The common stages of chronic kidney failure are stage 1, with glomerular filtration rate of 90 or higher; stage 2, with GFR between 60 and 89; stage 3, with GFR between 30 and 59; stage 4, with GFR between 15 and 29; and stage 5, or kidney failure, with GFR below 15. Glomerular filtration rate is a measure of the kidneys’ effectiveness at filtering the blood. A GFR below 60 is usually a sign of kidney disease, explains WebMD.
The symptoms of chronic kidney failure typically develop over time, may not be apparent until the kidneys have suffered significant damage and may be attributable to other diseases, cautions Mayo Clinic. Impaired kidney functioning initially presents few symptoms, as kidneys can easily adjust to damage. Some symptoms include swelling in the lower extremities, muscle twitches, increased or decreased urine volume, reduced appetite, nausea, and high blood pressure.¸
Although chronic kidney failure is incurable, some of its symptoms can be managed, and its progression can be slowed, explains Mayo Clinic. High blood pressure is treatable with medications including angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and lifestyle changes such as a low-salt diet. Diuretics, which make it easier to discharge excess fluids, may help with swelling. Adopting a low-protein diet may reduce the strain on kidneys, as protein digestion leaves waste in the blood that must be filtered.