CKD or Just aging
Hi this is my first post on this site. I have recently been diagnosed with stage 3A CKD. My gfr ranging from 51 to 58. My question is have I really got CKD or at 75 yes old is it just a normal aging process.
Everyone's condition can have different factors for diagnosis. I am 76 year old male, and was diagnosed 2 years ago at close to same levels as you by a GFR test. My Doctor put me on a renal diet and exercise routine. So far the eGFR numbers have slowed down in progression. I would definitely ask the Doctor for an explanation on diagnosis or lack thereof. One has to be pro-active for health care. Welcome to a good forum for information and support.
Thanks orange city for your reply. I am due another blood test so will be interested to see results as I have amended my diet ie no red meat etc. I just wondered if a reduction in kidney function was a normal result of aging
Age might play a part. Do not know if normal aging is a cause of CKD? Know many my age with no Kidney problems. Have read that Kidneys can shrink as we age.
Yes, normal aging is one of the causes of CKD.
Welcome to a great site with wonderful people.
I totally agree with Orange City ! Part of the job of a quality physician is to explain all labs, conditions and make suggestions in layman's terms.
Make a list of questions and concerns and bring them to your appointments and ask. I bring a small spiral notebook with me as well and note what is said in review for the next appointment.
Your question about CKF is an excellent one, Freddie. If you recently saw your doctor and you are wondering because it was not discussed, give him/ her a call and request an answer. Why sit and wonder?
Being proactive puts your mind at ease.
You are among friends here, please continue to let us know how you are doing.
We are the tap of the keyboard away!
Freddie, as one renal consultant explained to me some years ago, the eGFR test was requested by the Government to be routinely carried out to determine whether how much reducing function was due to a disease process and how much was due to an ageing process. I queried with him why it should be referred to as a disease (chronic kidney disease) when it didn’t sound like a disease as such. He explained that the Americans named it as such and we “had to live with it”! I have read that as we age our kidney function can reduce by one or 2% pa. The important gauge is that whatever initial stage we are diagnosed with is monitored from the outset to ensure that the reading remains stable. If it is found to be dropping consistently, further investigation should be carried out to look for a possible cause. We had friends for dinner on Saturday and one of them mentioned that she had just been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. When I asked what her eGFR was, as newly diagnosed and in her 70’s, I expected her to say somewhere in the 50’s; however, it was 42. I then asked if an appointment for a repeat blood test had been arranged to which she said she was just asked to return one year later for the usual annual check. This is not good enough - the GP should at least have arranged a repeat test within a couple of months to check that it wasn’t continuing on a downward spiral in which case she should be referred to a renal consultant.
I’m not a medic, just a CKD patient (eGFR 33 at last reading) and a sole kidney since having the other removed over 60 years ago. My function has reduced from 58 some 10 years ago - resistant high blood pressure and a dreadful intolerance to medication plus UTIs over the last 12 months not helping.
I do hope this has helped to answer your question.
Unfortunately, all doctors are not on the same page with CKD. Because some see it as a natural result of aging, and say that nothing can be done about the numbers decreasing, they direct their patients to go along as though nothing is wrong. I am more inclined to go along with those who know that what we eat and drink contributes to declining numbers and that I can be active in preventing those declines. If I can do something now, to protect my kidney, I will, even if it means not having some of my favorite foods.
No, I agree not all doctors are on the same page with CKD, or with many other conditions come to that, They are ‘General’ Practitioners after all and can’t be expected to be experts at everything “General”. But this is why there are consultants out there who are trained and experienced in the why’s and wherefore’s of specific conditions. Of course, the GPs do not need to refer patients diagnosed at the higher eGFR levels within the stage CKD3.....as long as they are MONITORING the patient. As one GP said to a friend soon after the eGFR blood test was introduced, “the Government has opened a can of worms in introducing this new test” as he had loads of patients who, shocked, at their new diagnosis had rushed off to renal consultants for reassurance.!
When I said doctors, I also meant nephrologists. My new one is of the opinion that I should limit salt and keep my blood pressure under control, but she does not think I need to do anything else. This is after I changed nephrologists because my first one told me I had CKD...and nothing more. I am going to the Kidney Smart class on March 13th, and then I will decide what I want to do regarding changing again. Also, I am awaiting results from my last blood test to see what the results indicate.
I did finally get some numbers from my last tests--Creatinine 1.4; GFR between 35-40. In my opinion, I should have been referred before my numbers got this low, and we should be more pro-active.
I had a GP Doctor once who said my conditions just due to aging and nothing recommended. Kidney decline was not discussed. You are right some Doctors see it as aging but not a chronic conditions that needs some remediation.
Well put! Please take good care of yourself! It is the doctor's responsibility to provide the patient with all information, diagnosis and a plan, not their choice.
Proactivity is the key to better health.
Probably CKD as a part of aging. Main contributors to CKD: diabetes; high blood pressure; aging.
I think as we age there is some decrease in kidney function, but I wouldn't expect that much. I think only a nephrologist will be able to determine what the cause of your kidney function. My 94 year old mother-in-law has a gfr in the 60's. She does not drink enough fluids throughout the day. Doctor said her CKD is due to her age, lack of activity and not drinking enough.
You need to find out from your doctor what is going on with your case and there may be things you can do to prevent your numbers from getting worse. Best of luck.
Thanks for all your replies. Local GP just seem to fairly carefree about the diagnosis
I think if you are really concerned you should start by talking with your doctor's nurse. I know my primary's nurse is a wealth of info for me. If she doesn't answer your questions, make an appointment with a nephrologist. If you need a referral, your primary's nurse should be able to help with that. I would advise that, even just for your own peace of mind..
18 years post transplant, my monthly labs don't show what my GFR is. Just shows that it is less than 60. Nephrologist looks at creatinine (normal 0.5 - 1.3) and BUN (shows if dehydrated) to monitor my function. What was your creatinine and BUN? Even before my transplant, doctor was more concerned with these, rather than GFR.
My last creatinine level was 1.08 I don't understand how they then get an egfr of 58
Freddie, when I was first diagnosed with CKD3, with an eGFR of around 58, my creatinine was also normal. So you may find that if your eGFR was to reduce any further, the creatinine would correspondingly rise. Just a thought.
Use goggle for gfr calculation
There Is a GFR calculator on the Davita.com website. Check it out
Can't help you there, I am not sure either. I know GFR is suppose to show how well your kidneys are filtering your blood..But a creatinine of 1.08 is still in the normal range. Do you know what previous creatinine labs showed? If it is going up, could be a problem? I know they really worry when it reaches 1.5. If my creatinine, which is usually 0.9, goes up by 0.2 - 0.3, so if mine were 1.1 - 1.2 - my nephrologist would repeat the lab work. If it was still showing the increase he would order more tests.
So for you to know once and for all, I would still advise you see a nephrologist.
They try to say you’re old so what - but a lowered GFR means you are at risk for acute injuries to kidney from things other people can tolerate - so I’m a researcher and will say that making changes and protecting kidney is worthy at your age - Meds and procedures and toxics are very much more risky when your GFR is lower. Just be more pristine in your diet -don’t tolerate junk food gmo and pesticides - clean diet will offer many gifts
Thanks everyone for all the helpful and interesting replies. I think the message is to be proactive with regard to diet and exercise and to questions my GP.
Read as much as possible from internet. Search for ckd publications. Some books available. Search Lee Hull kidney
My primary told me I had Stage 3 kidney disease, a few months later she said I was fine, A few months after that, she said my kidneys are terrible and wanted me to go to a nephro. So I did and he told me straight out that mine is from years of Metformin and prescription anti-inflammatories! Oh! And that I will soon need to start dialysis. THEN my primary lost some of my blood results, actually accusing me of not getting the labs done! So after nagging her about how awful I feel she FINALLY sent new orders and I have been severely anemic for months!!! She was away, then back, etc. and basically screwed up, but rather than simply re order them, first she thought I didn't get them done! So that's how I know she lost them!
I can relate to you. I have found that I have to read and educate myself on understanding blood test. I have stage 3 kidney disease and a few months ago started feeling really fatigued, hair falling out and generally not well. I changed kidney doctor after 8 yrs. due to the fact that he never told me that I had high uric acid levels. I now have gout. On top of that I was sent by this new dr. For iron serum test and found I’m low in iron. Started feraheme infusions 3 weeks ago, and feel like a new person. Energy is back, sleeping well, and hair stopped falling out. It’s really scary how many specialists miss the proper diagnosis,by not reading results properly or listening to the patients complaints on how they are feeling. Now I sit with my blood test results and look up what they mean. We have to be our own advocates.
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