A Guide to the 5 Stages of Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is a critical aspect of overall health, and understanding the 5 stages of kidney disease is essential for effective management. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and provide a detailed overview of each stage, based on the eGFR test. Our goal is to equip you with the knowledge needed to take proactive steps to safeguard your kidney health.

What do the 5 stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) refer to?

CKD StageeGFR Range
Stage 1 CKDeGFR > 90
Stage 2 CKD60 < eGFR ≤ 90
Stage 3 CKD30 < eGFR ≤ 60
– Stage 3a CKD45 < eGFR ≤ 60
– Stage 3b CKD30 < eGFR ≤ 45
Stage 4 CKD15 < eGFR ≤ 30
Stage 5 CKDeGFR < 15

The 5 stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) serve as a metric for evaluating the functionality of your kidneys. CKD is a progressive condition that can worsen over time. These stages are categorized based on your eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate) test results, which measure how well your kidneys perform their vital function of filtering waste and excess fluid from your blood.

Asyou progress through the stages, kidney disease becomes more severe, and your kidneys’ filtration efficiency decreases. At each stage, it’s imperative to adopt measures to slow down kidney damage and prolong the functionality of your kidneys.

How can doctors tell my stage of CKD?

Doctors utilize various diagnostic tests to determine your CKD stage, including:

eGFR Tests (Blood Tests)

The eGFR test is a pivotal tool that measures the efficiency of your kidneys in filtering waste and excess fluid from your blood. This numerical value plays a critical role in categorizing your stage of CKD.

Urine (Pee) Tests

Urine tests also provide valuable insights into your kidney health. They can reveal the presence of proteins or other substances in your urine, which can indicate kidney damage.

Now, let’s delve into the 5 stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD), exploring each stage in detail and gaining a comprehensive understanding of what to expect and how to manage your condition effectively.

Stage 1 of CKD

In Stage 1 of CKD, also known as early-stage CKD, you have a normal eGFR of 90 or greater, and mild kidney damage may be present. Your kidneys are still working efficiently, often without noticeable symptoms. However, medical assessments may reveal other signs of kidney damage, such as the presence of proteins in your urine.

To manage Stage 1 CKD effectively, it’s essential to maintain regular check-ups with your healthcare provider and adhere to a healthy lifestyle. Monitoring your blood pressure, adopting a balanced diet, and staying hydrated are key steps in preserving kidney health.

Stage 2 of CKD

In Stage 2 of CKD, also known as early-stage CKD, your eGFR decreases to a range of 60 to 89, and mild kidney damage is evident. Similar to Stage 1, your kidneys generally continue to function effectively, and you may not experience pronounced symptoms. However, kidney damage may manifest as the presence of proteins in your urine or other early indicators.

To address Stage 2 CKD, it’s crucial to maintain a proactive approach to kidney health. Regular check-ups and lifestyle adjustments, such as managing blood pressure and maintaining a healthy weight, are key components of your kidney care regimen.

Stage 3 of CKD

In Stage 3 of CKD, also known as the moderate-stage CKD, your eGFR falls between 30 and 59, indicating mild to moderate kidney damage. At this point, your kidneys’ ability to filter waste and excess fluid becomes compromised. Accumulation of waste in the body may lead to other health issues, such as high blood pressure and bone disease. You may start to notice symptoms like weakness, fatigue, or swelling in your extremities.

Stage 3 CKD is further categorized into two substages:

Stage 3a: eGFR between 45 and 59

Stage 3b: eGFR between 30 and 44

With appropriate medical intervention and positive lifestyle changes, many individuals in Stage 3 can avoid progressing to the more severe stages of CKD.

Stage 4 of CKD

In Stage 4 of CKD, also known as the severe-stage CKD, signifies an eGFR between 15 and 29 and a moderate to severe degree of kidney damage. Your kidneys’ filtration capability is significantly reduced, leading to the accumulation of waste products in your body. This can result in various health problems, including high blood pressure, bone disease, and heart issues. Symptoms may become more pronounced, with swelling of hands and feet and lower back pain.

Stage 4 is a crucial stage in the progression of CKD, as it’s the last stage before kidney failure. Regular consultations with a nephrologist, a kidney specialist, are essential during this phase to develop a plan to slow kidney damage and explore potential treatments for kidney failure

Alternate Therapies for Stage 4:

  • Recently in 2009 researchers conducted a randomized trial which included 134 patients with CKD stage 4 and a serum bicarbonate concentration between 16 mmol/l and 20 mmol/l, who were treated with standard therapy or additionally received sodium bicarbonate at the average dose of 1.82 g/day. The authors of the study demonstrated that administration of sodium bicarbonate in CKD patients slows CKD progression measured by GFR reduction, reduces the number of patients requiring renal replacement therapy, and improves nutritional status. (Ref-1)

  • In two one-year intervention studies, patients with stage 3 or 4 CKD were treated with either sodium bicarbonate or fruits and vegetables dosed to reduce renal acid load (PRAL), a hypothetical metabolic risk factor for kidney damage by 50%.

    For more alternate therapies or interventions, even at later stages of CKD –

    68 naturopathic interventions spanning over 14 amazing chapters, supported by hundreds of medical studies published in journals of medicine, biochemistry and nephrology, to improve kidney’s health

    Stage 5 of CKD

    In Stage 5 of CKD, also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD), is marked by an eGFR less than 15 and severe kidney damage. At this stage, your kidneys are either on the verge of complete failure or have already ceased to function effectively. The accumulation of waste products in your body can lead to severe illness and a range of health complications.

    Survival options for Stage 5 CKD include dialysis or a kidney transplant. It’s crucial to work closely with medical professionals to determine the most suitable treatment approach based on your individual circumstances.

     

    In conclusion, understanding the 5 stages of chronic kidney disease is paramount to managing your kidney health effectively. Regular check-ups, lifestyle modifications, and early intervention are key to preserving kidney function and overall well-being. By staying informed and taking proactive measures, you can navigate the challenges posed by CKD and enhance your quality of life.

    References

    1. de Brito-Ashurst I, Varagunam M, Raftery MJ, Yaqoob MM: Bicarbonate supplementation slows progression of CKD and improves nutritional status. J Am Soc Nephrol 2009; 20: 2075-2084.

    For more scientifically-validated alternate interventions, even at later stages of CKD –

    68 naturopathic interventions spanning over 14 amazing chapters, supported by hundreds of medical studies published in journals of medicine, biochemistry and nephrology, to improve kidney’s health

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