5 Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease

5 Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease or CKD is a condition when your kidney loses its function. In the end, your kidney is unable to work normally. When it happens, it can cause many health problems because the kidney is like a filter that prevents any dangerous substance from entering your blood system.

To determine your kidney condition, the doctor uses the estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR). It is a measurement to find out your kidney's performance in cleaning your blood. Moreover, eGFR measurement also can help the doctor to know the stages of chronic kidney disease. That helps you get the treatment and change your habit to prolong your kidney functions.

This article will help you understand the stages of CKD. Thus, you will know what you should do to your condition. There are five stages of CKD. Here they are:

  • Stage 1 - Mild Kidney Damage (eGFR 90 or higher),
  • Stage 2 - Mild Kidney Function Loss (eGFR 60-89),
  • Stage 3 - Mild to Severe Kidney Function Loss (eGFR 30-59),
  • Stage 4 - Severe Kidney Function Loss (eGFR 15-29),
  • Stage 5 - Kidney Failure or Close to Failure (eGFR below 15).
Each stage represents the kidney's function. It gets worse when the stage gets higher, where you can lose kidney function entirely. Let's see the detailed explanation of each stage.

Stage 1: Mild Kidney Damage

You can notice this chronic kidney disease stage by these signs and symptoms:
  • High blood pressure,
  • Swelling in legs,
  • Urinary tract infection,
  • Abnormal urine test result.
What should you do when you experience those symptoms? As the mildest stage of CKD, you don't have to worry. First of all, visit you doctor to check your kidney condition and get eGFR information.

Then, change your lifestyle into a healthier one. Eat healthy food, exercise, and get enough sleep and other things that can improve your life quality. Medication might also be necessary if your doctor prescribes them for you.

Stage 2: Mild Kidney Function Loss

Stage 2 of chronic kidney disease is quite similar to the first stage. You can see it from similar symptoms and signs, such as:
  • High blood pressure,
  • Swelling in legs,
  • Urinary tract infections,
  • Abnormal urine test.
You also need to see your doctor to deal with this condition. Having a healthy lifestyle is also necessary to reduce the symptoms. Taking medication as prescribed by your doctor is necessary to improve your condition.

To ensure you get the correct diagnosis for your chronic kidney disease, make sure you see a kidney doctor. They are also known as a nephrologist. They are the most qualified doctors that can help you deal with your kidney condition.

Stage 3: Mild to Severe Kidney Function Loss

Stage 3 of chronic kidney disease is divided into two subcategories. They are stages 3a and 3b. Stage 3a has eGFR measurement at 45-59. As for stage 3b, your eGFR is 30-44.

Both subcategories of stage 3 have similar symptoms, such as:
  • Swelling in legs and hands,
  • Fatigue and tired,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Vomiting and nausea,
  • Changes in urination,
  • Chest pain,
  • Shortness of breath,
  • Back pain,
  • Muscle cramping,
  • Dry and itchy skin.
Even though stage 3a and stage 3b has similar symptoms, they are different. Stage 3a is also called mild to moderate kidney function loss. Stage 3b is called moderate to severe kidney function loss.

Therefore, the mortality rate of patients with stage 3b CKD is much higher than stage 3a. However, it doesn't mean you can't prevent it from getting worse. See your doctor to get the treatment and diagnosis that help you to deal with this condition. Most patients can prevent the stage 3 CKD change to the worse stage.

Stage 4: Severe Kidney Function Loss

This condition is the point of no return. When you are diagnosed with stage 4 chronic kidney disease, you can only do one thing. Prepare for anything that could happen!

The sign and symptoms that commonly occur in stage 4 CKD are:
  • Anemia,
  • Loss of appetite,
  • Bone disease,
  • Abnormal levels of phosphorus,
  • Fatigue,
  • Fluid retention,
  • Urination changes, which become dark orange or brown,
  • Urine contains blood,
  • Urinating more or less than normal,
  • Sleep problems because of restless legs and muscle cramps,
  • Nausea,
  • Vomiting,
  • Metallic taste in your mouth,
  • Bad breath,
  • Unable to concentrate,
  • Nerve problems, such as numbness in fingers or toes.
What should you do when you have this chronic kidney disease? Here are the steps to face stage 4 CKD:
  • Follow all steps of earlier stages,
  • See your doctor (nephrologist) regularly to get a diagnosis and find any new symptoms or changes,
  • Consult with your dietitian to know the best diet for your kidney's condition,
  • Consider a kidney transplant.
Also, do not forget to reach out to people who love and care about you. Get close to them to get encouragement and prepare when that day comes. In short, you need to make your life even more beautiful and meaningful with your loved ones close to you.

Stage 5: Kidney Failure or Almost Failure

This stage is the most severe and has the highest mortality rate. Therefore, you should treat your body and health when you have this chronic kidney disease. The sign is similar to stage 4. But, you might also experience abnormal thyroid levels and much more severe pain.

You also can use the stage 4 steps to treat CKD condition. Plus, there are also other things you need to do, such as consider home dialysis to help your body clean your blood. Or, find the best local dialysis center.

How Does CKD Spread?

Is it a contagious disease? Fortunately, it is not! CKD occurs because of an unhealthy lifestyle or kidney failure naturally. However, your family members could have this disease, if they also have a similar lifestyle as yours.


CKD is all about how you live and treat your body. If you live a healthier lifestyle, your kidney will function much longer and you don't need to worry about this severe disease. Therefore, start now! Have a healthier lifestyle to prevent chronic kidney disease.
Faisal "The successful warrior is the average man, with laserlike focus." - Bruce Lee

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