Chronic kidney disease, also called chronic kidney failure, describes the gradual loss of kidney function. Your kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood, which are then excreted in your urine. Your kidneys are bean shaped organs of the size of computer mouse located on both sides of your lower vertebral column. When chronic kidney disease reaches an advanced stage, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes and wastes can build up in your body.

Kidneys that function properly are critical for maintaining good health, however, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than one in seven American adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease (CKD).

CKD has 5 stages. It is to determine how well your kidneys are working. One way to do this is with a urine test to assess your albumin-creatinine ratio (ACR). It shows if protein is leaking into the urine (proteinuria), which is a sign of kidney damage.

Your doctor may also order imaging tests, such as an ultrasound, to assess the structure of your kidneys.

A blood test measures creatinine, urea, and other waste products in the blood to see how well the kidneys work. This is called the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). A GFR of 100 mL/min is normal.

Stages are as follows:

  • Stage 1. At stage one your kidney’s functionality ranges from normal to highly functioning kidney. Percent of kidney function is >90%.

  • Stage2. At stage two there is a mild decrease in kidney function. Kidney functionality is at 60-80%.

  • Stage 3A. At this stage there is a mild to moderate decrease in kidney functions. Kidney functionality is at 45-59%.

  • Stage 3B. This stage specifies that there is mild to moderate decrease in kidney functions and the functionality stands at 30-44%.

  • Stage 4. It means that there is a severe decrease in kidney functions and it’s barely working at 15-29%.

  • Stage 5. The functionality of kidney is at less than 15% and it is termed as kidney failure. You need a new kidney at this stage.

Different stages have a little different symptoms. In stage 1, there’s very mild damage to the kidneys. They’re quite adaptable and can adjust for this, allowing them to keep performing at 90 percent or better.

At this stage, CKD is likely to be discovered by chance during routine blood and urine tests. You may also have these tests if you have diabetes or high blood pressure, the top causes of CKD in the United States. Stage 1 usually don’t have any symptoms.

Stage 2 symptoms are as follows:

At this stage, you might still be symptom free. Or symptoms are nonspecific, such as:

  • fatigue

  • itching

  • loss of appetite

  • sleep problems

  • weakness

Stage 3 means the kidneys aren’t filtering waste, toxins and fluids well and these are starting to build up. Symptoms include:

  • back pain

  • fatigue

  • loss of appetite

  • persistent itching

  • sleep problems

  • swelling of the hands and feet

  • urinating more or less than usual

  • weakness

Stage 4 means that your kidneys are functioning between 15 and 29 percent, so you may be building up more waste, toxins, and fluids in your body. According to the CDC, 48 percent of people with severely reduced kidney function aren’t even aware they have it.

Symptoms include:

  • back pain

  • chest pain

  • decreased mental sharpness

  • fatigue

  • loss of appetite

  • muscle twitches or cramps

  • nausea and vomiting

  • persistent itching

  • shortness of breath

  • sleep problems

  • swelling of the hands and feet

  • urinating more or less than usual

  • weakness

Stage 5 means your kidneys are working at less than 15 percent capacity or you have kidney failure.

When that happens, the buildup of waste and toxins becomes life-threatening. This is end-stage renal disease.

Symptoms of stage 5 include:

  • back and chest pain

  • breathing problems

  • decreased mental sharpness

  • fatigue

  • little to no appetite

  • muscle twitches or cramps

  • nausea or vomiting

  • persistent itching

  • trouble sleeping

  • severe weakness

  • swelling of the hands and feet

  • urinating more or less than usual

  • The risk of heart disease and stroke is also growing at this stage.

From stage one to stage 3 you need to manage underlying conditions to help preserve kidney function. These include:

  • high blood pressure medications such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers

  • diuretics and a low salt diet to relieve fluid retention

  • cholesterol-lowering medications

  • erythropoietin supplements for anemia

  • vitamin D supplements to address weakening bones

  • phosphate binders to prevent calcification in the blood vessels

  • following a lower protein diet so your kidneys don’t have to work as hard

You’ll also need to visit your doctor for follow ups regularly so that your situation can be properly assessed.

In stage 4, you’ll have to visit your doctor very often. He’ll devise a better plan for you to get your kidneys working. If your kidney should fail, you’ll need to get dialysis or kidney transplant.

In stage 5, you can’t survive more than only a few months without dialysis or a kidney transplant.

If you are suffering from CKD and need any assistance you can always contact Kandakacare. Our professional healthcare workers are fully qualified to assist you at home without risking your health.

We publish new and useful articles every week containing highly useful information about elderly and how to make their lives easier and healthier. If you have an elderly person at home we advise you to follow our weekly articles on our Kandakacare page and also share with your friends.


  1. Chronic Kidney Disease, CDC


More Blogs Below

Dementia in the Elderly

Dementia in elderly Dementia1, itself is not a specific disease but it is a group of symptoms that affect a patient’s memory, thinking and social abilities very badly. People suffering with dementia have to struggle in...

14 Exercises Seniors Can Do To Improve Their Body Balance

As we age, falls become a bigger concern. Slips and falls are a leading cause of injury and death among seniors. But there is some good news: exercises can improve your strength and balance so you can stand tall and...

COVID-19 Strain and What to Expect

By Saqib Majeed A new strain of coronavirus first detected in the UK has prompted dozens of travel bans and widespread concern about what this means for the world. Most of the European countries as well as south Asian...

Achilles Tendinitis or Heel Pain

Achilles tendinitis, also known as achilles tendinopathy, occurs when the Achilles tendon, found at the back of the ankle, becomes inflamed. The Achilles tendon attaches your calf muscles to your heel bone, or...

Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout, When and Where Will We Get It?

By Saqib Majeed As we’ve all heard the news that Pfizer – BioNTech and Modern’s Covid-19 vaccines show outstanding results there is a question that now is on everyone’s mind, “When and where can I get the vaccine?” In...

Skin Conditions As You Age

By Saqib Majeed As we get older, our skin goes through various changes. How skin ages will rely upon a few factors: your way of life, diet, heredity, and other individual propensities, smoking etc. Sun exposure...

Older Adults During COVID-19

By Saqib Majeed Older adults are at a greater risk of dying or getting hospitalized in critical conditions if infected with COVID-19. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 8 out of 10 COVID-19...

The 2nd Wave of Coronavirus and Our Responsibilities

By Saqib Majeed We are now witnessing the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic. The average daily cases are crossing 150,000 mark in the US with almost 2,000 deaths each day. If you have been following our weekly articles,...

Choosing a Home Healthcare Provider

There are a lot of home healthcare providers to choose from these days. Home healthcare provider services are hard to choose. It’s not possible to go through them all to get the service you deserve for your elderly...


Serving Conestee, Fountain Inn, Greenville, Mauldin, Piedmont, Reidville, Simpsonville, Greenville, and Spartanburg



OPEN 24/7

Copyright © 2020 Kandaka Care. Privacy Policy. All rights reserved