Depending upon the exact level, a low score on a glomerular filtration rate test indicates kidney disease or kidney failure, according to the National Kidney Disease Education Program. Kidneys filter the blood, and GFR measures the effectiveness of this process.Continue Reading
A normal GFR score is 60 or above, states NKDEP. Some people with scores of less than 60 have kidney disease. A score of 15 or lower suggests kidney failure.
Kidney function is monitored in patients with diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease, because those conditions damage kidneys, NKDEP explains. Over time, if the damage is not controlled, people develop chronic kidney disease. This condition typically has no warning signs until kidney failure is imminent. Therefore, the GFR test vital to continued kidney function.
Once kidney disease begins, it is usually not reversible, warns NKDEP. However, the progression of the disease is slowed through treatment. This involves maintaining a healthy blood pressure, limiting salt intake, controlling the amount of protein eaten and managing blood sugar levels. Medications are often included as part of this regimen.
If kidney failure occurs, dialysis is an option, NKDEP recommends. Dialysis is an artificial method of cleaning the blood, reports WebMD. Some patients visit a dialysis center three times a week for treatment, notes NKDEP. Others use a method that allows filtering do be done at home. A kidney transplant is a possibility for some patients.Learn more about Medical Ranges & Levels