Understanding Chronic Kidney Disease Or CKD
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a serious condition that affects millions of people across the world. It is a progressive, long-term illness that can cause risk of kidney failure. As ckd in patients progresses, it can have serious implications for a person's health and well-being. As a result, the level of kidney function declines and they become less effective at performing their duties. Advanced CKD can cause renal failure, which can be life-threatening without treatment. CKD is caused by multiple factors, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and liver disease. Anyone can get kidney diseases, but older people are at higher risk. Fortunately, with proper care and early detection, progression of ckd can be prevented effectively.
It can be reversed with an effective treatment for chronic kidney disease. The treatment for CKD depends on the stage of kidney disease and can involve lifestyle changes, medication, or dialysis. Read this article to know about the stages of chronic kidney disease and what lifestyle measures should be taken for the management of chronic kidney disease.
Five Stages Of Chronic Kidney Disease
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located in the abdomen that play an essential role in maintaining the health of our bodies. They are responsible for filtering waste and excess fluids from our blood and excreting them through urine. They also help to regulate blood pressure, produce hormones, and balance electrolytes. The kidneys also produce hormones that help regulate metabolism and bone health. Without healthy kidneys, our bodies would be unable to function properly.
Our kidneys are made up of a million filtering units known as nephrons. All the nephrons include a filter called the glomerulus that filters blood and a tubule that removes wastes. The filtration speed of human kidneys is called the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). The GFR rate becomes low if your kidney is damaged or going through chronic kidney disease stages.
Let's try to learn about the 5 stages of chronic kidney disease-
Stage 1 CKD
At this stage, the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is above 90 ml/min and there are no signs of kidney damage or dysfunction. During the early ckd stage, it is important to take preventive measures to slow down or prevent acute kidney injury. Through lifestyle modifications stage 1 chronic kidney disease can be cured. It includes avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a plant-based diet. It is also important to consult your doctor for proper treatment of chronic kidney disease. It will help monitor your kidney health and catch any potential problems early on.
Stage 1 Kidney Disease Treatment
Your stage 1 kidney disease can be cured by taking these steps-
- You must manage your blood sugar levels if you are suffering from diabetes.
- Have regular health checkups by visiting a doctor to lower your blood pressure.
- Maintain a healthy, plant-based diet good for the kidney.
- Stop drinking and smoking
- Exercise regularly for 30 minutes a day.
Stage 2 CKD
Stage 2 of chronic kidney disease is characterized by a mild decline in kidney function. The glomerular filtration rate at this stage is between 60 and 89 milliliters per minute. Stage 2 kidney disease symptoms include high blood pressure, swelling in the legs and feet, fatigue. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent further damage to the kidneys.
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Stage 2 Kidney Disease Treatment
Take the steps mentioned below to prevent this condition-
- Go to a kidney specialist to slow down the progression.
- Certain lifestyle modifications will be required which include diet and exercise.
- Follow your doctor’s advice to control blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Quit smoking as early as possible.
Stage 3 CKD
Stage 3 kidney disease is a critical stage in which the kidneys are functioning at less than 60% of their normal capacity. In this stage, the kidneys are unable to filter waste and extra fluid from the blood, leading to an accumulation of toxins in the body.
CKD stage 3 is further divided into two types –
Stage 3A means you have moderate kidney damage and your GFR rate will be between 45 to 59 milliliters per minute.
Stage 3B means you have a GFR rate between 30 to 44 milliliters per minute.
Stage 3 Kidney Disease Treatment
It is important to seek medical attention early on if you suspect you may have CKD so that it can be properly managed before it progresses too far. The treatment includes –
- Take high blood pressure medicine as per the doctor’s advice.
- Start a low-salt diet to relieve fluid retention.
- In some cases, patients are prescribed cholesterol-lowering medications.
- Your doctor might prescribe you Vitamin D supplements to treat weakened bones.
- Follow a low-protein diet.
Stage 4 CKD
Stage 4 of chronic kidney disease can have a significant impact on an individual's physical and mental health. It is characterized by a decrease in the glomerular filtration rate by 15 to 29 milliliters per minute. Chronic Kidney failure may occur if stage 4 of chronic kidney disease is left untreated..
Stage 4 Kidney Disease Treatment
Treatment of Stage 4 often includes-
- Lifestyle changes.
- Medications as prescribed by doctors.
- Dialysis and transplantation if the kidneys stop functioning.
Stage 5 CKD
Stage 5 kidney disease is also known as end-stage kidney failure. At this stage, your kidney functions at less than 15 milliliters per minute. At this stage, dialysis and kidney transplant may be necessary to maintain life.
Stage 5 Kidney Disease Treatment
If you experience chronic renal failure then dialysis or a kidney transplant is the only option. Without this patients with chronic kidney disease stages are no longer able to survive.
How Doctors Measure Kidney Function Of Patients With CKD?
Doctors perform a quick blood test known as the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) to check your kidney function. This test evaluates the level of waste product called creatinine in the blood, which is produced by muscles. The eGFR calculates the estimated kidney function by considering factors like age, and gender. A higher eGFR indicates better kidney health, whereas a lower eGFR indicates the loss of kidney function. In addition to the eGFR, doctors may also perform urine tests to check for blood or protein, which can offer further information about your existing kidney health issues.
Learn About The Chronic Kidney Disease Causes
Severe chronic kidney disease can have long-term and life-threatening effects. Here are some common causes of ckd which includes –
- High Blood Pressure
- Kidney Stones
- Enlarged Prostate Glands
- High Cholesterol
- Severe Dehydration
- Kidney Infection
- Long-Term Use Of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
- Smoking And Alcohol Consumption
- Digestive And Kidney Diseases
Signs And Symptoms Of Chronic Kidney Disease
You might not be able to notice complication of CKD at the early stages. But it can be found in routine tests or through blood tests. You will start noticing the symptoms in more advanced kidney disease stages which includes –
- Tiredness and Muscle Cramps
- Poor Appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Weight loss
- Trouble sleeping
- Swollen feet and ankles
- Dry and itchy skin
- Blood in urine
- Urinating more often
How To Prevent Chronic Kidney Disease?
Adopting a healthy lifestyle and controlling risk factors are key to preventing chronic kidney disease (CKD). Here are some measures that can help in CKD prevention:
Maintain a Healthy Blood Pressure
Keep your blood pressure within a healthy range (usually below 120/80 mmHg) by following a healthy diet and reducing sodium intake. You must add food items like fresh vegetables, fruits, and seeds to your daily diet for improving kidney health.
It's important to effectively control your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes. Maintain a diabetic-friendly diet, take your medications as directed, get regular exercise, and check your blood sugar levels regularly.
Adopt a Healthy Diet
Consume a plant-based diet that is high in lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Also keep in mind to avoid consuming processed foods, saturated fats, added sugar, and salty meals. This is best natural cure for ckd.
Drink an adequate amount of water daily to promote your kidney function and maintain proper hydration. You should consult your doctor to know about the recommended daily intake based on your age, and health conditions.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Excessive alcohol consumption can negatively impact kidney health. Hence, you should drink alcohol in moderate amounts or avoid it completely.
Exercise daily to maintain a healthy weight, improve blood circulation, and promote overall well-being. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week to slow ckd progression.
Get Regular Health Check-ups
Regular medical check-ups enable early identification and treatment of underlying disorders that may affect your kidney function. So, you should extra attention to the signs of kidney damage and consult a kidney doctor if your disease progresses.
Note – The motive of this article is to provide general information about health-related subjects. Please consult a health expert to get the best advice related to your health issues.
Take Proactive Steps To Prevent Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease is a serious health condition that can lead to long-term damage and even death if left untreated. However, with proper treatment for kidney and lifestyle changes, it is possible to slow the progression of ckd. With the help of medical professionals and lifestyle changes individuals can reduce their risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
FAQ's About 5 Stages Of Chronic Kidney Disease-
Is Stage 3 kidney disease considered severe?
Stage 3 of chronic kidney disease must be taken seriously. However, the stage is considered moderate as the kidneys are still functioning. You can reverse the disease by consulting a kidney doctor and making necessary lifestyle changes.
How can I strengthen my kidneys?
You can strengthen your kidneys with a healthy diet, do physical activity, and manage your diabetes and blood pressure.
What stage of CKD requires dialysis?
CKD stage 5 is the end-stage renal disease when a patient needs dialysis to survive.
What are the 3 early warning signs of kidney disease?
Three signs of kidney disease include swelling, fatigue, and change in urine color.
What is stage 4 or 5 chronic kidney disease?
At stage 4 CKD your kidney damage rate is moderate to severe and the kidneys are unable to function properly. Stage 5 of chronic kidney disease means you are more likely to experience kidney failure. This is when your doctors will put you on dialysis or do your kidney transplant.
How do I stop my CKD from progressing?
To slow down the progressive loss of kidney function you must monitor your sugar and blood pressure levels. You must start eating a healthy diet and stay physically active.
Can you stop kidney disease from getting worse?
In most cases, patients with CKD can prevent the disease from getting worse by taking precautions at earlier stages. Lifestyle changes like regular exercise and a healthy diet can help you to prevent ckd.