician, my family and my care team are at my side
  • All the necessary steps can be learned!
    Others did it, so I can do it, too
  • My symptoms can be alleviated!
    With the right therapy, I'll feel better

Be brave and believe in your strength! Being open about your problems to the physician will help you find the treatment that suits your situation best. Let loved ones engage in conversations, too. Address your fears and worries openly.


Find out how your kidneys work in the next section


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