Chronic kidney disease (CKD) refers to a condition wherein the kidneys become permanently damaged over time. The progression of this disease may be slowed down through different treatment methods depending on its stage.
CKD is classified into five different stages, stage 1 indicating the beginning signs of damage and stage 5 indicating kidney failure. Stage 3 kidney disease sits right in the middle of the spectrum, wherein the damage to the organs is still mild to moderate.
Diagnosing Stage 3 Kidney Disease
Stage 3 kidney disease is diagnosed depending on physical symptoms and lab results. Common symptoms include weakness, unexplained fatigue, elevated blood pressure, sleeping problems, and pain in the lower back. Urine may appear dark yellow, orange, or even red.
Kidney damage cannot be reversed at this stage, but the progression of the disease can be prevented, especially if it is caught early enough. Treatments can include lifestyle changes and prescription medication.
Treating Stage 3 Kidney Disease
Lifestyle and Diet Changes
Alterations and improvements in diet can have a tremendous difference for patients with stage 3 kidney disease. Reducing intake of processed food and saturated fats will make the kidney’s work much easier, and the less work they have to do, the healthier they will be. Whole grains and fresh produce will go a long way in promoting overall health for the patient.
Progression of kidney disease may lead to a loss of appetite and malnutrition. Caregivers and family members should make sure patients are getting all the nutrients they need every day. Smaller meals may be the key to overcoming a lack of appetite.
Moderate exercise and low stress levels can also help prevent the progression of stage 3 kidney disease. Better sleep, daily exercise, yoga, and meditation can bring many health benefits as well.
Stage 3 kidney disease doesn’t require dialysis just yet, but patients will be prescribed medication to address medical issues that could be causing further damage to the kidney. Patients with diabetes may be given glucose management drugs, and those with high blood pressure may be given ACE inhibitors.
Kidney disease may cause anemia or brittle bones. Medication will also be prescribed to alleviate these complications.
Life Expectancy for Stage 3 Kidney Disease
The progression of kidney disease largely depends on how early it is diagnosed and how it is managed. If caught early, stage 3 kidney disease has a longer life expectancy than stage 4 or stage 5. Patients diagnosed at age 40 have an average life expectancy of 25 to 30 years, depending on lifestyle factors and how their bodies respond to medication.
Over 300 patients in stage 3 kidney disease participated in a study that showed over 50% of them progressing to stage 4 or 5 over ten years, with 26% eventually requiring dialysis.
Chronic kidney disease means decreased efficiency in more than just the kidneys. It can also affect the circulatory system, specifically the heart and blood vessels. Other common complications include anemia, bone disease, and fluid buildup.
Progression of stage 3 kidney disease can be slowed through lifestyle changes and medication. However, over 50% of patients are likely to progress to stages 4 and 5. If a patient suffers from end-stage kidney disease, it’s best to enlist home hospice care services. This way, the patient and their loved ones will get all the physical and emotional support they need as they go through the difficult final stages of kidney failure in the comfort of their own homes.
Gateway Home Health Hospice provides home health care and hospice care services in Denver. Our interdisciplinary team approach takes care of the patient’s physical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs as they go through their end-stage illness. Contact us today to find out more about the services we offer.