Kidney failure is a consequence of chronic kidney disease (CKD), which is a progressive condition. This means that it goes through a number of stages, getting progressively worse as time goes by. Here is everything you need to know about kidney failure stages, includes a description of each stage and how it is treated.

Understanding Everything You Need to Know about Kidney Failure Stages:

Stage 1:

In stage 1, the Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) is 90+. At this point, kidney function is still normal, but there are structural abnormalities in urine findings, or the patient has genetic traits that could suggest they will develop CKD. At this stage, monitoring is conducted and medication may be prescribed to control blood pressure.

Stage 2:

In stage 2, the GFR drops to between 60 and 89. This is a clear indicator that CKD is present, with urine findings showing structural damage and/or genetic factors definitely being present. However, no treatment is required yet other than observation and monitoring of blood pressure. If any other risk factors present, they must be controlled as well.

Stage 3:

Stage 3 is divided in stage 3A (GFR of between 45 and 59) and stage 3B (GFR of between 30 and 44). At this point, CDK is diagnosed and kidney function becomes moderately impaired. Treatment continues to be observation and control of blood pressure and any other presenting risk factors. However, observation at this stage is done more frequently than in stages 1 and 2.

Stage 4:

Stage 4 presents with a GFR of between 15 and 29. At this point, kidney function is severely reduced. The CDK patient will now work with a multidisciplinary team to be prepared for end stage renal failure. Medication continues to be provided for control of blood pressure and other risk factors, which are now increasingly present.

Stage 5:

Stage 5 CDK is when GFR levels drop to below 15, and patients may at that point be required to undergo dialysis. Kidney failure is end stage and very severe. In some cases, this is described as "established renal failure". At this point, the patient is provided with a number of treatment choices, including further medication to help stabilize the condition. Dialysis may be needed and, in some cases, a kidney transplant may be attempted.

While the above is everything you need to know about kidney failure stages, it is also important that you know how to recognize the presence of CKD. The earlier the condition is spotted and diagnosed, the more likely it is that the condition of the patient can be stabilized and does not progress through the stages. Genetic factors are very important, but also bone pain, abnormal skin coloration, concentration problems, drowsiness, cramps, muscle twitching, swelling of the extremities, easy bruising, bad breath, blood in the stool, and excessive thirst. If you notice any of these symptoms, it is vital to seek medical attention as soon as possible. CKD can be controlled through proper medicine and support from a multidisciplinary team of physicians. By receiving the right treatment, quality of life can be greatly improved, and prognosis becomes much better.