March 8, 2015

Nephropathy – Part 4

Just when I think I have covered a topic, I realize that I am missing important points for the topic. I am thankful for that nagging feeling that made me do more research about nephropathy. This blog is about the five stages of kidney disease and the next blogs will be on end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Kidney disease has five stages in the progression to renal failure. Generally everyone starts in stage one or normal kidney function. Two factors are important for the health of your kidneys. Blood pressure must be important and should be tested regularly. Most of the time people wait until they visit a doctor to have this done, but the inexpensive blood pressure tools available today, many people can avoid the white coat syndrome and take their blood pressure at home in the peace and quiet of a normal setting.

For those of us with diabetes, tightly managing our blood glucose levels is a necessity to limit kidney damage. Yet many people do just the opposite because they don't have any symptoms. I would urge people to reread this in part 1, IgA nephropathy. Yes, the symptoms can take 10 to 20 years to develop, but this does not mean you can abuse your kidneys with no repercussions.

An abbreviated table is below and it behooves each of us to learn it and what each stage means.

The stages of CKD shown in the table above are a useful aid to planning. It is important to remember where you are placed into CKD stage 3 or higher, it usually depends on an estimate of kidney function. These estimates are not completely precise, but usually they are reliable enough to provide useful information. The stages of CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) are mainly based on measured or estimated GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate). There are five stages but kidney function is normal in Stage 1, and minimally reduced in Stage 2.

Creatinine and eGFR in an individual are usually quite stable. Deteriorating renal function needs rapid assessment.

I would urge everyone to read the following for better understanding of the different stages of kidney disease. The first is this link which covers the full chart above. The second link explains the first two stages of kidney disease. The third link covers information for stage 3 and the fourth link covers stage 4 and stage 5.

I have provided these rather than summarizing these in about four pages or a very long blog. Plus with the links, you will be able to return to them if there is a need in the future.

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