Chronic kidney disease (CKD) occurs when the kidneys slowly stop working over a period of time. There are five stages to CKD, with the last stage being end stage renal disease (ESRD). The experienced kidney specialists at South Texas Renal Care Group use the latest methods to help you manage chronic kidney disease. Their goal is to slow the progression of kidney disease and keep you as healthy as possible.
The Stages of CKD
CKD consists of the following stages:
• Stage 1 – A person in this stage has kidney damage with an estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of greater than or equal to 90 ml/min. While there are typically no symptoms that point to organ damage, individuals should still have their kidneys checked.
• Stage 2 – A patient in the second stage of the disease has a GFR of 60-89 ml/min. While people in this stage can live normally, it’s still a good idea to make an appointment with a nephrologist.
• Stage 3 – This consists of Stage 3a (mild to moderate kidney damage with a GFR of 45-59 ml/min) and Stage 3b (moderate to severe damage with a GFR of 30-44 ml/min). A chronic kidney disease stage 3 treatment plan is crucial to keep the kidneys working as long as possible.
• Stage 4 – A person with a GFR of 15-29 ml/min has advanced kidney damage. The probability of undergoing a kidney transplant or dialysis soon is high.
• Stage 5 – Also known as renal failure, this end-stage disease indicates that both kidneys are no longer able to keep the body chemically balanced and healthy. The GFR for this stage is less than 15 ml/min.
Symptoms of CKD
Individuals may notice one or more of these signs if their kidneys are starting to fail:
• Difficulty Sleeping
• Breathing Difficulties
• Too Much or Not Enough Urine
• Swelling in the Ankles and Feet
• Nausea and Vomiting
• Muscle Cramps
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should get in touch with one of our board-certified kidney specialists. CKD, when left ignored or untreated, can result in serious complications, such as heart disease, bone disease, and anemia.
Tests to Determine CKD
Testing for kidney disease is simple. Reach out to a nephrologist about these two tests:
• GFR – This measures how effective your kidneys are in cleaning your blood. You may have kidney disease if your GFR for three consecutive months is less than 60 ml/min.
• Urinalysis – If your urine contains protein, blood, or both, it could be a sign of an impaired kidney.
Management of chronic kidney disease is vital to safeguard this organ from further damage. If your nephrologist has diagnosed you with CKD, you can keep your kidneys as healthy as possible with these health tips:
• Aim for a healthy weight – Being overweight pushes your kidneys to work harder and exacerbates the CKD. You’ll need to tailor your physical activity and calorie plans to achieve and maintain normal body weight.
• Stop smoking – Cigarette smoking slows the flood of blood to your kidneys, which worsens the CKD. Kicking the habit is good for these organs. Additionally, it lowers your likelihood of having a stroke or heart attack.
• Regulate your blood pressure – High blood pressure can harm your kidneys. You can safeguard these organs from further damage by keeping your blood pressure at or below the goal set by your health care provider.
On top of these suggestions, we encourage you to consult with our caring and compassionate kidney specialists. We’ll come up with a chronic kidney disease treatment plan tailored to meet your individual health needs.
Our medical group practice in San Antonio provides comprehensive treatment and management for a wide array of CKDs, including:
Hypertension is a leading cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD). When the kidneys excrete too much of a substance called renin, your blood pressure may rise. Our specialists can help you manage renal hypertension using diet, exercise, medications and other methods.
This inflammation of the kidney is caused by lupus, an autoimmune disease wherein the body’s immune system attacks its own cells and organs. South Texas Renal Care Group specialists treat lupus nephritis using medications that suppress the immune system, so that it stops attacking and damaging the kidneys.
Glomerular/vascular disorders are disorders of the clusters of blood vessels in the kidneys. Your kidney specialist can recommend methods to help slow the progression of these conditions with the goal of preserving kidney function for as long as possible.
Proteinuria occurs when there is too much protein in your urine, and hematuria occurs when there is blood in your urine. These conditions can cause a range of other health problems, and South Texas Renal Care Group physicians treat them using the latest medical therapies.
The kidneys play an important role in the regulation of fluids and electrolytes, and when they malfunction it can cause imbalances and lead to serious health complications. Your specialist can provide management strategies for these disorders to help keep your kidneys as healthy as possible.
Kidney stones and other acute conditions of the kidney can cause kidney failure if they are not treated quickly and effectively. Our specialists are experts in treating these conditions and use their training to provide you with prompt and effective solutions.
Each kidney is made of hundreds of thousands of small units called nephrons, which filter your blood, help remove waste from the body, and control fluid balance. In people with diabetes, the nephrons thicken and become scarred. This damage can happen years before symptoms begin. You’ll find expert treatment and management strategies for diabetic nephropathy with help from the physicians at South Texas Renal Care Group.