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5 stages of Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease is a gradual degradation of a kidney when the kidney starts losing its functionality. Kidney disease, along with gradual kidney failure, creates many other problems and complications like cardiovascular diseases. The decline of kidney functions happens by changes in the metabolism rate and synthesis of thyroid hormone. Chronic kidney disease is categorized into five stages. These stages are affected by a person’s lifestyle and represent the level of kidney dysfunctionality from the initial to the final phase. The patient in the initial stages can live a normal life if the disease is controlled and necessary measures are taken in time. However, if the disease prolongs to the 5th stage, a kidney transplant is a must.


Chronic kidney disease is not limited to only known causes but some factors are proven to be a possible causes of the disease. Any problem or factor that damages blood vessels in the kidney can lead to chronic kidney disease. However, some of the problems are proven to cause chronic kidney failure.

Diabetes 1 And 2:

The irregular production of glucose levels or hyperglycemia in the body as a result of diabetes can damage the kidney’s blood vessels. The problem called diabetic neuropathy damages the kidney because of too much protein and sugar content in the blood. Diabetic patients should carefully monitor their kidney health, as kidney failure is most common in diabetic patients. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to quick kidney failure, so the patient must consult the physician regularly to avoid any complications.

High Blood Pressure:

The kidney has tiny hair-like structures that are responsible for blood cleaning. Each nephron has a specific diameter, and it cannot expand much beyond its original size. When the patient has high blood pressure, the blood vessels are damaged due to continuous pressure, and the blood supply to these nephrons is reduced. As a result of nephron damage, the kidney cannot function well and starts degrading. Continuous high blood pressure can further increase kidney failure, so people with high blood pressure should monitor their blood pressure regularly.

Development of Disease:

Chronic kidney disease development can be described by its five stages.

Stage 1: In this stage, the kidney works at its 90% efficiency to clean the blood, as measured by a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of 90ml/min or higher. In this stage, the person experiences no problems, and the kidney function decrease cannot be easily judged. The diagnosis in this stage can be done by an increased level of urea in the blood.

Stage 2: In this stage, the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is between 60 to 90 ml/min, and this stage also shows no problem in the living standard of the patient. The patient’s urea level in blood and increased level of protein in urine can be examined to diagnose this stage.

Stage 3: In this stage, kidney functionality reduces to half or less, and the person experiences many difficulties, like waste accumulation in the blood vessels due to unclean blood. The patients experience fatigue, pain, bleeding when urinating, and a change in urine color. Dialysis is required after regular intervals.

Stages 4 and 5: In these stages, the kidney loses its total functionality and is unable to filter blood anymore. In these stages, the patient feels severe headache pain, bleeding in urine, nausea, and swelling. Dialysis or kidney transplant becomes inevitable in this stage.


There is no complete treatment for chronic kidney disease, but the kidneys can be saved from total failure by some precautions. In case of kidney failure, the following treatments can be possible options:

  • Change of lifestyle
  • Increased intake of water.
  • Reduced intake of a protein-rich diet, salt, and alcohol.
  • Healthy lifestyle, exercise, cardio.
  • Medication to control hyperglycemia and high blood pressure, in case kidney disease is between stages 1 and 3.
  • Kidney transplant and dialysis for stages 4 and 5.


Donate-Correa, J., Martín-Núñez, E., Muros-de-Fuentes, M., Mora-Fernández, C., & Navarro-González, J. F. (2015). Inflammatory cytokines in diabetic nephropathy. Journal of diabetes research, 2015.

Lazarus, B., Chen, Y., Wilson, F. P., Sang, Y., Chang, A. R., Coresh, J., & Grams, M. E. (2016). Proton pump inhibitor use and the risk of chronic kidney disease. JAMA Internal Medicine, 176(2), 238-246.

Webster, A. C., Nagler, E. V., Morton, R. L., & Masson, P. (2017). Chronic kidney disease. The Lancet, 389(10075), 1238-1252.

Yalavarthy, R., Edelstein, C. L., & Teitelbaum, I. (2007). Acute renal failure and chronic kidney disease following liver transplantation. Hemodialysis International, 11(s3).



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