What is Stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease and How Do I Treat It?
What is Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 3?
Stage 3 chronic kidney disease (CKD3) means that the kidneys have suffered moderate damage, and are not functioning as well as they should. There are 5 stages of kidney disease in total, ranging from mild damage to complete kidney failure.
The kidney’s main role in the body is to filter waste from the blood, while also regulating blood pressure and red blood cells. As disease progresses, the kidneys struggle to perform these essential tasks, leading to kidney failure.
The stages of kidney disease are measured by a blood test called eGFR, or estimated glomerular filtration, that determines how well your kidneys are filtering waste.
An eGFR of 100 means no waste is detected and your kidneys are functioning at 100% of their capacity. During stage 3 kidney disease, the rate falls to half capacity, and then below half.
The third phase of kidney disease is divided into two stages: stage 3a and stage 3b.
- Stage 3a is measured by a en eGFR of between 45 and 59.
- Stage 3b sees eGFR rates dropping further, between 30 and 44.
A normal eGFR is 60 or more. If you fall below that mark for three consecutive months, you should seek medical attention from a doctor who specializes in nephrology, or the treatment of kidney conditions and abnormalities.
What are the risks of kidney disease, and what happens if I don’t seek treatment?
If you do not see a doctor while in stage CKD3 and your disease continues to worsen, your body will reach such a critical state that you need dialysis, or an artificial means of performing the job your kidneys are meant to do.
Dialysis can be time-intensive and costly. It helps your body to continue functioning, but does not cure you. Dialysis may involve visiting the doctor three times a week to get treatments that are four hours long, where doctors use an artificial kidney to remove waste and other fluids from your body.
The other dialysis options involve buying a machine for your home that regulates your body while you sleep, or getting a catheter inserted into your peritoneal cavity so that you can administer dialysis yourself four to five times every day, the only option without machines.
Patients on dialysis live an average of 5-10 years, though some patients live longer. Dialysis is a major medical treatment needed for people whose bodies are in a critical state.
Symptoms of patients in the later stages of kidney disease include: nausea, vomiting, weakness, lack of appetite, decreased mental sharpness, persistent itching, chest pain, and sleeping problems.
If you do not address kidney disease in the earlier stages, your health could degenerate to the point where you experience painful or unpleasant symptoms, and need dialysis treatment to function. If you do not get dialysis, your body will be flooded with toxins. You may experience total kidney failure, which is a life-threatening condition.
How do I get help in preventing further damage and avoiding kidney failure?
Doctors who specialize in kidney conditions, nephrologists, will work with you to create a personalized plan to fight kidney disease that includes lifestyle and diet changes, with the possibility of medication as well.
Your doctor can also help you with symptom relief. Many people in stage 3 do not have symptoms, but some experience back pain, frequent urination, or swelling in the hands and feet.
If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, a nephrologist can prescribe certain kinds of blood pressure medicines that may prevent kidney disease from worsening. These medicines include ACE inhibitors and ARBs.
Addressing the disease while still in an intermediate stage like CKD3 gives you and your doctor time to support your kidney function before it’s too late.
Your treatment plan may involve changes in your lifestyle that can seem overwhelming, but nephrologists are there to support you and check in with you as you begin working towards improved kidney health.
Get your kidneys checked today. Visit our website to make an appointment online at flkidney.com
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