When experiencing Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), patients go through the kidney failure stages. The kidneys role is to filter the blood and get rid of waste materials with excess water. They also regulate the body’s electrolytes and blood pressure. Due to blood loss, heart attack, or dehydration, the kidney’s capacity might degrade causing their failure. Over time, when kidneys fail to function properly, chronic kidney disease occurs.
There are five kidney failure stages, measured by the Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR), which is normally about 90 mL per minute or more. As the GFR decreases, the stage of kidney failure advances. The first stage consists of a normal GFR level yet at this stage, there are already slight abnormalities in the kidney. At this stage, there is still a plethora of treatment options to choose from. The second stage confirms the kidney disease, where the GPR level is at 60 to 89 mL per minute. To treat the kidney disease, more tests are conducted and a proper diagnosis is required prior to treatment.
At the third stage, there are two sub-stages, wherein the 3A’s GFR level is between 45 to 60 mL per minute, while the 3B’s GFR level is between 30-45 mL per minute. The latter is more severe. It is already critical to prevent kidney damage at this stage of CKD.
On the fourth stage, the GFR level gets worse at 15 to 29 mL per minute. As a result of this stage, other organs in the person’s body also start to diminish. In order to recover from this stage, renal replacement therapy is needed. This is also the sole available treatment for this stage.
Lastly, on the fifth stage, the GFR level is extremely low, which results to kidneys that are almost not working. If a patient should survive, then he or she can only do so through permanent renal replacement therapy – through dialysis or kidney transplant. However, this does not automatically guarantee as well that the person will survive. Only the chance for survival increases. Moreover, other organs in the body will be affected.
In a kidney diet, restricting the potassium intake is very important to avoid making the situation worse. Potassium, a mineral that is present in a lot of foods, maintains the regular beating of the heart, helps balancing the fluids, and allows our muscles and nerves to properly function. On the other hand, kidney regulates the potassium level in our blood. If a person has kidney disease, their potassium level in their urine might be too high, which can be dangerous to their health.
Due to the important role of the kidney, it is important to take care of them properly instead of just treating them as the kidney failure stages advance from one to another.