Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR)

Last Updated: May 28, 2018

Definition - What does Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) mean?

Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a medical test used to assess kidney functionality in patients diagnosed with progressive kidney disease. Several epidemiological implications lend to the onset and/or extent of kidney disease, for example, the presence of urine and/or albumin (protein substance) in the blood. GFR is a reliable testing procedure in helping to determine whether a patient is a candidate for acute, chronic, and in some cases, acute on chronic kidney failure.

WorkplaceTesting explains Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR)

Doctors use a system of calibrated measurements corresponding to biological and physiological factors including age, body size, blood creatinine levels, and gender to determine systemic damage to the kidneys. A GFR scale contains six different stages including G1, G2, G3a, G3b, G4, and G5 covering the range of severity from normal (low risk) to kidney failure (high risk). Physicians conduct biopsies (tissue samples) and/or computerized tomography (CT)/ultrasound test scans to analyze etiological disruptions connected with kidney stones and/or kidney disease.

Kidneys are important organs that filter various toxins from the blood through the excretion of urine. People who experience kidney issues on an acute and/or chronic basis are susceptible to debilitating symptoms including irregular heartbeat, sweating, back pain, urination difficulties, decreased focus/memory loss, nausea/vomiting, frequent cramping, and recurring blood in urine. Early treatment is important in mitigating the compromising health effects that can lead to possible kidney failure.

In the workplace, people diagnosed with kidney diseases face challenges with mental and/or physical limitations that undercut their potential to work. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes kidney conditions as legitimate setbacks placing restrictions on employment status. In these cases, individuals who receive a kidney replacement or prescribed dialysis treatment can qualify for disability benefits on grounds of not having full capacity to meet job expectations.

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