Five Stages of Kidney Disease

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The Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) | Symptoms and Causes

Do you know that kidney disease can be fatal? There is a greater risk of death if kidneys fail to work due to severe infection or surgery. In fact, kidneys are responsible for filtering out extra fluids and waste products from your blood. Maintaining the health of your kidneys is significant for your general health and well-being.

The persistent kidney disease that stays for long-term is also known as chronic kidney failure or renal failure. It refers to the slow damage of kidney or renal function. In kidney disease, kidneys don’t purify the blood. They build up wastes in the body and hence don’t work properly.

Why is Kidney Disease called Chronic?

This disease is called “Chronic” due to the slow damage of kidneys over a long period. Chronic kidney disease or renal disease causes many health problems.

Steps of Kidney or Renal Disease

A chronic kidney or renal disease has five stages. The first phase of kidney disease is the least serious stage and indicates the best function of kidneys, and the last or 5th phase of kidney disease is the final step of kidney breakdown and failure and it’s also known as the final or last stage of renal disease (ESRD).

  • First Stage of Renal or Kidney Disease: with eGFR 90 or more
  • Second Stage of Kidney Disease: with eGFR 60-89
  • Third Stage of Kidney Disease: with eGFR 30-59
  • Fourth Stage of Kidney Disease: with eGFR 15-29
  • Fifth Stage of Kidney Disease: with eGFR below 15

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   The Initial Stage of Renal Disease

The initial phase of the renal disease refers to the mild damage of kidneys and the patient has an eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate) of 90 or greater.

In most cases of stage 1 renal disease, an eGFR of 90 or greater than 90 means that the patient’s kidneys are all right and performing well. In the first stage, usually, kidneys don’t show any specific signs and neither show that the patient’s kidneys are not working well. But if the doctor suggests diabetes or high blood pressure tests for the people with kidney disease, which are the two primary roots of kidney or renal disease, people can find out they’re suffering from phase 1 of kidney or renal disease.

Symptoms of The First Stage of Renal or Kidney Disease

  • Protein or blood in the urine
  • A higher level of urea or creatinine in the blood
  • MRI or CT scan reports of kidney damage
  • A family history of kidney or renal disease

Precautionary Measures to Minimize the Damage of Kidneys in The First Stage of Kidney or Renal Disease (CKD)

Here are some of the preventive measures that you can observe to minimize kidneys’ damage in the first stage of kidney or renal disease.

  • Eat healthily
  • Maintain blood pressure
  • Control diabetes if the patient is diabetic
  • Stay away from smoking
  • Avoid packaged or refined foods that are high in sugar and sodium
  • Stop using foods that are high in cholesterol and saturated fat
  • Prepare your meal with less salt and less amount of high-sodium ingredients
  • Include physical activity in your daily routine
  • Try to stay at a healthy weight
  • Take sufficient calories
  • Take vitamins and minerals as recommended by your doctor
  • Eat fruits and vegetables that are kidney-friendly
  • Consult a nephrologist (a kidney doctor) for medicines that may help to protect your kidneys.

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 2nd Stage of Kidney or Renal Disease

A person, who’s suffering from the second stage of renal or chronic kidney disease (CKD), has little damage in kidneys and mild fall off in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) between 60 and 89 ml/min.

The people with 2nd stage of kidney or renal disease usually show no symptoms since their kidneys are working well in this stage. Generally, kidneys don’t show any signs even when they are not working 100%. So, most people don’t know that they’re suffering from 2nd stage of kidney disease.

People suffering from the 2nd stage of kidney disease only get to know about their illness if they go through diabetes and blood pressure tests suggested by their doctor.

Symptoms of 2nd Stage of Kidney or Renal Disease

Commonly, people have no prominent symptoms in 2nd stage of kidney disease, but there are specific ways to discover they’re in level 2 chronic kidney disease (CKD).

  • Presence of creatinine or urea at a higher level in the blood
  • Ultrasound, CT scan and MRI tests or contrast X-ray
  • Presence of protein or blood in the urine
  • Family history of kidney disease

Cautions to Slow Down the Damage of Kidneys in 2nd Stage of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

  • Eat healthily
  • Exercise regularly and maintain your weight at a healthy level
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid processed and refined foods high in sugar and sodium
  • Avoid foods that are high in cholesterol and saturated fat
  • Keep your blood pressure at a normal and healthy level
  • Keep your blood sugar level under control
  • Limit intake of salty foods as they increase blood pressure
  • Always prepare your meal with less salt and less amount of high-sodium
  • Eat kidney-friendly fruits and vegetables
  • Take sufficient calories and multivitamins
  • Regularly visit your nephrologist
  • Regularly take medicines prescribed by your doctor

3rd Stage of Kidney or Renal Disease

A person whose glomerular filtration rate (GFR) reduces to between 30-59%, enters the 3rd stage of kidney or renal disease. An eGFR between 30-59 indicates little damage to the patient’s kidneys, and they are not functioning properly.

Life Expectancy of People in the 3rd Stage of Kidney Disease

Generally, people suffering from stage 3 kidney disease have a different life expectancy, and it varies between men and women. For example, it is expected that 40 years old women suffering from level 3 kidney disease can survive for 24 years after the identification of the disease, and 40 years old men suffering from level 3 kidney disease can survive for 28 years. This can differ according to the ages and style of living of the patients with CKD. However, patients with stage 3 kidney disease can take precautionary measures to increase their life span.

Two Stages of Level 3 Chronic ailment of Kidney

Kidney disease in phase 3 has further two more sections.

  • Level 3a
  • Level 3b

 Condition of Patient in Level “a” of the 3rd Stage of CKD

In level “a” of the third stage, the patient has an eGFR between 45 and 59.

 Condition of Patient in Level “b” of the 3rd Stage of CKD

In level “b” of the third phase, the patient has an eGFR between 30 and 44.

Symptoms of the 3rd Stage of Kidney or Renal Disease

Some people suffering from 3rd stage of kidney or renal disease don’t show any symptoms, but in some patients, signs and health issues become noticeable when they move from 2nd stage to 3rd stage of kidney or renal disease.

 Some of the symptoms are as follows:

  • Lower back pain
  • Fatigue and other anemic-like symptoms
  • Inflammation in your hands and feet
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Dark yellow, red, or orange urine
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Urinating more or less than normal

Which Preventive Measures should be taken in the 3rd Stage?

  • Maintain your blood pressure
  • Control your sugar level in blood if you’re diabetic
  • Stop smoking
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Include walk or exercise your daily routine
  • Try to stay at a healthy weight
  • Strictly avoid salty foods
  • Reduce your sodium intake
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Avoid high-cholesterol foods
  • Monitor your potassium level if your lab tests show that your potassium is high.

4th Stage of Kidney or Renal Disease

A person with an estimated glomerular filtration rate(eGFR) lies between 15 and 30 and enters the 4th stage of kidney disease. An eGFR between 15 and 30 means that the patient’s kidneys are sternly damaged and are not functioning properly. Phase 4 of kidney disease is very critical. It’s the final stage before the kidney fails to work.

Symptoms of the 4th Stage of Kidney or Renal Disease

At the 4th stage of kidney disease, many people face the following symptoms:

  • Lower back pain
  • Drowsiness
  • Fluid retention
  • Hands and feet swelling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sleep issues
  • The decrease in mental sharpness
  • Halitosis or bad breath due to excessive urea in the bloodstream
  • Muscle cramps
  • Anorexia or loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Urinating frequently or not normally

Health Complications

Many people indicate severe health issues at the 4th stage of kidney or renal diseases, such as high blood pressure, bone diseases, and anemia. Since at the 4th stage, kidneys are at their most critical step and can’t purify the blood the way they should. So, the development of wastes increases in the patient’s body, and the patient faces many other health issues.

Diet of a Person at the 4th Stage of Kidney or Renal Disease

As we know, diet is a very significant part of any treatment, so the person who’s suffering from stage 4 kidney disease should consult a dietitian as well. The dietitian will review the person’s lab reports in the 4th stage of kidney or renal disease and then suggest a meal plan for the patient.

 A healthy diet for a person in the 4th stage of kidney disease includes:

  • Reduce the intake of protein foods to decrease the development of excessive protein in the body
  • Cut down carbs for those who have diabetes as well
  • Less intake of saturated fats to lower the level of cholesterol
  • Lower consumption of calcium
  • Lower sodium intake by cutting down processed and packaged foods from your diet
  • If the levels of blood increase, restrict potassium-containing foods.
  • Limit the number of liquids if the patient starts retaining fluid

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Medications at the 4th Stage of  Renal Disease

The doctors recommend that people with stage 4 kidney disease keep their blood pressure level and glucose level under control. The patient should take all the medicines regularly prescribed by the doctor. Proper medication may help prolong the kidneys’ function.

Preparing for Dialysis treatment or a Kidney Transplant

A person who’s suffering from 4th stage of kidney disease will soon require dialysis treatment or a kidney implant. Once the patient’s kidneys have failed (also familiar as the final stage of renal disease ESRD), he will need dialysis treatment or an implant of a kidney to continue living. Dialysis helps to clean the blood since kidneys, at the 4th stage of kidney or renal disease, cannot refine the blood, remove wastes, and balance the body’s fluid. Dialysis removes wastes and excess fluids from the body and helps regulate electrolytes.

If the person finds anyone who wants to donate a kidney, he/she could possibly not require to begin dialysis treatment. Doctors consider the kidney transplant a better option for people suffering from stage 4 kidney disease since a kidney transplant increases the chances of living a healthy life for the patient.

Having a kidney transplant is considered a safe, successful, and life-altering opportunity for the patient with stage 4 kidney disease. When the patient’s kidneys are near failure, he/she can probably start dialysis treatment while searching for a person who wants to donate a kidney.

Researches have shown that getting a kidney from a living donator is a far better option than obtaining a kidney from a late donor. Roughly estimated that deceased kidney donator implants last for about 10-15 years and the living kidney donator implants last for about 15-20 years.

 The 5TH Stage of Renal Disease

5th stage 5 kidney disease indicates that the patient has an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) below 15.

 An eGFR below 15 shows that the patient’s kidneys have failed completely or are about to fail very soon. When the patient’s kidneys fail, they don’t purify or clean blood, and waste develops in the body, making the patient sick.

Symptoms of Renal Failure

A person at the 5th stage or renal failure can possibly have the following symptoms

  • Severe drowsiness
  • Itching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Severe backache
  • Peeing frequently or not normally
  • Swelling in hands and feet
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fluid retention
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Shortness of breath

Once the patient’s kidneys, who’s suffering from stage 4 renal disease, are about to fail, he/she needs dialysis treatment or a kidney transplant to live.

Dialysis Treatment or Kidney Implant

In stage 5 kidney disease, the patient has two main options. Either to go for dialysis treatment or a kidney implant to continue life.

In dialysis treatment, a machine purifies the blood of the patient. When kidneys are incapable of filtering your blood and removing wastes and extra fluid from your body, dialysis treatment helps keep the fluid and electrolytes in balance. So, dialysis treatment performs the function of kidneys when they have failed.

A kidney transplant is another option for a person suffering from stage 5 kidney disease. The doctors more recommend it. In general, people who go for kidney transplants live longer than the people who go for dialysis treatment.

      Moreover, people who go for kidney transplants live longer and have a better quality of life, fewer health problems, fewer diet restrictions, and more energy.

Why people go for dialysis treatment if a kidney transplant is a better option?

Primarily, people have to go for dialysis as more people need kidneys than there are donors. So, people go for dialysis treatment in the first place while they’re on the waiting list for a kidney donor. Till then, they need to survive on dialysis treatment.

Who shouldn’t go for a Kidney Transplant?

Virtually everybody can go for a kidney transplant at any age, but everybody isn’t healthy enough to get that surgery. For example, some people have severe health conditions like heart disease, active or recently treated cancer, an infection that can’t be treated, overweight, and other serious illnesses, can’t go for this surgery.

Reasons for Acute Renal Failure

 Acute renal failure transpires when kidneys instantly lose their purifying blood capabilities and filter wastes from the body. Doctors identify acute renal failure as acute kidney failure or injury. Acute renal failure flourishes swiftly in just a few days. Acute renal failure develops distinctively in those people who are formerly in a hospital or a critical condition.

In some cases, acute renal failure can be incurable and deathly, and it definitely requires critical care of the patient. But in some cases, acute renal failure is reversible, and the patient may recover and live a healthy life again.

Symptoms of Acute Renal Failure

  • Vomiting
  • Motion sickness
  • Retention of fluid
  • Drowsiness
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Exhaustion
  • Lethargy
  • Coma in critical cases
  • Discomforts in muscles
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Urination frequently or not normally

In some cases, acute renal failure indicates no signs and doctors recommend lab tests for some other reasons and identify the disease.

Can Kidney Stones Bring About CKD?

We often hear about people having stones in their kidneys and describing extreme kidney pain and acute backache. This backache becomes intolerable in some cases when the body tries to pass out the stone through urine.

Indeed, kidney pain is at its peak in some patients, but kidney stone doesn’t cause apparent damage to the body.

How are Kidney Stones Formed?

Our urine holds dissolved minerals and salt. But when the level of salt and minerals in the urine reaches a higher level, the body forms stones in the kidneys. Some people have small kidney stones, but gradually the stone can grow larger. In some cases, the kidney stone fills the empty internal structure of the kidney.

Traditional Folk Remedies for Passing Kidney Stones

Traditional home remedies for passing kidney stones can be helpful in some cases, but it depends on the kidney stone’s size. For instance, a person with kidney stones should take plenty of fluids in the form of water and juices. A person with kidney stones should drink 8 to 12 glasses of water per day.

Another home remedy for passing a kidney stone is to add fresh lemon juice in the water and drink it daily, preventing kidney stones since lemon contains citrate, which breaks up the little stones and allows them to pass through kidneys more easily.

Adding basil juice to your diet is another home remedy for passing a kidney stone. Basil is an herb that belongs to the mint family, and it contains acetic acid, which breaks down the kidney stones and decreases acute kidney pain in some cases. Furthermore, the antioxidative agents and anti-inflammatory agents in basil juice may help to maintain the health of kidneys.

Taking two to three tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in water may also be a good home remedy for passing kidney stones. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar may help in dissolving kidney stones. In some cases, apple cider vinegar eases the severe kidney pain caused by the kidney’s stones.

These traditional remedies to pass out the stones of the kidney may be helpful and supportive in some cases.

Can Kidney Stones Cause Kidney Infection?

Kidney infection is actually the urinary tract infection, and this infection generally begins in the bladder and then proceeds to one or both of the kidneys.

In some cases, people face blockage in their urinary tract due to kidney stones and get UTIs or urinary tract infections.

As compared to men, women have a greater tendency to developing UTIs or urinary tract infections. But in some cases, kidney infection spreads and causes critical health issues.

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Symptoms of Renal Infection
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Constant feeling and urge of urinating
  • Urinating frequently or not normally
  • Extreme burning and pain when peeing
  • Severe backache
  • Presence of blood or pus in the urine
  • Smelly urine
Home Remedies 

Indeed, kidney infection can’t be cured completely at home, but some home remedies may temporarily manage kidney infection.

 Certainly, drinking plenty of water may be a good home remedy to treat kidney infection.  However, drinking 12 to 15 glasses of water may flush the bacteria from the body, causing severe infection in the urinary tract and kidneys. For a long, Cranberry juice is being used as a home remedy to treat kidney infection.

  • Doctors recommend using heating pads or warm water bottles in persistent pain areas and they help to soothe the pain. It may be a good home remedy to settle the pain.
  • Taking parsley juice may be a good home remedy for kidney infection. Parsley juice helps to flush out the bacteria and toxins present in the kidneys and spread infection.
  • The anti-bacterial properties of apple cider vinegar help treat kidney infection, and it’s assuredly a good home remedy for kidney infection.

To sum up, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best thing for your overall health. Your kidneys are responsible for many functions from removing waste products and excessive fluids from your body to making hormones. So, be careful about your kidneys and it should be your top health priority.

Is Cranberry Juice Good for Kidney Disease?

Cranberries are perfect for protecting your kidneys. They prevent the development and growth of ulcers in your urinary tract. If you ever heard someone having UTI (urinary tract infection), you must have heard someone say, “Try Cranberry Juice.” Cranberries have antibacterial properties. According to research, cranberry juice fights against infection and flush out the bacteria from your urinary tract. So, it removes excessive calcium oxalate and acts as a cleanser.

Other Health Benefits of Cranberry Juice

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Protects against cancer
  • High in antioxidants
  • Helps to fight against liver disease
  • Improves eyesight
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Lessens the risk of cancer
  • Lowers the risk of heart disease
  • Good for teeth
  • Help lose weight
  • Builds immunity
  • Reduces bile acids in the gut
  • Controls harmful acids in your mouth

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Cons

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