- What Is Stage I?
- Risk Factors
There is no cure for chronic kidney disease (CKD), and in most cases, kidney damage cannot be reversed. But it is possible to halt the kidney damage at Stage I with diet modification and supportive treatment.
The patient with Stage I kidney disease has mild kidney damage with a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of 90 mL/min/1.73 m2 or greater than that (normal value is 125 mL/min/1.73 m2).
Not all patients have serious issues with the early onset of kidney damage, and most of the patients with CKD may live long without any serious complications. It is estimated that an average person may live for an extra 30 years following diagnosis.
CKD is damage to the kidneys, resulting in a loss of their ability to filter the blood gradually. Your doctor examines the kidney functions and GFR to determine the extent of the kidney damage.
CKD has five stages and Stage I is the early stage.
What is Stage I kidney disease?
If a patient with Stage I chronic kidney disease (CKD) has a glomerular filtration rate of 90 mL/min/1.73 m2 or greater with little or no physical signs, their kidney function is normal.
Because the kidneys are still functioning normally at this point, most people are unaware that they have Stage I CKD.
What are the symptoms of kidney disease?
Stage I kidney disease usually does not present with any symptoms, and most diagnoses are made during a routine blood check.
However, some signs may help diagnose advanced kidney disease, such as:
What are the risk factors of kidney disease?
Stage I kidney disease usually does not present with any symptoms and gradually processes into renal failure.
Kidney diseases are the leading cause of death in the United States. Therefore, it is important to eliminate or manage the risk factors that cause kidney disease.
Risk factors for kidney disease include:
How to diagnose Stage I kidney disease
Patients with Stage I kidney disease do not have any signs of kidney damage despite the organ’s reduction in functional ability.
So, patients with risk factors of developing kidney disease are advised to get an assessment of their general health and undergo the following tests:
Blood work up shows the presence of certain chemicals or toxins in the blood, which are usually eliminated by the kidneys through urine, including:
- High levels of creatinine
- High levels of urea
Glomerular filtration rate
The glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is used to assess kidney function. Knowing the GFR helps your doctor to determine the stage of kidney disease.
GFR score (eGFR) is based on your age, serum creatinine level, and gender. The National Kidney Foundation recommends using the CKD-EPI Creatinine Equation (2021) to estimate GFR.
The presence of proteins (albumin) in the urine may indicate kidney disease
Other radiological tests are done to determine the shape, structure, and functionality of the kidneys, including:
How to protect your kidneys from further damage
If you are diagnosed with kidney disease, collaborate with your doctor to protect and preserve your kidneys’ health.
Here are some tips to protect your kidneys from further damage:
- Consult your doctor on regular basis to get medical assistance for any odd or unexplained health issues
- Get treated for underlying causes such as diabetes and hypertension
- Take any prescribed drugs exactly as directed, and consult your doctor before using any over-the-counter medications
- Avoid indiscriminate use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Monitor your glomerular filtration rate to keep in check with your kidneys’ condition
- Make healthy lifestyle choices, such as
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Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): https://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/stages-of-chronic-kidney-disease/
Chronic Kidney Disease Initiative: https://www.cdc.gov/kidneydisease/basics.html
Life expectancy with chronic kidney disease: an educational review: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5203814/
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