If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with stage 3 kidney disease, the road moving forward can be a frightening and uncertain one. Symptoms of kidney disease may not have shown until now, leaving many wondering what they could have done or what this means for the future. First, it’s important to answer the question: what does stage 3 chronic kidney disease mean?
What’s Happening Internally?
A healthy kidney’s function is to filter the waste from normal bodily functions, collecting all the toxins and sending them to your bladder as urine. Your estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is used to measure how well your kidneys are performing that function. A healthy eGFR is above 90. When that rate drops down below 59, your kidneys have sustained damage and are not functioning safely anymore.
Stage 3 chronic kidney disease is broken into two sub-stages. Stage 3a is for patients with an eGFR between 45 and 59 and who are still at the early end of a stage 3 diagnosis. Stage 3b’s eGFR ranges from 30 to 44 and signals a need for more intensive immediate care.
Stage 3 kidney disease symptoms interfere with day-to-day living due to the fatigue, pain, and changes to the body that result from toxin buildup.
What Care Options Are Available?
Chronic kidney disease affects 15 percent of US adults, according to the CDC. This means that treatment is more accessible and widely available than for some other diseases, so patients have many care options available. In the short term, a doctor will likely recommend dietary changes and refer the patient to a renal dietician who specializes in kidney health. You may also be sent to a nephrologist who focuses on treating kidney disease.
For more advanced stages of the disease or patients who are struggling to keep up their quality of life, a doctor may recommend palliative care. Palliative care aims to provide relief for some of the most painful symptoms and improve a patient’s general well-being. Patients who receive palliative care are given the tools to better handle depression, anxiety, or other emotional and mental symptoms, as well as physical symptoms such as fatigue and difficulty eating.
Stage 3 chronic kidney disease will require you or your loved one to undergo serious and dedicated lifestyle changes, medications, and frequent medical visits to slow progression. Diagnosis of any disease shifts your perspective on life overnight, so don’t push away the very reasonable feelings of stress and worry. You are allowed to experience these discomforts. Seeking support systems and opportunities to enjoy your life as it changes will play a crucial role in your well-being going forward.
It is important to understand the variety of pathways that may lay ahead for someone diagnosed with kidney disease. A diagnosis of stage 3 kidney disease does mean a potential for progression into renal failure. If you or a loved one is looking for options, information, and support, Soulistic Hospice is honored to help you find palliative care in Tucson and much of southern Arizona. Our team is devoted to providing compassionate care that fits the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of your family as you move forward.