Stage 2 chronic kidney disease (CKD)
What is stage 2 CKD?
In Stage 2 CKD, your eGFR has gone down to between 60 and 89. However, your kidneys are mostly still able to work as they should to filter your blood, which is why you may not notice any effects on your health. While the damage to your kidneys may not be reversible, there is a lot you can do to slow down the damage to your kidneys. You may or may not also have protein in your urine.
What are the symptoms of stage 2 CKD?
Often, symptoms of kidney disease do not start until Stage 3 CKD, which is why many people with Stage 2 CKD might not know they have it. However, there are some signs of Stage 2 CKD people may notice, or that doctors may notice when testing for kidney damage or other health conditions.
Signs and symptoms of Stage 2 CKD include:
- Protein in your urine
- High blood pressure
- Swelling in your hands or feet
- Urinary tract infections
- Blood in your urine (also called hematuria)
- Kidney damage that shows up in an ultrasound, CT scan, MRI or kidney biopsy
How can doctors tell my stage of CKD?
Many people with Stage 2 CKD do not have any symptoms. However, if you have a family history of kidney disease, or a health condition that can damage your kidneys, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, your doctor may test the health of your kidneys.
To find out what stage of CKD you are in, doctors will do tests, such as:
- eGFR blood tests (a blood test)
- Blood pressure checks
- Urine tests
- Imaging tests to take detailed pictures of the inside of your body, such as ultrasound, CT scan or MRI
How can doctors tell what caused my CKD?
Your doctor may do several other tests to try and find out what caused your CKD. They may include:
- Blood pressure checks
- Urine tests
- Imaging tests to take detailed pictures of the inside of your body, such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI
- Kidney biopsy (taking out part of your kidney tissue to look at it under a microscope)
- Genetic testing (if doctors suspect a rare disease or one that runs in your family)
How do doctors treat stage 2 CKD?
Your doctor will work with you to slow down kidney damage and to keep your kidneys working well for as long as possible.
Your doctor can help you:
- Control your blood sugar if you have diabetes.
- Keep your blood pressure in a healthy range (less than 120/80 millimetres of mercury, or mm HG, is best).
- Decide if you start or stop any medicines to help protect your kidneys.
If you do not have a nephrologist (kidney doctor), talk to your regular doctor about finding one. You and your nephrologist can work together to make a treatment plan just for you.
How can I slow down the damage to my kidneys?
In Stage 2 CKD, making healthy choices to slow down the damage to your kidneys is important. If your kidney damage gets worse, you may move to the later stages of CKD. In Stages 3 and 4 CKD, your kidneys must work harder to get rid of waste. In Stage 5 CKD (kidney failure), your kidneys may stop working altogether. When your kidneys fail, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to live.
Here are some tips you can use:
- Eat a kidney-friendly diet. A dietitian is a nutrition expert who can look at results from your lab tests and help you plan healthy meals and snacks you'll want to eat: your "kidney diet."
- Be active for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. This can be anything from walking or riding a bike to swimming or dancing.
- Keep a healthy weight. Talk with your doctor about what a healthy weight is for you.
- Quit smoking or using tobacco.
Gaming for a cause
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"I'm a streamer who games online to raise money for people with kidney disease like myself. I know all too well how this affects your mind, body, and pocket on a day-to-day basis at all stages of kidney disease. AKF was there when I needed them and now want to pay it forward."
-Tracey S., a.k.a. Shmoops, KidneyNation fundraiser