Kidney Disease Stages and Symptoms with Life Expectancy

Kidney Disease is a condition when one or both kidneys face certain lack of efficiency in filtering the blood. Kidney Disease is also know by names such as CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) or Chronic Renal Failure. It can happen due to various other medical conditions over a large period of time. Sometime some medicine meant to treat other diseases can put harm to kidney function as a side effect. The damage to kidneys can be put into 5 different stages. Different stages of Kidney disease have different symptoms and stage 5 is considered as worst where life expectancy is greatly reduced.

Usually Kidney Failure doesn't happen at once. It happens in different stages as the condition worsens. Symptoms of different stages are different and symptoms worsens as the stage of Kidney Disease increase.

Kidney Disease Stage 1 and 2 Symptoms

Stage 1 and 2 of Kidney Disease are generally considered as early stages, hence the symptoms are generally mild and not noticed as something serious. People often take them as symptom of some other disease. During first 2 stages of Kidney Disease, the efficiency of Kidneys may get reduced to just 50%. Some symptoms of Kidney Disease Stage 1 and 2 are:
  • There are no physical symptoms in these stages.
  • Heavy Proteinuria: It means proteins from blood leak into urine due to damaged filters in kidney. It makes the urine more foamy. However this symptoms can also occur due to some other diseases and drugs as well.
  • Blood in Urine: This symptom can also occur in some other diseases like UTI.
  • In some cases blood pressure may also rise due to Kidney Disease.
  • Anemia may also occur in some rare cases. 

Kidney Disease Stage 3 and 4 Symptoms

During Stage 3 and 4 the efficiency of kidneys get reduced to just 30%. 
  • Tiredness and fatigue are common in these stages.
  • Physical symptoms like puffiness around eyes, swelling in hands, feet and ankles.
  • Back pain can be felt in lower back on either side.
  • Color, amount and frequency of urination will change.
  • Eating pattern changes naturally and food starts tasting funny.
  • Blood Pressure remains elevated.
  • Serum creatinine will be higher in these stages, which can be found by blood tests.

Kidney Disease Stage 5 Symptoms

Stage 5 of Kidney Disease is End-Stage and also known as Kidney Failure or Renal Failure. In this stage the kidney function is reduced to just 10 to 15%. Symptoms become severe and doctors often recommend dialysis and kidney transplant. Symptoms of Stage 5 of Kidney Disease include symptoms of all previous stages and some more symptoms listed here:
  • Headache
  • Lower mental alertness / Confusion
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Decreased urine output. However in some cases urine output increase, but that urine is more like plain water and no body wastes are expelled through it.
  • Itching in Skin and Eyes
  • Skin color changes to grayish or yellowish complexion.
  • Swelling and puffiness increases more than previous stages.

Kidney Disease and Life Expectancy

Life expectancy is not an issue in first 4 stages of Kidney Disease, if proper treatment and lifestyle changes are adopted by the patient. But if the patient has entered stage 5 of Kidney Disease then life span may get reduced. As stated earlier that stage 5 is considered as end stage in which both kidneys have almost failed and the only option left is either dialysis or transplant. Life Expectancy of those who undergo dialysis also depends on other medical conditions they are suffering from. The average life expectancy of patients on dialysis is 5 to 10 years, if they continue to have dialysis as suggested by their specialist. However some patients have lived for 20 to 30 years on dialysis. If a person decides to not to undergo dialysis then life expectancy reduces to just a few weeks.
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