What is Kidney Disease?
The kidneys as an organ are small bean-shaped but they filter the waste from your body and help maintain the overall health. Within one hour, they filter your blood around 12 times. The unwanted toxins and the excess water are disposed of in the form of urine. When your body fails to filter the wastes properly, you surely have a kidney disease. But the question is, what type of kidney disease do you have and what stage are you in?
Types of Kidney Diseases
Acute Kidney Disease or Injury
AKD or AKI occurs when your kidneys experience any sudden harm or injury. This type of kidney disease is short term and if not treated, they turn to chronic kidney disease. The reasons for AKD includes:
- Sudden exposure of your kidneys to some sort of drugs, elements or severe infection.
- Moreover, if you are having a kidney stone or enlarged prostate, you may suffer from acute kidney disease injury.
- People with Chronic Kidney Disease have higher chances of suffering through AKI.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
With the passage of time, the kidneys become vulnerable to kidney infections and diseases. If not diagnosed or detected, the condition gets worse and this is called Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD. There are many causes of CKD, the key reasons are:
- The blood vessels or cells are damaged due to diabetes or high blood pressure
- The kidney is attacked by any viral disease or by your immune system
- Polycystic disease of the kidney, when the kidney is attacked by the cysts
- Reflux nephropathy does severe damage to the kidneys as the urine flows backward to your kidneys
But it is important to understand that Chronic Kidney Disease and Chronic Kidney Failure are not the same thing. And it is only in stage 5 when kidney failure usually occurs. You also need to know that the percentage of people that might have kidney failure in stage 3 is very low i.e. the ratio is 1:5 (that means only one in every five patient suffers from kidney failure in stage 3).
Kidney Disease Risk Factors
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart problems
- Age over 60 years
- Inherited kidney disease
- Acute Kidney Disease
Stages of Kidney Disease
Your kidney will not fail you at one go. It will fight with all its strength for 5 stages over the years. You need to understand the different stages of chronic kidney disease. The available best method for determining kidney diseases is using GFR data (Glomerular Filtration Rate).
What is GFR?
It is a number or in fact, a benchmark set for doctors to determine which stage of kidney disease you are in. This is determined using a formula, which includes your age, gender and the amount of creatinine serum level in your body. The amount of waste material that is released from your muscle activities are measured by creatinine.
How to understand what GFR indicates which stage of kidney disease?
- When you see your GFR level is greater or equal to 90 milliliters per minute you are in Stage 1. This means your kidneys are functioning properly.
- Stage 2 is where your CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) strikes. You will have your GFR level within a range of 60-89 ml/ min. This condition is termed as Mild CKD and Stage2 or Pre-stage 3 kidney disease.
- For a patient with stage 4, the GFR level would be within 15 and 30. This is a severe CKD condition for anyone.
- Any GFR level less than 15 is THE END stage or Stage 5 for a CKD infected person.
What is Stage 3 kidney disease?
Stage 3 kidney disease is when the renal problems symptoms and signs show up. You would often see people experiencing kidney pain and rushing to doctors. That’s when the preliminary stage is identified by the doctors. Now that you find yourself in stage 3 kidney disease, the kidney is damaged moderately. This stage can be divided into two sub-segments based on Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR). Firstly, a patient with GFR range 45 to 59 milliliter per minute is considered as Stage 3A. For people who are below 44 to 30 milliliter is termed as Stage 3B.
In order for you to move to post stage 3, you need to meet many criteria. However, this is a stage which is reversible; in fact, you can improve your kidney conditions that we have explained later in this article. This is possible only if the complications aren’t that severe that you will know after going through the different stages of kidney disease.
When you haven’t done anything, you feel that your whole body is giving up. This is an extreme sign of fatigue. Often, a very high indicator of anemia which is caused due to kidney diseases. People with stage 3 kidney disease are more likely to remble this symptom.
Many people have reported that they experience flank pain now and then. Mostly, this sort of kidney pain becomes intolerable in one side of the body. At least once in everyone’s lifetime, people would experience flank pain but if its regular do not wait to visit your nearby doctor, you never know you might be in a severe medical condition.
Mouth Tastes like metal
Uremia is a waste that is found in your blood. This makes your tongue taste like metal and causes bad breath. People who are infected with kidney diseases notice this type of problems.
Your body needs to get rid of the extra fluids. A person infected with kidney disease will often see that their ankles, face, feet or hands swelling up. This is because the kidney fails to remove the extra fluids.
A person experiencing anemia would feel cold even when that person is kept in a warm room. This is an urgent situation where you need to see the doctor as soon as possible.
Lack of Concentration
You will often find people, who are infected by kidney disease, find it very difficult to concentrate. Not only this at times people would experiencing memory loss problems and frequent dizziness.
If you are suffering from kidney issues, there is a big possibility for you to have lower or side back pain. Back pain can be often caused due to many other reasons such as back injury or other diseases. But this is one of the major indicators for you to have back pain. If the pain prolongs more than a week, visit the physician.
Allergic reactions are quite common when you are suffering from kidney troubles. As the waste materials, those aren’t cleared properly by the kidney. These fluids can cause severe skin reactions which includes various types of rashes.
This is the major indicator of kidney pain or kidney diseases. Observe very carefully after you have cleared your bladder.
- You often wake up at night for urinating. Now, this is not only a bad sign for kidney problem but very harmful for your overall health too.
- You often have a tendency for frequent urination or irresistible urine pressure. There is a possibility that you are suffering from other diseases such as bladder infection or prostate cancer.
- Your urine would often seem foamy or you can see bubbles on your urine.
- Urine infection or you urinate in very less amount than the regular days.
- Your urine color is very dark. You can refer to the urine color chart for different signs and symptoms.
- You might see blood in your urine
- You will feel intense pressure while you urinate
- You face difficulty urinating
- You might experience erectile dysfunction.
So, what you should know about stage 3 kidney disease life expectancy?
You do not have to worry about stage 3 kidney disease life expectancy. If the disease is detected in the early stage or stage 3A the condition can be reversible. That is, you can prevent from further damage of your kidney and with lifestyle changes you can prolong your kidney life. However, the stage should not be neglected as if proper care is not taken, this might damage your organs or permanently damage them. For the worst case scenario, you might have to transplant your kidney.
The chances of kidney failure decrease when diagnosed in early stage. People often prolong the warning signs and the conditions become worse day by day. Your diagnosis will be suggested by the doctor depending on your sex, symptoms, age and so on. General tests include:
- Urine Tests like Urine RE, Urine Culture etc
- Blood tests like creatinine test or GFR tests.
- Blood pressure tests
- Kidney imaging
- CT scan
- Kidney Biopsy
Kidney Disease Prevention
You need to adapt with a healthy lifestyle for prolonging your kidney life expectancy.
- Increase in the intake of lots of green vegetables or complex carbs such as peas, beans, and whole grain food items
- Avoid red meat and heat fishes and lean meat for protein supply like chicken.
- Try to avoid salts as much as possible
- Increase your daily fluid consumption
- The sugary soft drink is very harmful to kidneys, so it is better to minimize them.
- Regulate your body structure and weight.
- Have a constant check on your blood pressure.
- Stay stress-free
- If you are suffering from diabetes, you might have to cut down carbohydrates and sugar intake.
- Moreover, calcium-rich foods are harmful to your kidneys, try to minimize the intake of calcium-rich products or foods.
- Depending on your kidney condition, at times you will be asked to avoid or to have a low protein and sodium diet.
- To prevent bone diseases and other problems your physicians might advise you for low intake of phosphorous.
- Medications will be given accordingly for your kidney condition. So it is possible to become normal again for a stage 3 kidney disease infected person to become normal again.
The treatment methodology is focused on longer life progression without abnormality in your kidney functions. The focus point should be treating the causes that cause kidney diseases. Your treatment should begin with a change in your diet. Your food habits play a major role in the healing process. A change in your diet would be necessary along with the kidney supplements you will be taken as per the physicians.