Kidney Disease & Disorders Community
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How long before stage 3 turns into stage 5?

If someone is diagnosed with stage 3 kidney disease egfr 58, how many years can they expect to have their kidney function before a transplant or dialysis is needed?
100 Responses
725741 tn?1245090207
I believe the progression of the disease depends on many factors.  Personally, I was in Stage 3 for about 14 years until last year when I progressed to Stage 4.  Again like I said this was my personal journey and does not apply to everyone.
Avatar universal
is there any supplement or medication for stage 3 or 4 patients?
725741 tn?1245090207
Hi Joe

I am on meds for hypertension, hyperparathyroidism, vitamin D deficiency, B12 deficiency, iron for anemia and GERD.  Is this what you mean by supplements?
Avatar universal
I have taken lithium carbonate every day for the last 40 years - my doctor thinks this may have brought my kidneys to stage 3 ( diagnosed last week )- has anyone has a similar experience? will stopping lthium halt the decline? - I have also taken valium for the same period and wonder if this has also damaged my kidneys

Cheers Robert (UK)
Stop taking Lithium? I will stop taking my Lithium when they kill me, cut my head off and stuff my throat-hole with garlic. There are some things in life that are worse than death, believe me.
Avatar universal
theres too manny factors to say....
Avatar universal
My mother has stage 3 kidney disease and the doctor has her on 9 different medications to help her BP stay low but it isn't helping like it should. They have her on the highest dose of BP medication and she is really scared about what will happen to her if she gets to stage 5. I guess I was wondering if anyone would know about how long would it take for her to get to that point with out of controle hypertension? I'm scared cause my mom is my best friend and I feel helpless. I know it is different for everyone but I didn't know if someone might have a friend or family member or even themself who has had the same problem.
Avatar universal
yes,you are right
Avatar universal
The kidney disease should quit deteriorating once the lithium is stopped. The valium probably isn't helping but Lithium is what caused the kidney issues. I have a friend for whom this happened to. You may want to post this questions on the bipolar site as well. There are other drugs like lamotrigine and the antipsychotics that aren't as hard on the kidneys so there are still bipolar medications available.
Avatar universal
I have a GFR of close to that amount (54) and am 37. I've been told that I can live to old age if the number doesn't go down and that diet will play a huge role in whether or not that number goes down or stays the same.

So this isn't a death sentence by any means. There are a lot of factors at play as to whether or not the numbers go up or down. For example if it is a disease process, you probably will have a lower life expectancy. If you got this from overuse of NSAIDS like ibuprofen, when you stop the medications the deterioration should stop as well.

Ask your doctors next time you see them to put your mind at ease.
Avatar universal
People keep mentioning that if you keep an eye on your diet that the progression of CKD (stages 1-3) should be okay, well at least stable. My question is, what type of diet are you following to keep your numbers stable?

My husband was just diagnosed with stage 3 CKD, and I'd like to know what types of meals to prepare so I can keep him as healthy as possible.
Avatar universal
I have had a huge increase in kidney function from diet restrictions. I went from 54% to 69% in six months. So I went from moderate kidney disease to mild kidney disease.

If you google kidney diet you'll find some good information from some of the kidney foundations.

This is what my doctor told me.

Mostly it is avoiding items high in potassium and phosphorus (if it is pre-packaged - chances are it is high in phosphorous, as well as any dark cola except rootbeer). The main culprits are tomatoes, potatoes sweet and regular(although you can have potatoes if you cube them, soak them overnight, drain the water off and boil them because that takes a lot of the potassium out), squash, lettuce and spinach, nuts, bananas, oranges. And he said to follow a low salt/low cholesterol diet. He also said to reduce red meat and pork consumption by half. You don't have to cut out these foods just reduce them significantly. An iceberg lettuce salad with a restaurant meal once every couple a weeks isn't doing to make that much difference. (iceburg lettuce has the lowest potassium, spinach the highest)

I eat a lot of baked chicken breast with things like apricot jam on top, one really tasty one is a can of cranberries and some lime juice, or sprinkled with Mrs. Dash (be careful what salt subsitutes you use because a lot of them contain potassium). I also make my own sauces using wine or sherry, a little bit of soy sauce (really high in salt. China Lily is the lowest in salt I've found) , some brown sugar and depending on my mood Worcestershire Sauce (it is a good sauce to use because it is low salt). I also make pineapple chicken. I fry the chicken and then use real pineapple chuncks and pineapple juice and some red pepper flakes. I thicken the sauce with cornstarch and serve over brown rice. Occasionally I will use a prepared sauce but they tend to be really high in salt. Don't buy the frozen chicken breasts as they are 'seasoned' and can be as high as 20% of your daily salt per breast. Another good seasoner is sesame oil. You need very little as it packs a pretty good punch. It is excellent on broccoli and I will add it instead of the Worcestershire sauce to my homemade sauce if I want an oriental taste. I would say we eat chicken or turkey for about 90% of our meals now.

There is a website called Davita that has some tasty recipes. The chicken enchaladas are really good. Keep in mind though that these are recipes for stage 4 and 5 kidney disease so you can add a little more protein to them. A good rule of thumb for protein is a little less than the size of your fist. If he is getting closer to stage 4 than I would consider a little less protein.

I've gotten so that vegetable with salt taste funny, so your tastebuds will adjust. I still add salt to some things. Oatmeal needs a little salt for example, but I cut it in half of what I used to.

It is daunting at first. For me it was giving up tomatoes. I used tomatoes in almost everything I cooked. For some things I could subsitute pineapple juice but for most things I just had to give the recipe up. I make myself a red pasta sauce about once a month and devour it. This is a long term thing so you have to 'treat' yourself once in a while, just so long as it is once a month and not once a week.

If you have access to a dietician that would be best. They can help you with meal plans and all sorts of other suggestions. I wasn't severe enough for a dietician, but I would have loved to go to one especially when I was first trying to figue this whole thing out.

Good luck. I hope his numbers go the same direction mine did. It is worth the effort.
Avatar universal
Thank you so much Linda for replying. I appreciate the in-depth response.

I've been researching online like crazy abou kidney diets. We have tried to find a renal dietican (or any dietician) but are having some problems with insurance - and the fact that they only offer group study classes but don't have a one on one consulatations. Today my husband and I went to see his PCP and she said to stick to whole grains, vegetables, fruits and limited protein (the nephrologist said he could have up to 10 oz a day for his weight). I also asked her about the potassium and phosphorous and she said for right now his levels are fine and he doesn't have to "limit" them. I'll still keep an eye out for how much he eats. Soda has been eliminated for a month now but I'm still working on getting him to quit eating so much processed foods - which are high in salt, sugar, starch, and chemicals.

I don't know, everything seems so confusing. I did search the Davita meal plan -- they had one for regular patients and one for diabetic patients -- but I was shocked that there was so much refined foods---even for the diabetic plan. My husband isn't diabetic but has a metabolic disorder that could lead him there if he doesn't watch his intake of sugar and processed foods.

Right now I want to have him to eat plenty of vegetables and fruits with limited grains and protein.

This is just a sample diet that I hope would be beneficial:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with blueberries.

Lunch: Big salad (using romaine lettuce) with cucumbers, peas (small amount), cheese (small amounts), eggs, carrots, turkey and salad dressing.

Dinner: 3/4 of the plate filled with some type of vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, etc.) with some protein.

Snacks through the day: Apples, grapes, peaches

I also need to watch his salt intake as he has high blood pressure. He's never been able to get it down to the normal levels; it's usually around 130's/140's over 90's/100's. It seems like 145/95 is his norm.

It sounds like you're doing extremely well. Congrats! I am so happy that you found a diet that's helping your GFR number improve. I know you mentioned some things to stay away from and some things you're eating, but would you mind giving me a sample menu of your day --- a few days if you don't mind. It would be greatly appreciated.

I just kind of feel at a loss trying to watch his blood pressure, sugar intake, and now finding a diet that would improve his GHR levels.

963889 tn?1359680934
yes it does depend on too many factors to predict rate of deckline. one of the biggest factors is the cause itself. I have no bladder and so have an ileal conduit, this causes constant urine reflux and constant infection, this was the cause of my CKD and why it is dropping so fast. The underlyin g cause cannot be prevented or reduced, but in many cases the cause can, hence slowing or even halting progression :) good luck
Avatar universal
Personally, I would rather face imamate death from kidney failure (or even being burned alive) that the utter hellish nightmare of trying to find a new drug to replace lithium. If you have ever been a medication non-responder, then you know what I’m talking about. Plus, when you start going thru the inevitable experience of what lithium deprivation can bring, you will most likely stop responding to your anti-depressant as well (if you’re bi-polar). It might take you a year or more.. Or maybe even never… to find a new drug combination that will get you back into the normal world. The only question now, 40 years down the road is… how much spunk and fortitude do you got? When you were young you could maybe deal with the change. I found 11 months and 15 days to be quite sufficient.

Leave my lithium…? Unthinkable. Lithium is God as far as I’m concerned. And He can have the kidneys for all I care. They ain’t much use to you when you have to face what comes next at the bottom of that slippery sliding pit. Know what I mean...? I hope that you do.
Avatar universal
I do understand why you would say that. I really do. And I know what it is to be alive and not live. I never tried lithium because I only have one kidney and they didn't want to risk it, but it took me years to get on something that works and I wouldn't want to go off it unless I absolutely HAD to.

Following the kidney diet though may help slow the progress down. At least it couldn't hurt. Cutting down on the phosphorus, potassium, etc.

Good luck.
Avatar universal
There are some things worse than death. As anyone who faces the daily struggle with severe clinical depression knows, the compulsion towards suicide is a very real.. Almost living thing. It doesn't matter how much willpower you have... The only determining factor is how close will the bottom of the pit come. It is mental pain beyond description. The mania cycle only produces social embarrassment. 20 straight days of 2 hours or less sleep and a lost job or two. Maybe even a crushed professional reputation where you can never work in your field of study again. Things like that. When they're both out of whack at the same time, you might even be found on the 6o clock news. They would have to put me in a straightjacket and Velcro me to a wall without this drug, just so I couldn’t tear the top of my head off.  So anything is preferable to the eventuality wrought by that. The loss of my kidneys included. What use are they to a person if they're dead? And look what they had to go thru to get there. Like I say, dying by fire is better than living with a severely unbalanced brain chemistry. At least death is relatively quick. It all depends on how bad you have it, my friend.
Avatar universal
I am so sorry about your mother, you remind me of myself.  My brother was told he may be starting early kidney disease we were all devistated and scard  He's only in his early 50's  I know how scard you are
Avatar universal
Hi I'm 34 years of age and I have just been told I have stage 3 kidney disease, I do alot of sports and am fairly fit but I'm really worried cos the doctor said its very strange for someone so young to have this - what should I do??
Avatar universal
my name is Courtney. im 20 years old. i was recently diagnosed with kidney disease. through a 24 hour urine test and lots of blood work, i found out that im at stage 3 already. im freaking out cause im only 20 and wondering why this is happening to me. is their anyone that can give me advise on how to deal with the stress. the doctor put me on a med called fosinopril sodium 10mg tablet. i take half of one pill every night. i go back in december and am hoping my numbers are a little different. i am on a strict diet and am exercising. is there anything else i can do to keep my kidneys from getting worse????
Avatar universal
Yes you can, simple baking soda will halt your kidney disease.


Also, ozone is extremely effective at restoring the kidneys. Join Saul Pressmans yahoo group on ozone therapy.

Some acupuncture will help as well. Chinease medicine is focused around the kidneys.

Watch out for these so called western doctors. All they do is monitor your kidneys till they fail.

Follow the above and you will be fine....
Avatar universal
Kidney patients need to limit their potassium intake. Normally, it gets cleansed from blood daily, but low kidney function means the kidneys are not flushing out the potassium, so after just a few days, in less than a week of eating normal portions of high potassium fruits and veggies, the potassium level in the blood just builds up and can lead to heart attack.  I got routine blood tests and afterwards, they walked me right over to the cardiologist's office. This was after one glorious spring week during which I ate what used to be normal for me - a bunch of cooked fresh organic beets, a couple of perfect nectarines, a few dates, some nuts, avocado.  My favorite foods that I used to eat daily before my renal disease diagnosis, are bananas, potatoes, winter squash, avocadoes, dates, nectarines, beets, spinach, chard, broccoli, brussels sprouts, etc. It is a long list.  Now, I can only eat 1/4-1/2 cup servings of one of these foods at a  meal.  I learned my lesson and am very careful about this now. I was diagnosed in 2007 with stage 3-4 kidney disease (caused by chemo 31 yrs ago) and was terribly sick. I studied daily and got myself on a careful renal dietary regimen. I limit my protein intake to 40-50 grams per day. I limit my potassium to less than 2000mg, typically less than 1000.  Also phosphorus, which has not been a problem for me, I can enjoy chocolate without my body holding onto it like the potassium.  Anyway, I also take plenty of supplements - including magnesium gluconate, less than $4 a bottle on Amazon and made by Windmill,  and the only form of magneisum that is not a laxative.  Many kidney patients are low in magnesium - and it caused me intense ankle bone pain until I began taking 2 magnesium tablets per day and in less than a week, the pain was gone.  I was on crutches or in wheelchair, that's how bad the pain was! Once, I ran out of the mag tabs for 4 days and began to feel the pain return, but as soon as I got a new supply, the pain went away again for good.  Drugstores do not carry this form of magnesium, but they will order it for you and then triple the price to you.  Anyway, over 5 yrs of keeping myself on track with eating organic, healthy, non-processed foods and limiting potassium, phosphorous, sodium, protein, I improved my kidney function and impressed my docs cause I slowed down the decline to half the expected rate.  I am now finally in stage 5 and awaiting a transplant in early 2013 from a loving family member.  Dialysis is not a good choice for anyone and especially not for me - my veins were ruined by chemo.  Do not feed your husband too freely when it comes to green veggies. Small servings are best.  I LOVE fruits and veggies and have had to limit them just to prolong my kidney function. I also got a phone consult with Dr. Jenna Henderson, who is a naturopathic doc specializing in kidney disease (www.holistickidney.com).  She got me on CQ10, Curcumin, and best of all, a product called Renadyl, which is probiotic capsules same as probiotic bacilliae in yogurt, but in very high concentration.  They remove toxins from food while it is still in your colon and before it gets to your kidneys. 5 days of following her guidelines raised my GFR from 13 to 18 and eventually to over 20 and I no longer feel close to death. I use a free website to help me set up nutrition goals and track my daily food intake and it works great!  www.fitday.com.  I also take D3, 2000mg C, Fish Oil capsules, E, Selenium, and a very few prescription meds to manage my blood pressure and A-fib.  Also, the probiotics "cured" 31 yrs of my suffering from radiation caused colitis/IBS!!!  My advice to you is to study and educate yourselves on renal diet and don't rely only on those commercial profiteer companies who are getting rich on dialysis clinics  and products for kidney patients, namely DaVita and Fresenius, for your renal dietary info.  Also, most renal dieticians focus on dialysis and transplant patients and not on renal patients in earlier stages.  This is mainly because they know from experience that most people are very resistant to dietary changes, as shown by number of people who refuse to make changes when they get a diabetes II diagnosis and end up with amputations and on dialysis.  Carbs in moderation are fine for kidney patients.  NO ASPARTAME for anyone, please! Caffeine and alcohol, beer included, are not good for sick kidneys.  Good luck. For those who are lucky to get early diagnosis while still in Stages 1, 2 or 3, many of you can make changes that will extend your lives to full old age without any symptoms of kidney disease.  Most symptoms don't show up anyway until stage 3-4.  You CAN make a huge difference in how it progresses!
Avatar universal
Baking soda will not halt kidney disease.  A pinch in a glass of water or a sodium bicarb tablet dissolved in full glass of water helps to make your blood less acid and more alkaline.  If you wish, you can achieve same effect by squeezing a whole lemon into a glass of water and drinking it. Though lemon and vinegar are acid, they actually will make your blood less acid.  This helps alot when/if you get that ammonia taste in your mouth, which is often a sign of blood acid being too high.  Baking soda helps improve the imbalance in your blood caused by faulty kidney function, but please don't make a statement tat it halts kidney disease!  I wish it was that simple and easy!  I also apologize for stating dialysis is not a good choice - sometimes it is the only choice.
Avatar universal
hope all nephrotic will  soon bee restored to health

963889 tn?1359680934
i went from 3 to 4 in under 12 months, it really depends a lot on the cause of your CKD. Mine was caused by chronic infections of the kidneys that we cannot stop. I have an ileal condit (no bladder, taken ot 6 years ago)  unfortunately there are very few antibiotics that now work. Ironically, my nephrologist said it is now a viscious circle. The greater the impairment the worse my immune system gets, so the more infections blablabla viscious circle. I wouldnt worry, most people the declilne is many many years. I have now been in stage 4 for nearly 2 months so just praying to god is panning out.
re medications.  the only thing I was on was iron, however I get that via infusion (intravenous) as neph said supplements of iron are not properly taken up by the kidneys if have poor function. At this stage I just watch my diet, get regular (weekly) urine tests to check early for infection (as I have no bladder i dont get the normal warnings eg burning and frequent urine). I have a 3 monthly bloods done
I also have an ileal conduit. Bladder was destroyed in a prostate surgery gone bad. Urine backed up into the kidneys and caused permanent kidney damage. I am now 84 and my creatinine has been holding steady at 1.8 and GFR at 33. Doc says I am fine as long as it holds there.
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