The kidneys play a vital role in the body. The two small, bean-shaped organs are responsible for filtering out waste products from the blood, which are then expelled through the urine. Any disruptions to this system could lead to serious medical conditions.
Chronic kidney failure occurs when these organs suffer an injury or long-term disease, leading to the eventual shutdown of kidney function. There are five stages of this condition, with stage 1 kidney failure showing the mildest and earliest symptoms.
The Types of Kidney Failure
There are two categories of kidney failure: acute kidney failure, and chronic kidney disease. Acute kidney failure occurs when your kidneys suddenly stop working. This often occurs when a patient sustains direct kidney damage, has a condition that slows blood flow to the kidneys, or experiences urine blockage in the kidneys.
Chronic kidney disease occurs when kidneys sustain damage for more than a few months. There are three types of chronic kidney failure.
- Chronic Prerenal Kidney Failure: This condition occurs when there is not enough blood flowing to the kidneys for a prolonged period of time. As a result, the kidneys begin to shrink and are unable to function properly.
- Chronic Intrinsic Kidney Failure: This condition occurs when a patient has intrinsic kidney disease, which occurs after the kidneys suffer trauma like a lack of oxygen. A patient may develop chronic intrinsic kidney failure due to the long-term damage associated with this disease.
- Chronic Post-Renal Kidney Failure: This condition occurs when a patient suffers from a long-term blockage of the urinary tract. As a result, the patient is unable to urinate, leading to intense pressure and kidney damage.
Acute kidney failure comes on suddenly, while chronic kidney failure develops and worsens over time. When experts discuss the five stages of kidney failure, they are likely talking about chronic conditions.
Symptoms of Stage 1 Kidney Failure
Like many medical conditions, kidney failure often does not show symptoms in its very early stages. Many patients do not notice this condition until the symptoms become worse and more noticeable later on. Some people do not experience any signs of kidney failure at all.
However, there are a few common symptoms of stage 1 kidney failure. If you believe that you have this condition, look out for the following signs.
- High blood pressure
- Urinary tract infections
- Swelling in the legs and feet due to fluid retention
- Abnormal urinalysis results due to protein in the urine
- Higher-than-normal levels of creatine or urea in the blood
If you notice any of the above symptoms or believe that you are urinating less frequently than normal, seek medical care as soon as possible.
Treatment Options for Patients with Stage 1 Kidney Failure
At stage 1, kidney failure is relatively mild compared to later stages, and complications are unlikely. If you are diagnosed with this condition, your doctor may test your urine and blood regularly to identify how the disease is progressing.
Making healthy lifestyle changes can help slow the progression of kidney failure. Your doctor may recommend that you exercise regularly and avoid tobacco products. He or she may also prescribe medications that can help alleviate certain symptoms.
Eating a balanced diet is very important to slow the progression of kidney failure. Limiting your intake of certain foods can also help you maintain a healthy weight and good blood sugar and blood pressure levels, all of which are important for overall health.
Doctors often recommend that patients with kidney failure follow these dietary guidelines.
- Eat a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Avoid refined and processed foods that are high in sugar or sodium.
- Limit your cholesterol and saturated fat intake.
- Ensure that you eat adequate calories and take supplements as recommended by your doctor.
- Speak to a renal dietitian about protein intake and aim to eat within the recommended range each day.
How Long Does It Take to Progress to Stage 2 from Stage 1?
Many patients wonder how long it takes to progress from stage 1 kidney failure to stage 2. The answer is that it depends. Chronic kidney failure does not progress at the same rate for everybody; this timeline typically varies based on a number of factors.
For example, patients are likely to see a faster progression of kidney disease if they are current tobacco smokers, are under the age of 65, or have experienced an acute kidney injury in the past. Having comorbidities, such as hypertension, diabetes, or congestive heart failure, may also indicate a faster rate of disease progression.
In any case, it is important to meet with your doctor regularly to monitor the progression of your kidney failure. While there is no cure for this condition, it is possible to slow the rate of the disease by taking preventative measures. Speak with your physician about your best treatment options.
What to Do If You Are Diagnosed with Stage 1 Kidney Failure
If you are diagnosed with stage 1 kidney failure, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. The most important step that you can take is to see your doctor regularly and follow his or her advice on managing your condition.
Take your medications regularly and talk to your doctor before adding any over-the-counter drugs or supplements to your routine. Make healthy lifestyle choices as recommended by your doctor, such as changing your diet, quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and reducing stress.
Filing a Lawsuit after Being Diagnosed with Kidney Failure
Many factors can contribute to kidney failure, and some patients are even eligible for legal action following their diagnosis. Dangerous and defective medications, such as Zantac and Truvada, have caused kidney failure, cancer, and other diseases in patients across the United States.
If you believe that your kidney failure was caused by a dangerous drug like Truvada, you could qualify for a lawsuit against the medication’s manufacturers. Through your claim, you could recover compensation for medical care, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other damages associated with your condition.
As soon as possible following your diagnosis, save all records related to your treatment, kidney failure, and medication use. Once you gather this information, contact a Zantac lawsuit attorney with experience handling defective drug lawsuits to discuss your case and strategize your next steps.