Some COVID-19 patients have reported kidney damage. Here’s what you need to know about that and chronic kidney disease. | Focus

Stages of chronic kidney disease

Stage 1

» GFR of 90 or greater.

» Kidneys are healthy and working well but have other signs of damage like protein in urine or physical damage.

» Ways to slow damage: control blood sugar if you have diabetes; control blood pressure; eat a healthy diet; don’t smoke; be active for 30 min a day, 5 days a week; stay at healthy weight; ask doctor about medicines that could help protect kidneys; make an appointment to see nephrologist.

Stage 2

» GFR between 60 and 89.

» Kidneys are healthy and working well but have other signs of damage like protein in urine or physical damage.

» Ways to slow damage: control blood sugar if you have diabetes; control blood pressure; eat a healthy diet; don’t smoke; be active for 30 min a day, 5 days a week; stay at healthy weight; ask doctor about medicines that could help protect kidneys; make an appointment to see nephrologist.

Stage 3

» GFR between 30 and 59.

» Kidneys have some damage and are not working as well as they should.

Stage 3 is broken into two stages: 3a, where GFR is between 45 and 59 and 3b, where GFR is between 44 and 30.

» Even at Stage 3, many don’t have symptoms but if they are present, they may include: swelling in hands and feet, back pain, peeing more or less than normal.

» At this stage, a patient may also have health complications like high blood pressure, anemia or bone disease.

» Ways to slow damage: control blood sugar if you have diabetes; control blood pressure; eat a healthy diet; don’t smoke; be active for 30 min a day, 5 days a week; stay at healthy weight; ask doctor about medicines that could help protect kidneys; visit nephrologist who will make a treatment plan and determine how often the patient will need to have their kidneys checked; meet with dietitian, who can help a patient follow a healthy diet; ask doctor about blood pressure medicationss called ACE inhibitors and ARBs.

Stage 4

» GFR between 15 and 29.

» Kidneys are moderately or severely damaged and aren’t working how they should. This is the last stage before kidney failure, so patients will start preparing for kidney failure.

» To keep disease from getting worse: have regular appointments with nephrologist; meet with dietitian; take blood pressure medicines.

Stage 5

» GFR of less than 15.

» Kidneys are very close to failure or have failed. Waste will build up in blood and make the patient sick.

» Symptoms manifest at this point, including itching, muscle cramps, feeling sick and throwing up, not feeling hungry, swelling in hands and feet, back pain, urinating more or less than normal, trouble sleeping and trouble breathing.

» Treatment options are dialysis, which helps clean the blood when kidneys have failed, and a kidney transplant.

Source: The National Kidney Foundation

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