Stage 3 Kidney Disease and Kidney Function As You Age
As you grow older, your kidney function declines. That is just part of nature, and many people over the age of 65 have a GFR that puts them into Stage 3 kidney disease. As much as 49% of adults over the age of 85 in the US may have an eGFR of less than 60 mL/min. As a matter of fact, the largest number of people with kidney disease are those over the age of 70, and most of them are in stage 3 or 4 kidney disease. So, does that mean you have to take drastic action?
Not likely, but you can do the things that you need to do to control your diabetes or cholesterol that contribute to kidney damage by following a meal plan that caters to that condition.
What Does A Decreased Kidney Function Mean To My Health?
It's a natural part of aging, so your kidneys decline as you age by as much as 1 ml/min in your eGFR. You may think that means you will eventually need to be on dialysis, but for most people over the age of 65, unless they have a related condition like protein in their urine, they are unlikely to develop further problems beyond stage 3 kidney disease and progress to dialysis. When scientists' studied who progressed to needing dialysis, they found that people who had a lower eGFR (starting at a higher stage of kidney disease), had anemia, and more protein in their urine. Most likely to not progress to further stages of kidney disease were women, with a lower risk of high blood pressure and a lower level of protein in their urine.
This means that if you are older and have kidney disease you should continue to work with your doctors to assess what changes you can make – whether it is adding a medication or seeing a specialist. You still need to be proactive with your health to keep from progressing beyond stage 3 kidney disease.
How Do I Manage Stage 3 Kidney Disease After 65?
In people over the age of 70 with an eGFR in the range of 45-59, who are stable and without any other evidence of kidney disease, are unlikely to be at risk for further chronic kidney disease-related complications. It's important to address any concerns with your doctor when you are looking at how you will progress and what problems you are likely to have as each person is different. But know that you need to address the problems of high blood pressure and diabetes that you may be struggling with to ensure your health continues to be stable.
You need to consider following a kidney diet that limits protein intake and ensures that you have the right mix of nutrients to improve your condition. You are in charge of taking control of your health, regardless of your age. Click here to get more information on our stage 3 kidney diet meal plan to put you on the right track.
Also published on Medium.