Stage 2 Kidney Disease: What to Expect

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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a progressive condition in which the kidneys are damaged and not able to function properly.

More than 37 million adults in the United States live with CKD.

While the most common causes of CKD are diabetes and high blood pressure, other causes include infections, genetic disorders, and heavy metal poisoning.

There are five stages of kidney disease, ranging from mild CKD (stage 1) to end stage CKD (stage 5). Your kidney function determines your current stage of kidney disease. This article will review the symptoms, complications, and treatments of stage 2 kidney disease.

healthcare provider checking kidneys

Wasan Tita / Getty Images

Stage 2 Kidney Disease

Your stage of kidney disease is based on a blood test called an eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate). This test measures how well your kidneys are working.

Stage 2 kidney disease is considered mild loss of kidney function and is when your eGFR is between 60 and 89.

While for most people, this means the kidneys are working well, if you have kidney disease, you'll have other signs of the condition, like protein in the urine or physical damage to the kidneys. Taking steps to slow down the progression of the disease is still important, even in this early stage.

Differences Between Stage 1 and Stage 2 Kidney Disease

The main difference is that in stage 1, the eGFR is 90 or above, instead of in the 60–89 range of stage 2. The kidneys are overall healthy and working properly in stage 1, but there are other signs of illness, like protein in the urine or mild physical damage to the kidneys.

Symptoms

Early-stage kidney disease may not have any noticeable symptoms. Even with mild damage, your kidneys may still be able to function well enough to do their job (mostly) well. This is why only about 10% of people with chronic kidney disease know they have it.

As the disease progresses and the kidneys cannot function properly, causing waste to build up, you might start to notice more and more symptoms.

For early-stage kidney disease, your disease is more likely to be clinically noticeable, meaning from lab work like blood and urine tests to check for protein in the urine (albuminuria) and your eGFR.

Side Effects

Even though you might not have any symptoms, the side effects of your early-stage kidney disease may mean that you have protein in your urine and an increased amount of creatinine in your blood and urine. These are signs that your kidneys are not working properly.

The goal is to slow down the progression of damage in order to delay kidney failure and to keep you as healthy as possible.

Treatment

Kidney disease cannot be cured, but there are treatments and lifestyle modifications that can be made. The goals of treatment in kidney disease are to:

  • Slow down disease progression
  • Delay the occurrence of kidney failure
  • Keep you as healthy as possible for as long as possible

Treatment and management of kidney disease can take various forms, as stated below, especially as your condition progresses.

Diet

What you eat and drink can affect your kidneys.

Making changes to your diet can:

  • Help protect the kidneys
  • Help manage your blood pressure and blood glucose (important as kidney disease progresses)
  • Delay or even prevent health issues related to kidney disease

Even though in stage 2 you may not be having any symptoms, it’s not too early to be proactive with your diet to be as healthy as possible.

Things you can do in stage 2 concerning your diet include:

  • Choose lean proteins.
  • Eat more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Avoid any added or excess salt and sugar.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Add healthy fats to your diet like olive oil, nuts, and seeds.

Lifestyle

Lifestyle behaviors that can be modified include:

  • Quitting smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Being physically active (if your provider says it’s OK) at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

This can help keep your blood sugar under control and help you maintain a healthy weight.

Medications

Medications may not be necessary at this stage. Talk with your healthcare provider about whether you need any medication. This will depend on other health issues you may have.

Life Expectancy

Life expectancy for those with kidney disease can vary, depending on a variety of factors, including:

  • Current age
  • Overall health
  • Comorbid (co-occurring) conditions
  • Lifestyle behaviors

Someone with an eGFR of 60 or more can have a life expectancy of anywhere from three to 44 or more years, depending on their individual factors.

Summary

The five stages of kidney disease can let you and your healthcare provider know how damaged your kidneys are at that time. This helps to guide treatment and management options.

The last stage, stage 5, is kidney failure. While stage 2 is early-stage kidney disease and symptoms and complications are mild, it is still important to take steps to treat and manage your condition, like making changes to your diet, lifestyle behaviors, and paying attention to any comorbid health conditions you may have that can worsen your kidney disease.

A Word From Verywell

While kidney disease is not curable, it is manageable and treatable. This can look different at each stage of chronic kidney disease, so it’s important to be seen by your healthcare provider and other treatment team members regularly. Your care team can create a treatment plan to help slow the progression of your disease and delay kidney failure as long as possible, keeping you healthy for longer.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is stage 2 kidney disease curable?

    In general, kidney disease is not curable. That being said, there are treatments and steps you can take to help slow down the progression of the disease. The overall goal of treatment and management is to delay kidney failure for as long as possible. You can still live a long life with kidney disease.

  • Is stage 2 kidney disease painful?

    Kidney failure itself is not painful. The complications it can cause throughout the body from a buildup of fluids or toxins is generally what causes pain or discomfort. In stage 2 kidney disease, the kidneys are still working relatively well, so the complications are unlikely to be significant enough to cause pain.

  • How long can you live with stage 2 kidney disease?

    There is no set amount of time you can expect to live with kidney disease, even in kidney failure. There are many different components to this, including age, overall health, lifestyle behaviors, and treatment decisions. For stage 2, life expectancy can range from a few years to 44 or more years.

8 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Causes of chronic kidney disease.

  3. American Kidney Fund. Stages of chronic kidney disease.

  4. National Kidney Foundation. 10 signs you may have kidney disease.

  5. National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Chronic kidney disease tests and diagnosis.

  6. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders. Managing chronic kidney disease.

  7. American Kidney Fund. Kidney disease stages 1 and 2.

  8. Neild GH. Life expectancy with chronic kidney disease: An educational review. Pediatr Nephrol. 2017;32(2): 243-248. doi:10.1007/s00467-016-3383-8