The difference between CKD, Stage 3 Kidney Disease, and C3G

Though kidney disease is estimated to affect 31 million people across the U.S., the different terms surrounding this common condition still remain a source of confusion. Chronic kidney disease (CKD), Stage 3 kidney disease, and C3G all share similarities, both in name and impact, but understanding how they relate to one another can help to make things more clear.

CKD is short for the general term chronic kidney disease, which can occur for a variety of reasons. Stage 3 kidney disease is any type of CKD that has progressed to the third stage of severity. While C3G is a type of kidney disease as well, it is extremely rare and must be caused specifically by damage to the glomeruli of the kidneys.

Below, we share details about each one of these conditions — this way, if you or a loved one is impacted by a type of CKD, you can better understand the diagnosis and potential treatment options available.

CKD vs. Stage 3 kidney disease vs. C3G

What is CKD?

CKD is a condition that impacts more than one out of every seven American adults and is a leading cause of death in the U.S. It occurs when the kidneys sustain damage that harms their ability to filter excess fluid and waste from the blood, which can lead to health problems throughout the body. 

CKD can impact a person’s health in many ways — it can cause anemia, an increase in infections, a loss of appetite, depression, and more. However, because it does not cause symptoms in the early stages, many people do not know they have CKD until symptoms become significant.

What is Stage 3 kidney disease?

Stage 3 kidney disease, also known as Stage 3 CKD, is a term used to indicate how far CKD has progressed in an individual. Many people only discover that they have CKD once it has advanced to Stage 3, as that is when symptoms often begin to appear.

Indicators of Stage 3 CKD include mild to moderate kidney damage, high blood pressure, anemia, calcium deficiency, and protein in the urine. While CKD cannot typically be cured once it progresses to Stage 3, there are still treatment options and lifestyle changes that are likely to prevent CKD from advancing even further.

What is C3G?

C3G, also known as Complement 3 Glomerulopathy, is a rare type of kidney disease estimated to impact just 1 to 2 million people worldwide. It differs from other types of kidney disease, such as CKD and Stage 3 Kidney Disease, because it is the result of a specific type of kidney damage and cannot have multiple causes.

C3G occurs when the body’s complement system becomes overactive, causing C3 complement proteins to be broken down and trapped by the glomeruli of the kidneys, which can lead to damage. Because C3G is rare and caused by a very specific event within the body, it can only be diagnosed through a kidney biopsy.

Regardless of the type of kidney disease someone is diagnosed with, it is a condition that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. However, for patients living with kidney disease, exploring treatment options such as clinical trials can be an ideal way to take an active role in your medical journey. If you’d like to learn more about research opportunities for individuals with kidney disease, click the button below.