¨ High blood pressure ¨ Excessive or diminished urination ¨ Foamy urine ¨ Swelling of ankles, feet or fingers ¨ Shortness of breath ¨ Funny taste in mouth ¨ Nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite
Diagnosing Chronic Kidney Disease
A blood test called a GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate) can determine if you have kidney disease. The National Kidney Foundation has categorized chronic kidney disease into stages based on GFR and recommends treatments for each stage.
Stage 1: GFR is normal or slightly increased. The National Kidney Foundation recommends that you be followed by your primary doctor. It is very important to have your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar under control. Your doctor may have diet and exercise recommendations for you. One of the most important things you can do is stop smoking.
Stage 2: GFR is 60 - 80. The National Kidney Foundation recommends that your primary doctor continue to manage your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.
Stage 3: GFR is 30 - 59. The National Kidney Foundation recommends referral to a Nephrologist (kidney specialist) at this point for management of complications including bone disease and anemia. Recommendations also include Medical Nutrition Therapy with a dietitian to slow the progression of kidney disease. In addition to Medical Nutrition Therapy, Sun Health offers Kidney Classes for people in Stage 3 of Chronic Kidney Disease. These classes review kidney function, diet, exercise and help you manage your disease.
Stage 4: GFR is 15 - 29. At this stage the Nephrologist continues to work with you to slow the progression of kidney disease and manage any complications you may have from kidney disease. He or she will also begin to prepare you for kidney dialysis or transplant. The National Kidney Foundation also recommends referral to a surgeon for placement of dialysis access.
Sun Clinic offers Therapies Classes for people in Stage 4. This class reviews treatment options for kidney failure, including hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, or transplant.
Stage 5: GFR less than 15. When the GFR falls below 15, it is time to start dialysis.
Sun CKD Clinic
Patients are referred to the Sun Clinic anytime between Stage 3 and 5. Dr. Chawla, a nurse, dietitian and social worker will work with you and your primary doctor to slow the progression of kidney disease and treat any complications that can develop.
People in the early stages of kidney disease may only be seen in the Chronic Kidney Disease Clinic once a year. As kidney disease progresses, you will be seen more frequently, depending on your needs. Between the stages of 4 and 5, you will be seen in the office weekly to help prepare you for dialysis. The first dialysis treatment is always done in the hospital with a short admission stay. Patients who are followed in the Chronic Kidney Disease Clinic are usually in the hospital a day or two. However those who have not been followed in a clinic can expect a hospital stay of a few weeks to initiate dialysis.