Chronic renal failure can be divided into 5 stages. Patients on stage 4 renal failure have developed advanced kidney problems and it is very near to the end stage renal failure. If left untreated, illness conditions will continue to progress into the last stage and dialysis will be sought to sustain the patient’s life.
However, if patients seek timely and proper treatments, further deterioration will be prevented and patients can stay on this stage for many years with or without dialysis.
Stage 4 renal failure has severely reduced GFR (15-29ml/min), it is a very crucial period. Usually patients on 4th stage of renal failure need not to begin dialysis, but it is very necessary to have good preparation for dialysis because the illness can rapidly progress into stage 5 renal failure if it is not well controlled and treated.
The following are things that stage 4 renal failure patients can do to help prolong their life span, make them more comfortable and improve their life quality.
* Well control of high blood pressure
The majority of stage 4 renal failure patients will already have developed high blood pressure. The more kidney functions are lost, the more serious hypertension is. Poorly controlled high blood pressure can in turn worsen renal damages, therefore it is very important to lower high blood pressure and make it at a stable level.
If high blood pressure is the underlying cause of stage 4 renal failure, treating high blood pressure is often the first step to treat renal failure.
Treating high blood pressure can also lower the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular complications which often shorten the life span of renal failure patients.
* Low-salt and low-protein diets
When illness progresses into the 3th stage renal failure, patients will begin to limit the intake of protein, salt, water, phosphorus, potassium, etc. Low-salt diets can help relieve swelling and high blood pressure; low-protein diets can reduce the production of wastes and reduce burdens and strain to the kidneys so as to slow illness progression.
* Seek effective treatment to improve kidney functions
What stage 4 renal failure patients should do is not only slow illness progression and protect residual kidney functions but also should seek effective and timely treatments to reverse renal damages and improve kidney functions so that their life span can be extended to the hilt.
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