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Stage 3 Kidney Disease

Please note that the following information is provided as a general guide and is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is important to consult your healthcare team for personalised recommendations and to address any specific health concerns. For medical or health matters, please consult your GP, contact NHS 111, or call 999 in case of a medical emergency. We are unable to provide personalised responses regarding specific health enquiries or comment on individual medical conditions.

What is Stage 3 Kidney Disease?

Stage 3 kidney disease means that your kidneys are moderately damaged and are not working as well as they should. Your kidneys filter waste and extra fluid from your blood to make urine. When the kidneys don't work well, waste builds up in your body.

Symptoms of Stage 3 Kidney Disease

At stage 3, you might start to notice some symptoms, but they can be mild, such as:

  • Feeling tired or weak

  • Swelling in your hands and feet

  • Changes in how often you urinate

  • Back pain

How is it Diagnosed?

Doctors diagnose kidney disease using blood and urine tests. One important test is the Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR), which measures how well your kidneys filter waste. In stage 3, the GFR is between 30 and 59.

Possible Treatments for Stage 3

  • Medications: To control blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels.

  • Diet Changes: To reduce the workload on the kidneys.

  • Regular Monitoring: Frequent check-ups to monitor kidney function and adjust treatment as needed.

  • Lifestyle Changes: Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and quitting smoking.

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Managing Stage 3 Kidney Disease with Diet

Monitor Protein Intake

  • Why: Too much protein can make your kidneys work harder.

  • What to do: Choose high-quality proteins like lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, and nuts, but in moderate amounts.

Reduce Sodium (Salt)

  • Why: High sodium can raise blood pressure and harm your kidneys.

  • What to do: Avoid adding salt to food, and limit processed foods like chips, canned soups, and deli meats. Aim for less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day.

Control Potassium Levels

  • Why: Potassium helps your muscles work, but too much can be dangerous if your kidneys can't filter it well.

  • What to do: Limit high-potassium foods such as bananas, oranges, potatoes, and tomatoes. Opt for apples, berries, grapes, and cauliflower instead.

Limit Phosphorus

  • Why: Damaged kidneys can’t remove extra phosphorus, which can weaken your bones.

  • What to do: Avoid foods high in phosphorus like dairy products, nuts, seeds, and cola drinks. Choose phosphorus-free alternatives when possible.

Stay Hydrated

  • Why: Proper hydration helps your kidneys function but don't overdo it if your doctor has given you a specific fluid limit.

  • What to do: Drink water, but avoid sugary drinks and limit fluids if advised by your doctor.

Additional Tips

Work with a Dietitian

  • A dietitian can help you create a meal plan that meets your needs and fits your lifestyle.

Regular Check-ups

  • Keep up with regular doctor visits to monitor your kidney function and overall health.

Manage Other Health Conditions

  • Control diabetes, high blood pressure, and other conditions that can worsen kidney disease.

Avoid Certain Medications

  • Some over-the-counter medicines like NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen) can harm your kidneys. Always talk to your doctor before taking new medications.

Living with stage 3 kidney disease requires some lifestyle changes, especially regarding your diet. By watching what you eat and staying in close contact with your healthcare team, you can help manage your condition and maintain your quality of life.

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