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Stage 1 of Chronic Kidney Disease


Kidney damage with normal kidney function, eGFR of 90 or higher

Stage 1 kidney disease means you have an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of 90 or higher and mild kidney damage with normal kidney function. At chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 1, it’s important to closely monitor your health and make lifestyle changes that can help you slow the progression of CKD and reduce the risk of kidney damage or other complications.

    Symptoms of stage 1 kidney disease

    Many people do not experience symptoms of kidney disease until the later stages of CKD. Possible stage 1 kidney disease symptoms and signs include:

    • High blood pressure
    • Swelling in legs
    • Urinary tract infections
    • Abnormal urine test (protein in urine)

    Steps to take at stage 1 kidney disease

    • See your doctor regularly—get medical attention for any unusual or unexplained health symptoms. 
    • Know your GFR—ask your doctor for a blood test to calculate your estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), so you can monitor your kidney health.
    • Treat underlying health conditions—talk to your doctor about high blood pressure, diabetes, or other health conditions that can contribute to kidney disease.
    • Make healthy lifestyle choicesquit smoking, exercise regularly, eat well (a dietitian can help), reduce stress, and get enough sleep.
    • Take all medications as prescribed—and talk to your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications.

    Questions to ask your doctor now

    • What causes stage 1 kidney disease?
      Conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes are the most common causes of CKD. Certain hereditary, health, and lifestyle factors can also increase your risk of kidney disease.
    • What is my GFR?
      Your estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is a measurement of how well your kidneys function to filter waste, toxins, and excess fluid from your body, and also determines your stage of kidney disease. Your doctor will calculate your eGFR using a creatinine blood test, your age, gender, muscle mass, and ethnicity.
    • What steps can I take to improve my overall health?
      Living a healthier lifestyle by quitting smoking, getting plenty of exercise, eating well, and maintaining a healthy weight can go a long way toward slowing the progression of CKD.

    How is stage 1 kidney disease diagnosed?

    At CKD stage 1, your kidneys may still do a good job filtering your blood even if they may not be functioning at 100 percent. As a result, many people only receive a stage 1 kidney disease diagnosis if they have a family history of kidney disease or are being monitored for other conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Your doctor will determine if you have stage 1 kidney disease by calculating your eGFR and reviewing your overall health. Working closely with your doctor can help protect your kidney health.

    Can stage 1 kidney disease be reversed

    While there is no cure for kidney disease and kidney damage can’t be reversed once it occurs, you can start taking steps now to slow the progression of CKD. Each person experiences kidney disease differently. Many people who are diagnosed with kidney disease in the early stages never have kidney failure, and those who later experience kidney failure can live well for decades with treatment.

    Learn more about kidney disease stages

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