Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

The 5 stages of chronic kidney disease 

Early stages of CKD

Chronic kidney disease usually does not show obvious signs and symptoms during the early stage because our body can normally cope with the reduction in our kidney function. That is why we can donate one kidney to someone and still live a normal life as our remaining kidney works harder to compensate for the absent partner.

However, regular health screening with blood and urine tests can help discover potential kidney problems earlier before other chronic kidney disease symptoms appear. This way, more regular tests can be conducted to monitor the patient’s condition, and renal diet or medicine can be prescribed to prevent the kidney problems from deteriorating.

Late stages of CKD

If the chronic kidney disease is not discovered early, one may experience undesirable symptoms such as blood and/or protein in the urine, increased frequency or urination, muscle cramps, poor appetite, etc. 

Changes in the GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate) can be used to assess how advanced the kidney disease is (though the GFR measurement alone is not sufficient to identify stage 1 and stage 2). The stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) are classified as follows:

Stage 1: Kidney damage with normal or increased GFR (>90 mL/min/1.73 m2)

Stage 2: Mild reduction in GFR (60-89 mL/min/1.73 m2)

Stage 3a: Moderate reduction in GFR (45-59 mL/min/1.73 m2)

Stage 3b: Moderate reduction in GFR (30-44 mL/min/1.73 m2)

Stage 4: Severe reduction in GFR (15-29 mL/min/1.73 m2)

Stage 5: Total renal failure (GFR < 15 mL/min/1.73 m2 or dialysis)

It is crucial for kidney disease to be diagnosed and treated as early as possible to avoid irreversible damage, especially those with diabetes. Diabetes patients should go for microalbuminuria test at least once a year to detect diabetic nephropathy early. Diabetic nephropathy is the chronic loss of kidney function occurring in those with diabetes mellitus.

Battling the chronic kidney disease (CKD) can be a daunting and exhausting journey. And the treatments for CKD varies for everyone based on their medical history, current medical conditions, lifestyle and diet. That is why a personalised approach is crucial. If you need any advice on chronic kidney disease (CKD) from a nephrologist in Singapore, feel free to reach out to Dr Francisco here.

More info on Chronic Kidney Disease:

What is chronic kidney disease
Signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease
Treatments for chronic kidney disease
Renal diet for chronic kidney disease patients
Kidney dialysis for chronic kidney disease patients