Q:

What is third-stage kidney failure?

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Quick Answer

In the third stage of kidney failure, an individual has a moderate amount of damage to the kidneys due to chronic kidney disease. DaVita Health Care Partners lists these symptoms as including fatigue, fluid retention, changes in urination, kidney pain and sleep problems.

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What is third-stage kidney failure?
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Full Answer

In stage three kidney failure, patients often begin to experience more symptoms of their disease. The fatigue is often due to anemia, a common issue for individuals with chronic kidney disease. As the kidneys lose their ability to maintain the fluid the body retains, it is common to notice swelling of the lower legs and hands. The face takes on a puffy appearance around the eyes, and the excess fluid causes the individual to feel short of breath. When high in protein, urine becomes foamy, while blood in the urine turns it dark orange, brown or red. The frequency of urination often changes. Individuals with polycystic kidney disease or infections experience pain in the lower back. The itching, restless legs and muscle cramps associated with this stage of the disease often interfere with sleep.

Doctors use glomerular filtration rate (GFR) to determine the stage of the disease. This test considers several factors and uses a mathematical formula to estimate GFR level, according to DaVita Health Care Partners.

The National Kidney Foundation reports there are more than 26 million Americans with kidney disease. Early diagnosis and treatment prevent complications and more serious disease. The National Kidney Foundation recommends screening by means of blood pressure testing, urinalysis and GFR testing.

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