Chronic Kidney Disease Stages and the Kidney Disease Symptoms You Should Know
Your kidneys are critical to your health, taking care of filtering your blood in order to rid your body of toxic wastes and excess fluids that can spell trouble. Because of these functions, these organs also play a vital role in helping you maintain healthy blood pressure and keeping your red blood cell production optimal and your bones strong.
However, chronic kidney disease can compromise all of these functions and leave your health at high risk.
That’s why we’re going to take a deep dive into kidney disease, including everything from the stages of chronic kidney disease and the symptoms you may experience at each stage to diet and physical activity choice that can slow the progression of the disease.
As an added bonus, we’re going to look at supplement options that work to optimally support your kidneys at every stage, so that you can live better and healthier, longer.
Who is at risk for kidney disease?
According to the American Kidney Fund, one in three Americans is at risk for developing kidney disease.
Kidney disease risk factors include:
- High blood pressure
- A family history of kidney disease
- Being over 60 years of age
- Race or ethnicity
- Acute kidney injury
- Kidney cancer
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Autoimmune diseases like lupus and IgA nephropathy
- Kidney infection
What lifestyle factors can contribute to kidney disease?
Certain lifestyle factors can also increase your risk of developing kidney disease.
- Being overweight
- Regular heavy drinking
- Lack of exercise
- Taking too many pain relievers
What is needed to diagnose kidney disease?
Your kidney disease diagnosis is determined by your doctor. This can be done through a urine test or urinalysis to look for protein in your urine (called proteinuria) which shows kidney damage. It’s expressed as your ACR or albumin-creatinine ratio.
Other tests that are useful in classifying the stages of chronic kidney disease include imaging tests like ultrasound, which looks at your kidney structures themselves and other blood tests to measure waste products in your blood such as creatinine and urea which determine your estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). This glomerular filtration rate tells you the amount of blood your kidneys are capable of filtering every 60 seconds.
How long does it take to identify/diagnose kidney disease?
Since a blood test is the gold standard for kidney disease diagnosis, the actual time it takes to diagnose the disease is minimal, once your doctor begins your evaluation.
However, other tests may be ordered, such as the ultrasound we talked about previously. Your doctor may also recommend an MRI or CT to visualize your kidneys and check for blockages or a kidney biopsy, where a small amount of tissue is removed using a needle to look for signs of damage.
What are the stages of kidney disease?
The stages of kidney disease are as follows:
Stage 1: Normal (above 90%) kidney function with a GFR greater than 90 mL/min
Stage 2: Mild decrease of kidney function of 60- 89% with GFR of 60–89 mL/min
Stage 3A: Mild to moderate decrease of kidney function of 45-59% with GFR of 45–59 mL/min
Stage 3B: Mild to moderate decrease in kidney function of 30-44% with GFR of 30–44 mL/min
Stage 4: Severely decreased kidney function at 15-29% with GFR of 15–29 mL/min
Stage 5: Kidney failure with kidney function of less than 15% and GFR less than 15 mL/min
How long does it take to progress through the stages of kidney disease?
Your age, other health problems and how involved you become in your care and slowing the progression of kidney damage all play a role in how quickly you move through the stages of chronic kidney disease or CKD.
Getting regular blood tests can help you and your doctor visualize the trend of your disease progression. However, the less you control your other health and lifestyle issues, the poorer your prognosis.
What happens in the end stages of kidney disease?
In the end stages of kidney disease, your kidneys fail and begin to lose their ability to function, allowing waste products and excess fluid to build up in your bloodstream. When this happens, you will need dialysis or even a kidney transplant.
What are symptoms of kidney disease?
Signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease can progress slowly over time and even be non-specific. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms you may experience due to chronic kidney disease are:
- Loss of appetite
- Trouble sleeping
- Changes in how much you urinate
- Decreased mental sharpness
- Muscle twitches and cramps
- Swelling of your feet and ankles
- Chest pain due to a buildup of fluid around the lining of your heart
- Shortness of breath due to fluid buildup around your lungs
- High blood pressure
Sadly, you may not even notice the signs and symptoms of kidney disease until your kidney are already damaged. This means that anyone at high risk of kidney disease should be tested regularly, even if no symptoms are present in order to catch the disease in its earliest stages, before the damage is irreversible.
What can be done to help prolong kidney function and prevent kidney failure?
The good news is that although once damage is done to your kidneys, it can be irreversible, you can slow or halt the progression of kidney disease.
To do this, doctors recommend a combined strategy involving:
- Dietary control – Certain food choices are kidney healthy, while others can speed up kidney disease progression
- Blood pressure control – Your blood pressure and your kidney health go hand-in-hand. This means that in order to maintain good blood pressure, you have to keep your kidneys healthy and vice versa.
- Diabetes management – High blood sugar contributes to kidney damage, so any steps to slowing kidney disease must involve better managing your blood sugar.
- Medications – Depending on your specific medical situation, your doctor may recommend certain treatments to slow the progression of kidney disease.
- Physical activity and exercise – Staying active helps keep your heart, blood sugar and kidneys healthy.
What diet choices can help prolong the progression of kidney disease?
In order to slow the progression of kidney disease dietary choices you can make include:
- Lowering your sodium intake – Your goal should be to eat less than 2300mg of sodium per day.
- Reduce the amount of protein you eat – Your protein intake should be limited to 0.8g/kg a day or less. For the majority of people, this is approximately 60 grams or about 8 oz.
- Eat less unhealthy fats – Saturated fats can build up around your heart and kidneys. Stick with lean cuts of meat and unsaturated fats like those found in olive oil and nuts.
- Limit refined carbs – These types of carbohydrates can negatively affect your blood pressure and should be eaten in moderation only.
Other dietary recommendations to halt the progression of CKD are to be sure and eat your meals at consistent times in order to keep your blood glucose and insulin steady and avoid spikes. You should also limit portion sizes and avoid consuming too many starchy foods.
What physical activities can slow the progression of kidney disease?
In order to slow the progression of kidney disease, the National Kidney Foundation recommends including both continuous activities that involve large muscle groups as well as low-level strengthening exercises into your program.
Continuous activities to go for include walking, swimming, bicycling, and even aerobic dancing. And the low-level strengthening they recommend involves low weights and high repetitions.
Work your way up to 30 minutes at least three days per week.
Are there any supplements that can help keep my kidneys healthy?
You can also use kidney supporting supplements, specifically ones formulated for people living with chronic kidney disease to help keep promote better kidney function, such as Renohelp, the #1 herbal kidney disease support supplement.
Originally available only to the European market, Renohelp has been tested and proven in laboratory and clinical studies to offer the most powerful kidney support available. Formulated using only all-natural, proprietary ingredients, Renohelp promotes healthy kidney function while enhancing the health of your entire urinary system.
Renohelp works by specifically targeting and nurturing the glomerulus attached to the millions of nephrons in your kidneys that work to filter your blood. This helps to enhance filtration and clearance when you need it most. With Renohelp, you can ensure maximum support to keep your kidneys at their best at every stage.
Since Renohelp works by supporting the healthy tissues in your kidneys, the sooner you begin leveraging the power behind its scientific formulation, the better results you’ll achieve.
Renohelp is scientifically formulated to deliver results and has been tested and proven in clinical and laboratory studies to support healthy kidney function, filtration, and protein clearance.
With Renohelp you can:
- Support healthy kidney function naturally – The proprietary ingredients in Renohelp have been tested and proven to support normal kidney function by balancing nitrogen-containing substances in your blood, including urea and creatinine, with just 3 capsules per day.
- Promote healthy kidney clearance – Renohelp works by nurturing and boosting glomelular filtration and creatinine clearance to support your kidney’s health and function so that they can efficiently wash away wastes.
- Encourage normal, balanced levels of inflammation – With Renohelp you can feel better and more energetic, and relieve discomfort, by protecting your kidney structures and balancing inflammation throughout your entire urinary system.
- Help maintain healthy blood pressure – If your kidneys are not at their best, you can experience blood pressure problems. By supporting your kidney function, Renohelp works to keep your blood pressure in the healthy range to help you live your best life.
- Experience measurable results – Renohelp offers results you can measure and see rather than just believe. Before taking Renohelp, we recommend that you have bloodwork done and your numbers tested by your doctor. Then, repeat at 90 days so that you can see exactly what Renohelp is doing for you. These measurable results are the reason our customers never miss a dose and the secret behind their glowing testimonials.
With real, measurable results, it’s easy to see why Renohelp inspires testimonials like these from people just like you who are living with chronic kidney problems.
With Renohelp, simply take one capsule three times daily: morning, noon and evening. 1 hour before or after eating. And take with a full glass of water.
Causes and Risk Factors – American Kidney Fund
Understanding Kidney Disease – Nephcure
Chronic kidney disease – Mayo Clinic
Drinking Alcohol Affects Your Kidneys – National Kidney Foundation
Slowing the Progression of Chronic Kidney Disease - Kidney Fund
Staying Fit with Kidney Disease – National Kidney Foundation