Most people in the early stage (CKD 1, 2, and 3a) hardly have any symptoms or only very unspecific ones, which makes CKD hard to detect.

However proper treatment during these early stages of CKD can prevent or at least slow down progression of the disease. And this is why it is so important to know your stage, the corresponding symptoms and what you can do.

Stage 1 CKD

At stage 1 CKD, the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is at a normal or increased level of 90 ml/min and above. Stage 1 is the mildest form of CKD and may pass by undetected because those affected do not experience any signs or symptoms.

Stage 2 CKD

A person with stage 2 CKD has kidney damage that causes a mild decrease in their glomerular filtration rate (GFR) to a level of 60-89 ml/min. Even at this stage, there are usually no symptoms to indicate that the kidneys are damaged.

Stage 3a CKD

A person with stage 3 CKD has moderate kidney damage. Stage 3 CKD is divided into stage 3a and stage 3b. In stage 3a, the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is decreased to a level of 45-59 ml/min. Even at this stage, the patient often does not experience any symptoms that indicate that the kidneys are damaged.


What should I know?

In the early stage it is very important to slow down the progression of CKD and to reduce the risk of other complications. During CKD stages 1, 2 and 3a, conservative treatment such as a healthy lifestyle, a special diet and medication may be enough to stop or at least slow down the progression. A dietician will help you to understand which foods to avoid and which are okay for you to eat. 

Your doctor will do everything to identify and treat the underlying renal disease. He will also prescribe medicines to help with problems such as high blood pressure and water retention. Hypertension can already occur at stage 1 CKD. Please see your doctor to check your blood pressure regularly.

What can I do?

The following preventive measures may help to protect your kidneys and preserve their function: 

  • Learn all you can about CKD and how to slow down its progression.
  • Visit your doctor on a regular basis.
  • Take all your medications as prescribed by your doctor. They are very important for your health and well-being. Especially in case of diabetes and/or high blood pressure be in control and follow the prescribed treatments.
  • Kidney disease may be caused by a hereditary disposition, which has to be explained to the doctor.
  • If you notice any changes in your urination pattern (e.g. changes in urine texture, difficulty in urinating), inform your doctor.
  • Review your medications to make sure that you are prescribed those which put the least strain on kidneys.
  • Eat healthy (see a dietician for specific recommendations).
  • Stop smoking.
  • Reduce your alcohol consumption.
  • Reduce extra weight.
  • Stay fit with regular physical exercises.
Related topics

In the late stage of CKD (3b, 4 and 5) the functioning of your kidneys is severely reduced.

Following a well-balanced nutrition is of high importance and can help in delaying the progress of the disease