Understanding Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 3: Symptoms, Treatment, and Lifestyle Management

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a progressive condition characterized by the gradual loss of kidney function over time. CKD is divided into several stages, with stage 3 being a crucial milestone in the disease progression. In this article, we will explore the specifics of chronic kidney disease stage 3, including its symptoms, treatment options, and lifestyle management strategies. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of CKD stage 3, individuals and their healthcare providers can work together to effectively manage the condition and improve long-term outcomes.

Overview of Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 3

CKD stage 3 is marked by a moderate decrease in kidney function, with an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) ranging from 30 to 59 milliliters per minute per 1.73 square meters. The kidneys’ ability to filter waste products, excess fluids, and toxins from the blood is impaired, leading to a buildup of waste and fluid in the body. Stage 3 is further divided into two sub-stages: 3A (eGFR of 45-59) and 3B (eGFR of 30-44), indicating the level of kidney function decline.

Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 3

In the early stages of CKD, symptoms may be subtle or absent. However, as stage 3 progresses, individuals may experience the following symptoms:

  1. Fatigue and weakness
  2. Fluid retention and swelling (edema), typically in the legs and ankles
  3. Changes in urine frequency and appearance
  4. Increased blood pressure
  5. Persistent itching
  6. Poor appetite and weight loss
  7. Difficulty concentrating and cognitive impairment
  8. Sleep disturbances
  9. Muscle cramps or twitches
  10. Bone pain or fractures due to mineral imbalances

It is important to note that not all individuals with stage 3 CKD will experience these symptoms, and their severity can vary.

Treatment Options for Chronic Kidney Disease Stage 3

The management of CKD stage 3 aims to slow the progression of the disease, prevent complications, and maintain overall health. Treatment options may include:

  1. Medications: Depending on the underlying cause and specific needs, medications may be prescribed to control blood pressure, manage blood sugar levels (if diabetic), lower cholesterol, and treat anemia or mineral imbalances.
  2. Diet and Fluid Restriction: A renal dietitian can help develop a personalized meal plan that focuses on reducing sodium, phosphorus, and potassium intake while ensuring adequate nutrition. Fluid intake may also be restricted to prevent fluid overload.
  3. Lifestyle Modifications: Quitting smoking, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing underlying conditions (such as diabetes and hypertension) can significantly improve kidney function and overall well-being.
  4. Monitoring and Regular Follow-up: Regular monitoring of kidney function, blood pressure, and other relevant parameters is essential. Follow-up visits with healthcare providers allow for adjustments to treatment plans as needed.
  5. Education and Support: Education about CKD, its progression, and self-care practices is crucial for individuals with stage 3. Support from healthcare professionals, support groups, and loved ones can provide emotional and practical assistance.

Lifestyle Management Strategies

In addition to medical interventions, individuals with CKD stage 3 can take proactive steps to manage their condition and promote kidney health. These strategies include:

  1. Hydration: Balancing fluid intake according to healthcare provider recommendations helps prevent dehydration and fluid overload.
  2. Healthy Eating: Adhering to a renal diet that limits sodium, phosphorus, and potassium while incorporating appropriate protein sources promotes kidney health.
  3. Medication Adherence: Taking prescribed medications as directed and discussing any concerns or side effects with healthcare providers is essential for managing CKD.
  4. Blood Pressure Control: Maintaining blood pressure within the target range (usually below 130/80 mmHg) is crucial in slowing the progression of CKD.
  5. Regular Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity, as advised by healthcare providers, helps maintain overall health, manage weight, and promote cardiovascular fitness.


Chronic kidney disease stage 3 is a critical phase in the progression of the condition, requiring close monitoring, proactive management, and collaboration between individuals and their healthcare teams. By understanding the symptoms, treatment options, and lifestyle management strategies associated with CKD stage 3, individuals can take an active role in their care, slow the disease progression, and maintain a better quality of life. Early detection, adherence to medical advice, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are vital in effectively managing chronic kidney disease stage 3.

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