Is it possible to stay at CKD stage 3 or wi... - Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease

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Is it possible to stay at CKD stage 3 or will my kidneys keep getting worse?

Pappy58 profile image
34 Replies

I recently discovered I have stage 3 ckd, GFR 56. I’ve since made major changes to my diet while I wait to meet with a dietitian this week. My goal is to try a plant based diet. My kidneys were damaged by the use of NSAID’s because of injuries received while on deployment. I’m 60 years old, 145 lbs, fairly active in spite of my injuries and other problems. Can someone give me some good news or is it all doom and gloom from here? I’ve been feeling pretty down since I discovered this. I’ve hit a lot of speed bumps in the highway of life but this is one of the biggest so far.

34 Replies
Bassetmommer profile image
BassetmommerNKF Ambassador

HI Pappy,

The good news is you are doing the best things for your health. And yes, it is very possible to slow down the decline of your kidneys with all the modifications you are doing. I would like to say emphatically that you can stop the progression, but then there is no guarantee. But as others will respond, living with CKD is just I was at stage 3 for over nine years and I was not even aware of it. I was diagnosed last year at stage 4 and have been able to maintain and improve my labs with diet which is mostly plant based. I too took NSAIDs and other poorly prescribed drugs that increased my CKD issues.

We all understand that hearing the diagnosis of CKD is unnerving. But it is also the best thing to be aware at the stage you are in. Work with the dietician and keep healthy and you will see that this speed bump is actually a gift of chance to hold on to your health.

This is a link to a peer group for kidney disease education. It is free and a great service to set each patient with a phone mentor.

Thank you for your service. By getting educated on CKD you will continue to be a warrior.

Pappy58 profile image
Pappy58 in reply to Bassetmommer

Thank you for your reply and words of encouragement. My doctor never said anything to me except to stop taking Naproxen because it was affecting my kidneys. I feel like the VA doctors did me a great disservice by not discussing this with me. I discovered it by checking my labs. When I asked my PCP for a referral to a nephrologist he asked why. I pointed out my lab numbers and he responded that my kidneys are in excellent health. I have to wonder if that’s the same advice he would give to one of his loved ones.

Bassetmommer profile image
BassetmommerNKF Ambassador in reply to Pappy58

Hi Pappy,

I was just having a similar discussion this with a friend. I was at 3b for a very long time and the doctors were still PRESCRIBING Advil for my pain. The lack of doing anything medically by doctors is common because there is often nothing they can do for stages 1 -3, unless there is a underlying condition such as blood pressure and diabetes and then they focus on those. In most cases, early CKD is not symptomatic so it often goes undetected or treated.

If you have any questions about diet, we have a lot of people here who are doing plant based and modified diets and we love to share!

Pappy58 profile image
Pappy58 in reply to Bassetmommer

I’ve reading a lot about plant based diets and the health benefits for CKD patients. At first I was skeptical but after reading a couple of medical studies I’m sold on the idea. My wife isn’t very supportive of my diet changes so far. She doesn’t understand why I have to restrict certain foods. Most of the time I prepare my own meals but when she cooks she puts things together without asking about what I can and can’t eat.

Kbressler profile image
KbresslerNKF Peer Mentor in reply to Pappy58

Pappy could you share the references to the “medical Studies” you refer to. I have advocated for moderation in all aspects of kidney care but am always open to studying medical literature findings. Thanks in advance.

Pappy58 profile image
Pappy58 in reply to Kbressler

The National Kidney Foundation at has a full page dedicated to the benefits of plant based diets for kidney patents with several links at the bottom of the page and info on how to get started.

Another study I read was posted by Medscape and endorsed my numerous doctors. Medscape has had their reputation tarnished in recent years by publishing some studies that turned out to be untrue. I'm unable to find links to any other studies I read.

Kbressler profile image
KbresslerNKF Peer Mentor in reply to Pappy58

I am waiting to see Published medical literature. I still think that every person is so different and that moderation is best for me.

Pappy58 profile image
Pappy58 in reply to Kbressler

Here's a link to a number of studies related to CKD and diet. I haven't had a chance to sort through them and read any yet but a couple caught my eye. I'll be going back to read them when I find the time.

Trill profile image
Trill in reply to Pappy58

Same way I found out. I am Stage 3a with GFR of 55. UK GPs do treat Stage 3 in house - never had any referrals. I stopped putting salt on my food, know I should stop eating salty food as well and mostly do, and am not a meat-eater except occasional chicken and fish. I had the worry too, and the more I read about what I was not supposed to eat, the worse I became, but I have been in the GFR 50s in all the 10 years I have had CKD so I am going to see what the next annual blood test shows from these measures.

Dangermom13 profile image

While it's a shock at first, stage 3 is manageable by the diet you are doing, especially if you follow the rules about amount of protein, sodium, potassium, etc. You might not even need dialysis. My nephrologist believes the US has way too many patients on dialysis compared to other industrialized nations, mostly for corporate profits. I'm doing the same as you, similar causes, mainly ADVIL, and I've improved all my numbers.

Best to you and keep your positive thoughts.

kungfudude profile image

Pappy, I understand your concern. I asked essentially the same thing back in January, when I received my worst readings ever - gfr 38 creat 1.86. I'm also in your age group, turning 58 in 3 weeks and though born with only one functioning kidney, still very active. Since January, I educated myself on sodium levels in food, I limited myself to 2000 mg/day, reduced my red meat and potassium. All of this helped my lose 12 lbs as well.

Now 3 months later, my new blood work results were even better than I hoped - gfr > 60, creat 1.21. So I am hopeful that my January results was an anomaly due to my not realizing how much salt I was consuming.

Pappy58 profile image
Pappy58 in reply to kungfudude

Wow! Awesome work! Good for you. Keep up the good work and live long and well.

GeeMoney profile image
GeeMoney in reply to kungfudude

Wow! 38 to 60 I didn't even think that was possible!! I'm at 47 and would be over the moon just to get back to 50. Stay well!!

christianlove profile image

Dear Pappy,

I am the wife of a CKD Patient. My husband was diagnosed last year with stage 3 CKD with eGFR 35 due to hypertension and taking pain reliever drugs. He is in his 40's. The good news is that kidney function is reversible as long as you do the right thing especially watching your food intakes. Once we became aware of his health condition, I started researching the best foods that can help boost his kidneys, and other activities that can help. My husband sought the help of a certified homeopathic doctor. What the doctor did is the colon cleansing of my husband for the purpose of absorbing well the nutrients from the food he takes. Then the diet played a very important role. The vegetables and fruits that I usually gave him are cabbage, cauliflower, green leafy vegetables, bell pepper, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, apples, garlic, fish instead of meat, red/purple grapes. I cook his meal on a very low sodium and if possible stir fried in olive oil. I usually gave him fruits and veggies just like the strawberries, blueberries, cucumber and apple fresh from the blender. In less than 5 months, his kidney function went up from 35 to 53. His creatinine went down to almost normal. This was just a testimony that it is possible to improve one's health if we are willing to give up on unhealthy lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits. Once a person is diagnosed with stage 3 CKD, you should never eat red meats. It is safer to obtain protein from fish and the egg white, do not eat the eggyolk, and skinless chicken breast. The alternative source of protein like fish should be eaten 2-3x a week only. As long as you continue with your healthy diet, exercise suited for your age, obtaining vit. D from morning sunlight, a positive attitude and a prayer will keep you going through your battle. Hope this information helps you. God bless you.

Best regards,

Christian love

Pappy58 profile image
Pappy58 in reply to christianlove

That's really awesome news about your husband. I hope he continues improving. I'm trying to make the transition slowly. It's a huge lifestyle change for me and my wife isn't taking it very well. I'm a chef by trade and we love to eat. I went to school at the Culinary Institute of America. I love life more than I love food though.

htpi1543 profile image
htpi1543 in reply to christianlove

Hi Chritian love

Thank you for sharing good info

My diet is also plant based and almost vegan. Once in a while I will have small piece of chicken (1 oz or so) and a glass of beer in 2 weeks with friends. Is this ok.

My GFR IS 19, creatinine 3.0

My creatinine has improved slightly

From 3.3 to 3.0


Siobhancatherine profile image
Siobhancatherine in reply to christianlove

Hi Christine. Thank you for sharing this story. My father has the exact same issue, gfr is 38, no one has ever mentioned diet. He also has high blood pressure and meds are controlling it, to an extent. My mother and i have been researching a diet plan for dad, but honestly, urs is the first post i can actually relate to. We are praying with our new diet regime, things will improve. Siobhan

kumar2333 profile image

Hi Peppy58,

I don't think u will end up with dialysis

For u r age the GFR is very Gud

Even in worst case it will take 15 years for u to reach dialysis state

apopnj01 profile image

Hi Pappy,

I too was taking advil pm abd eating large amounts of meat every week. for sleep every night for few years (53 yrs old) and my egfr came in at 1.5 . Dr was to to concerned since all my blood work and BP was on point. Through this site i made some lifestyle changes by learning what others were saying. My egfr went from 1.5 to normal limits now - 1.3. Lost 25 lbs , exercise about 3-4 times per week and eat red meat sparingly per week. I would try to cut it down to about 16-18 ounces of red meat per week mostly less combined with other proteins fish and chicken. I do not have potassium or sugar issues yet. All blood work is in the middle but through watching what i eat, those are cut down as well. As someone said below, through diet and exercise you can halt progress most likely or slow it down way much where no need for dialysis or transplant. Foe me personally, it was a Godsend i found out i had low egfr so i can make lifestyle changes. I know this is a year late but best of luck. Godspeed.

Pappy58 profile image
Pappy58 in reply to apopnj01

I joined a FB group called Natural Kidney Journey and followed their food protocol very closely for three months then relaxed my diet back to a more normal food plan but I'm still careful about what I eat. I control my protein portions and drink a lot of water. About 100 oz per day. Amazingly my eGFR went back up to 73. All my labs are well within range. I'm not able to do much in the way of exercise because of injuries so controlling my diet is my best defense. There are many success stories in the group. Many people have been able to get off dialysis following the Natural Kidney Journey way of life. It's not for everyone because it requires a commitment but it's a much healthier way to live.

apopnj01 profile image
apopnj01 in reply to Pappy58

that is fantastic -73 is back to almost normal - yes plenty of water something i was not doing either 100 ounces sounds about right - almost 3 liters - keep up the great work!!

GeeMoney profile image
GeeMoney in reply to Pappy58

Wow! That's great. 73 would be a dream for me!

Appolonia profile image
Appolonia in reply to Pappy58

Hi, I am also a member of Natural Kidney Group on Facebook. It is a private group & you have to join it to become a member. This is a great group & yes there restrictions, but they are only in place to help each person reach for their best kidney health. Check it out, The Admins & Mods are wonderful,caring people. Some really great recipe ideas on there too.

Skeptix profile image
Skeptix in reply to Appolonia

What's the bones of the diet? Low protein? Vegan/vegetarian? Anything left field?


Pappy58 profile image
Pappy58 in reply to Skeptix

It's a plant based diet that is tailored to the specific needs of kidney patients. For many years it was widely accepted that kidneys only got worse with time and there was no hope for getting better but with plant based diets recent research has proven to be very promising. Many patients following a plant based diet have successfully been able to even stop dialysis, diabetes drugs, and blood pressure medication. I was very skeptical in the beginning but after reading numerous articles and following the diet myself I became convinced of the benefits of a plant based diet. It's not for everyone but worth a try.

Skeptix profile image
Skeptix in reply to Pappy58

Thanks. I wonder where it differs from a lowor very low protein + ketoacid) diet that's plant based? One which considers kidney issues like PRAL, potassium, inflammation and other such things.

I'm on such a diet and have booked good improvement in a few months. Therefore interested in the thinking behind this one in the event it has more things to say. I agree diet can help. And I would agree the 'forever in decline' paradigm might be false.

Where do I get info on this diet?

Pappy58 profile image
Pappy58 in reply to Skeptix

Request to join the Facebook group Natural Kidney Journey”. Once accepted to the group you’ll be given full access to the recipes, dietary guidelines, etc. It seems very restrictive but the results are amazing if followed.

RoxanneKidney profile image

If you do not have protein in your urine, you are probably pretty good to go as long as you eat right. Protein is a big predictor of mortality.

Appolonia profile image
Appolonia in reply to RoxanneKidney

What renal function test indicates protein in urine? I am still learning as you can tell. Thank you for your reply.

Skeptix profile image
Skeptix in reply to Appolonia

Urine is analysed for either protein or albumin (a specific protein) and creatinine ( a waste product).

The amount of protein or albumin escaping is an indicator of kidney health (you shouldn't be leaking protein/albumin).

And you can also calculate the ratio of protein/creatinine (UPCR) or albumin/creatinine (UACR). This to obtain an indicator which is independent of things like hydration which would otherwise skew the figure.

RoxanneKidney profile image
RoxanneKidney in reply to Appolonia

yeah, for whatever reason it is not commn to check in USA. It is in Japan tho. Not blood protein (which, if low is also a mortality indicator) but urine protein because micro levels WILL lead to macro levels, and again, the protein in the urine is the speed of the train on the Renal End stage progression.

doubleeagle profile image

Miami, Fla was the home of my youth. I attempted playing professional golf but hit a brick wall at age 25. I married my college sweetheart and began a teaching career in Scarsdale/White Plains NY. At age 42 realized that Frank Sinatra was right about NY and moved to Atlanta to be close to family. I'm 72, 2022, and still work 4 days a week coaching and fitting/repairing clubs here at Crystal Lake GC.

I'm a healthy eater but never exercise, except I'm on my feet 12 hours a day. My numbers have been around 50, 3a, for 7 years. Hopefully that is equal to having one healthy kidney which is what kidney donors have.

My faith in a sovereign God who promised me eternity with Him through Jesus is so comforting that I almost never worry. We all have an expiration date and I just try to share my faith and make wise decisions in all areas of life.

Thanks for reading, and may God bless you,


Skeptix profile image
Skeptix in reply to doubleeagle

"We all have an expiration date.."

We do indeed (we call it a "use by" date over in Ireland. After that date the product just rots).

We have a "best before" date as well. At 58, I'm starting to realise that although there's some life in me yet, that date has indeed passed.


RoxanneKidney profile image

You could stay like that for years. Most people with ckd died of other causes.

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