Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic Kidney Disease occurs when you suffer from gradual and permanent loss of kidney function over time. There is no way to cure Chronic Kidney Disease but you can do your best to slow its progression

Five disease stages

Your kidneys are considered healthy and normal as long as they have a normal filtering function and no signs of blood or protein in the urine. The level of filtering function depends on your age and many other factors that can have an impact on your kidneys. If your kidney function is permanently decreased, you are considered to have Chronic Kidney Disease. Your kidneys may gradually lose their ability to filter wastes out of your blood. The Chronic Kidney Disease process is divided into five stages. At stage 1-4 the focus is to preserve kidney function while dialysis or transplantation are the only alternatives for you to cope with your disease at stage 5.

Stages 1-2: You may not notice the effects

During stages 1-2, you are probably not aware that you have a reduced kidney function. If you have been diagnosed by a doctor, you may have received some
medication. It is important that your blood pressure is regularly monitored and adequately controlled. If you have diabetes you should regularly check that your blood glucose is at the right level. Together with your doctor, you can keep the situation under control.

Stage 3: Need for actions

At stage 3, your kidney function has fallen to between 30 and 60 percent of full capacity. You should be in contact with a medical team to regularly evaluate your condition. It has now become extremely important to monitor the progress of your disease and to do everything to slow its progression. The aim at this stage is to delay, and if possible, prevent the progression to stages 4-5. You are likely to be prescribed a number of drugs and you might be put on a diet and exercise programme. Together with your doctor and medical staff, you need to start planning for the consequences of the disease and the possible need for dialysis or kidney transplantation. You may undergo a procedure to put in vascular access, facilitate dialysis.

Stages 4-5: Your kidneys can no longer do their job

Kidney failure occurs when the kidneys have lost around 85 to 90 percent of their filtering capacity. The result is an accumulation of wastes, water and other substances that may be dangerous in your blood. When the disease has progressed this far, you need dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive. Now it is time for you to finally choose the treatment that is available and most suitable for you.

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Loss of renal function and the dependence on dialysis, lead to life changes