Progression of Symptoms with Chronic Kidney Disease
Podcast #66 Released on January 19, 2018
Lots of people find out that they have kidney disease and they are in a certain stage.
Chronic kidney disease gets worse with time it's chronic it over time it's a progressive disease. You can slow down the effects of chronic kidney disease, you can slow down the progression of kidney disease but you can certainly go back it's like having diabetes.
You can control diabetes, you can manage your condition, reduce your blood sugar but you're always gonna have diabetes.
I want you to know though, it's important to understand you can change the progression you can change the effects of the symptoms.
It starts out talking about GFR. GFR is the number that you want to pay attention to that your doctors paying attention to determine what stage of kidney disease in. There's a lot of factors, there's things like your race, your gender, your age and amount of creatinine. There's a formula that they use when they take your blood to determine your GFR. GFR is glomerular filtration rate. It's a fairly complicated equation. A fairly high score is a hundred, it means you have 100% highly functioning kidneys. Then as it goes down towards 50, that means that your kidneys are only performing half of their normal function so if your GFR is 30, that means that they're only 30%. So, you get a progression of symptoms as well. Normal stage one is normal or high GFR - 90 mils per minute. That's a 90%. Your kidneys are still functioning well. Its pretty undetectable. You then go to stage 2, which is mild chronic kidney disease and you get a GFR of 60 - 89 mils per minute.
Glomerular filtration rate. As some organs in the waste system of your body are damaged, your body lowers the ability to filter. That's the bottom line.
Third stage is broken up in 2 parts - A and B. GFR of 45 to 59 is stage A and stage 3B is 30 to 44 so stage 3, you're between 30 and 60% capacity of your kidneys.
Moderate damage. This is where you start feeling symptoms. This where you start getting doctors telling you that you need to make changes. You get fatigued, you might get some back pain, you might get some fluid retention and then stage 4 is pretty severe kidney disease. Your GFR is 15 to 29.
Symptoms drastically affect your life, you're starting to get anemia; you're starting to starting to get nausea vomiting; you're starting to feel some tingling in your extremities; loss of appetite; problems sleeping; your body is not managing well and then stage 5 is less than 15 mils per minute and that's called ESRD - end stage renal disease.
End Stage Kidney Disease. It is where your kidney function needs to be started to be replaced with either a transplant or a dialysis machine.
That's where your symptoms happen and what is the progression. So, when people say, "What percentage kidney function do I have left?" You can look at your GFR and know how much function you have left. It is not a perfect system but its the one we have and it works pretty well. They are always reviewing and researching it but for now, I think its pretty good as far as if you want to know what symptoms you are going to have.
Your symptoms get pretty bad about stage 4. You start feeling that nausea, tired, anemia, needing to do different things and then stage 5, you start feeling pretty tired and just you're functioning goes down pretty significantly.
People think dialysis is hard but dialysis actually starts cleaning your blood again and you start feeling back to the normal stage 3, stage 2 levels where you get your GFR numbers or creatinine back out of your blood so you can actually feel a lot better on dialysis. So, stage 4 and stage 5 where you're really feeling bad.
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