Kidney Disease FAQ
If you’ve been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease or kidney failure, it’s normal to have questions about how the condition progresses and what to expect. Our team of skilled specialists can walk you through the entire continuum of care from diagnosis to dialysis and kidney transplant if necessary.
Chronic kidney disease doesn’t progress at the same rate for everyone. In fact, it develops slowly for many, depending on the stage of kidney failure. There are many different factors that affect how quickly kidney disease progresses, including whether you have another health condition such as diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure).
The 5 stages of kidney failure are:
- Stage 1: The kidney is damaged but still functions normally
- Stage 2: There’s some loss of kidney function
- Stage 3: The loss of kidney function ranges from mild to moderate
- Stage 4: The loss of kidney function is severe
- Stage 5: Also known as end stage renal disease, Stage 5 kidney failure requires dialysis or kidney transplant
In acute kidney failure, people may only live a few days to a week without treatment. In chronic kidney disease, which progresses more slowly, people can live for up to a few years without treatment.
Damage from kidney disease can’t be reversed. However, the right treatment can slow or stop the progression of kidney failure.
As the kidneys lose function, toxins and waste begin building up in the blood, which can cause life-threatening complications. If kidney failure has progressed to the point where the kidneys can no longer filter this waste from the body, then dialysis or a kidney transplant is performed.
It’s possible to remain on dialysis for life rather than getting a kidney transplant. However, the quality of life and life expectancy are usually both higher in people who get a transplant instead.
Not everyone is a candidate for a kidney transplant. If you cannot get a transplant or choose not to, then dialysis is a possible long-term treatment option. Your doctor will talk with you about the risks and benefits of both dialysis and kidney transplant to help you make the best decision for you.
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Our program ranked among the nation’s best in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals 2020-21. Rankings are based on measurable achievements in quality, safety, nursing excellence and more. We are proud to provide you and your loved ones with nationally recognized nephrology care.