Stages of chronic kidney disease: what do stages 1, 2 and 3 refer to?


After the diagnosis of CKD, it is important to know the type of kidney failure you have and start the required treatment immediately. This will have to do with the patient and their's disease stadium. Here we'll talk about CKD's first phases.

When a patient is diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), most of the time they do not know that CKD is divided into five stages or stadiums. Each refers to the kidney's function and how much they are failing to complete its job of purging waste and removing extra fluid from the blood. To get to know this stage, Jennifer Garay, Baxter RCS nephrologist explain to us what means that a person is in the first stages, that is, 1, 2, and 3.

What you can find in this content:

  • What happens in the 1,2 and 3 stages of CKD? Diagnostic, treatments, and evolution of the disease.

  • Life habits that a person who suffers from CKD has to acquire.

  • Accompaniment by family and caregivers.

  • Family and caretakers accompaniment.

What happens in stages 1, 2, and 3 of CKD?

Chronic kidney disease has to do with the structural or functional alteration of the kidneys (for instance, finding proteins in the urine, changes on ultrasounds, or adulterations in the results of a biopsy)  older than 3 months, with or without of the deterioration renal function.    

From the outset, a glomerular filtration rate may be present, without other signs of kidney disease, and this is calculated from a blood laboratory test called creatinine. It is precisely this filtration rate that shows the deterioration of kidney function and what places the patient in one of these stages:

Grade 1: 90 ml/min
Grade 2: 60-89 ml/min, slightly decreased kidney function
Grade 3A: 45-59 ml/min, slightly to moderately decreased kidney function.
Grade 3B: 30-44 ml/min, moderately decreased kidney function.

What are the symptoms of CKD stages 1, 2, and 3?

In these degrees in which renal function is minimally or moderately altered, the adaptation mechanisms of the human body allow no symptoms to appear, despite the fact that an established disease already exists. It is only as CKD progresses that the patient will be able to observe the presence of some symptoms.

What is the treatment to follow when a patient is in the first two stages of CKD?

The treatment is based on keeping the body in control and preventing the progression of the disease. This means: having a blood pressure lower than 140/80 mmHg, managing diabetes if you have it, not smoking, not being obese, controlling dyslipidemia (alteration of cholesterol), and strictly following up with the nutrition service.

How fast is the evolution from one stage to the next?

It depends mainly on the cause that has led to CKD and on being able to give time management to that underlying disease. Therefore, each case must be treated individually by the specialist.

How can you prevent the progression of chronic kidney disease when it is in its early stages?

On the list there are several aspects that must be taken care of and taken into account: no consumption of beef, sausages, cold or canned meats, no high salt consumption, adequate hydration, and stability of arterial hypertension, and Mellitus diabetes, having an optimal weight for height and not consuming natural or nephrotoxic medications (mainly those for pain such as diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen, ketoprofen, nimesulide, piroxicam, and meloxicam, among others).

How serious is stage 3 CKD?

This state is divided into two: the first is slightly moderate and the second is already beginning to make a transition between moderate and severe. This second subcategory implies a higher risk of disease progression. In some cases, dialysis is even required to generate stability.

What is the treatment that a patient with stage 3 CKD should follow?

Carry out all the recommendations explained in the letter, in order to avoid the progression of kidney disease. As previously mentioned, each patient is unique and must have specialized treatment.

What are the new habits that a patient who has been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease in these early stages should acquire?

  1. You should get at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a week.

  2. Do not add more salt to food than to what is cooked.

  3. Hydrate adequately and not be thirsty, especially in conditions of diarrhea, vomiting, and fever.

  4. Do not consume alcoholic beverages or cigarettes.

  5. Eat fruits and vegetables, and avoid excess refined flour and saturated fat.

  6. Do not stay up late.

In these early stages of chronic kidney disease, how should the accompaniment of the patient's caregivers or loved ones be?

The family must be with him at all times and must also adapt to these new healthy habits, as they ultimately benefit the entire nucleus. It is necessary to accompany him emotionally to maintain a positive attitude towards the disease that, although it is not curable, is controllable and has possibilities of intervention and treatment in all its stages.