Did you know that more than 37 million people in the United States alone suffer from chronic kidney disease? Renal failure is a serious condition that tends to get worse with time and without treatment. There are actually several renal failure stages that one would need to go through before experiencing complete renal failure.
What are the different stages of renal failure, you might ask? Keep reading and learn more about them here and how they affect kidney function.
Stages 1 and 2 of Chronic Kidney Disease
The first CKD stage is also the mildest stage. At this point, your kidneys will still work quite well, almost as well as normal, in fact. Keep in mind that the way to measure the quality of your kidney function is with eGFR, also known as the estimated glomerular filtration rate.
Normally, it is around 90, if not more, in a person with healthy kidneys. This means that your kidneys are filtering and excreting substances properly without any problems. During the first stage of kidney disease, while your eGFR might be relatively normal and while your kidneys might still work fine, your kidneys will start to sustain mild damage.
You will not have any symptoms of chronic kidney disease by this point. However, the contents of your urine may be a bit unusual. For example, you may have high levels of protein in your urine. Other than that, stage 1 of chronic kidney disease is otherwise unremarkable.
Stage 2, on the other hand, is when things start to get a bit worse. At this point, your eGFT will start to drop, but only slightly. Usually, it will range between 60 and 89. Even so, your kidneys will still work quite well and you shouldn’t have any major problems with them.
You still should not have any symptoms of the disease. Your urine will still have protein in it at this point. There are some cases where people start to experience symptoms of the disease by stage 2, but this is not very common.
If it does happen, the symptoms are usually not very severe yet. From stage 2, your kidney function will slowly become worse. If you suspect that you are suffering from kidney disease, it is in your best interest to seek out treatment as soon as possible.
That way, you can try to delay the progression of this disease.
Stage 3a and Stage 3b
Stage 3 is actually divided up into two stages according to the decreasing function of the kidneys. Stage 3a still involves mild kidney disease, but it is at this point that your kidney function will start to take a turn for the worse. In particular, your eGFT will continue to drop until it reaches a range of 45 to 59.
At this point, your kidney function will be noticeably less efficient than usual. The kidneys will no longer be very good at filtering out excess waste from the body and some of it will start to be found in the urine. The majority of this waste will build up in your body where it can start to create all sorts of health problems.
For example, high blood pressure is a common side effect that develops at this stage of kidney disease. Also, at stage 3a, you will start to experience some of the more common symptoms of kidney disease such as fatigue and swelling in your extremities. Stage 3b is when your eGFT starts to get even worse and drops to 30 to 44.
The Disease Worsens
At this point, your kidneys will suffer from moderate damage and they will be increasingly less efficient at filtering waste from your blood. As a result, that waste will build up in your blood and may cause more serious health problems such as bone disease. It is essential to get treatment at this stage from The Kidney Institute Houston Texas before it gets any worse.
If you get treatment at stage 3, it will be unlikely that your kidney disease will progress to stage 4 or 5. As long as you catch the disease at stage 3, you can still lead a relatively healthy and fulfilling life. Once the disease progresses, however, it will be more difficult to do that.
Stages 4 and 5
At stage 4, your eGFT will decline to 15 to 29. At this point, your kidneys will have sustained severe damage. Their function will be almost non-existent. At this point, the buildup of waste in your blood will continue to cause other health problems such as heart disease.
You will also notice more physical symptoms such as fatigue and swelling throughout your body. You may also experience pain throughout your body but especially in your lower back, as that is near the location of your kidneys. Keep in mind that this is the final stage of chronic kidney disease before reaching renal failure.
At this point, it is important to talk with a physician about how to plan for renal failure and the treatment options that are available. Stage 5 is renal failure and your kidneys will not work at all. The buildup of waste in the body due to the failed kidneys can make you very ill and it may even result in death.
At this point, dialysis is required, if not a kidney transplant.
What You Need To Know About the Renal Failure Stages
The renal failure stages start mildly and then eventually lead to complete kidney failure. During the first stages, you might not even know that you have kidney problems and your kidneys will still work well. But as the stages progress, your kidney function will continue to get worse until they don’t work at all.
Fortunately, treatment can help prevent this from happening. To learn more, check out the other blogs on our website.