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Whether you have been recently diagnosed or your kidney disease has progressed, stage 2 chronic kidney disease (CKD) means you have mild kidney damage. You may still not have any symptoms or signs, but you still need to be proactive in order to slow down or halt disease damage and progression.

What is stage 2 chronic kidney disease?

If you have stage 2 CKD, your estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)—the measurement of how efficiently your kidneys are filtering your blood—has dropped below 90%. This means your eGFR will be between 60 and 89 (ml/min).

Your kidneys are generally still functioning well, but that function has been slightly reduced. As in stage 1 CKD, other abnormalities, such as higher levels of proteins and/or blood in your urine, indicate that reduced efficiency.

Doctor in a lab coat with a stethoscope holding a heart for high blood pressure and kidney disease
Keeping an eye on your blood pressure helps protect both your heart and your kidneys.
(This image is from Freepik.)

Moreover, much like stage 1, it is important in stage 2 to monitor and manage your:

  • blood pressure,
  • blood sugar,
  • weight, and
  • cholesterol. 

What are the symptoms of stage 2 CKD?

Because CKD is a progressive loss of kidney function, some sources refer to it as “chronic renal failure,” but this is somewhat of a misnomer. Renal failure, or kidney failure, does not occur until stage 5, which is the final stage of chronic kidney disease. Therefore, when you’re talking about stage 2 CKD, it can be confusing if you refer to it as “stage 2 renal failure.”

Stage 2 is considered an early stage of the disease, and it can last for years—even decades. If you are diagnosed early and act early, stage 2 CKD can typically be managed with medications and lifestyle changes. In doing so, this can also potentially prevent the disease from ever progressing to a later stage. 

Older couple sits outside and reads information about stage 2 ckd on a laptop with their dog next to them
You may feel fine, but it’s important to learn about any underlying health conditions and how to keep them under control, so they don’t further affect your kidneys.
(This image is from Freepik.)

The symptoms of stage 2 kidney disease are not much different from those of stage 1, which means you may not experience any noticeable symptoms. Your kidneys are able to still perform well even when they’re not functioning at 100% at this stage; this is why many are unaware they have kidney disease. 

Is this stage of kidney disease serious?

Stage 2 CKD is still considered mild in the overall progression of the disease, but it is more serious than stage 1. At this stage, it’s critical to make the dietary and lifestyle changes that your healthcare provider recommends. You must also take any necessary steps to manage related medical conditions that can complicate your kidney disease and cause faster disease progression if left unaddressed.

What causes stage 2 CKD?

If your kidney disease has progressed to stage 2, it may mean that you have an underlying related medical condition that is causing a decline in kidney function. Type 2 diabetes (diabetes mellitus) and high blood pressure are two such examples—and also two of the top causes of kidney disease.

Other related health issues may include the following:

  • Obesity 
  • Heart disease 
  • Lupus
  • Anemia
  • Family history of polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
Hamburger and apple illustrate bad and good diet for kidneys
Your diet is a lifestyle choice that affects your kidneys and can either help or hurt your kidney health and influence disease progression.
(This image is from Freepik.)

Some other reasons CKD may progress from stage 1 to stage 2 include acute kidney injury (AKI) and unhealthy lifestyle choices, like smoking, lack of exercise, and a poor diet. A poor diet is defined by a diet that is high in trans-fats, cholesterol, sugar, caffeine, and highly processed foods—and low in fruits, veggies, whole grains; too much protein, potassium, phosphorus) 

Can chronic kidney disease be reversed?

Studies show that kidney damage from some related conditions, such as AKI and hypertensive nephropathy, can be reversed. According to the most current research, however, chronic kidney disease is both progressive and irreversible. 

How long can you live with CKD stage 2?

As with stage 1 CKD, the life expectancy for stage 2 kidney disease depends upon your:

  • age,
  • sex,
  • underlying health issues, and
  • lifestyle choices.

Generally speaking, a 40-year-old man with stage 2 CKD can anticipate living an additional 30 years after diagnosis. Alternatively, a 40-year-old woman can expect to live another 34 years. As previously mentioned, not all cases progress beyond these early stages of chronic kidney disease. 

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