CKD or aging kidneys?: I am 68 years old... - Early CKD Support

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CKD or aging kidneys?

Maalaa profile image

I am 68 years old . In mid oct my eGFR was accidentally discovered to be 43 . Retest in middec, early jan and mid feb showed eGFR 49, 55 and 62 respectively . Kidney lengths are 8.7 and 8 cm . My GP and gastroenterologist ( whom I consult for silent acid reflux) say that for my age my kidneys are functioning normally but my nephrologist says that I have CKD but does not offer any dietary advice. I am confused. I feel absolutely fine except some symptoms of silent acid reflux bother me when I have oranges, guava,onion, garlic, Coffee , chocolate, mint , banana etc . Look forward to your opinions. Thanks

27 Replies

Since aging is one of the contributors to CKD, along with diabetes and high blood pressure, it would be safe to say that you do have CKD. The GFR does fluctuate. You did not mention your Creatinine level. That is another number that is important. It would be helpful for you to begin to research things in your diet that could make your kidneys worse. Oranges, chocolate and bananas are foods that I have not touched since being identified as having CKD in November. It is a long journey, but, even if your numbers are reasonably high right now, you want to do all that you can to protect your kidneys and to preserve function. If you search the topics on this list, you will find much helpful information, and, I am sure that others will also respond.

Someone asked me to share my story, so I did. This may give you more information to help you.

--On October 2nd,2017, my PC referred me to a nephrologist. This PC had just began to care for me in June, since my previous PC quit the practice. The new doctor had begun to track kidney function when she first saw me. I again saw her in Sept. and in Oct., she referred me.

--On November 1st, 2017, I was seen by a nephrologist who informed me that I had CKD, stage 3. He told me to take my blood pressure every day, to drink more water, to stop taking celebrex (which I had been taking for a very long time), to have an ultrasound and to come back in a month. And, that is all. I saw him again at the end of November, after the 24 hour urine collection, and at that time, he did not tell me much more.

--So, being who I am, I went home and googled and read and googled and read. I also began compiling a list of questions, for the P.C., for the nephrologist, for whomever would listen. I did not get a lot of answers. I then requested a meet with a dietiTian, and after calling two more times, I did get a referral. That did not tell me much, as she was a diabetic dietitian and not very knowledgeable about kidney disease. She gave me a bunch of sheets that she had printed out from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and that was it.

--Through my searching, I sound a lot of information, this site,, and various so-called experts. I have to say that there is a lot of information out there, a lot of far out advice, some quacks (as far as I am concerned), quite a bit of out-dated information, and some sources that I am willing to follow, while at the same time trying to determine if this is the best thing for me. For the most part, anything before 2015 might be out-dated.

--Resources that have helped me:

- The doctor's kidney diets : a nutritional guide to managing and slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease / Mandip S. Kang, MD, FASN;

-Renal Diet Cookbook for the Newly Diagnosed: The Complete Guide to Managing Kidney Disease and Avoiding Dialysis

by Susan Zogheib

These were the first two books that I read and used. The first was from the library and I purchased the second.

-I have used the DaVita site, but I also check the amounts of sodium, potassium and phosphorous in the recipes, and some I decide not to use;

-Every new entree that I plan on preparing, I list the name of the entree, and then either follow it with ckd, or precede it with renal friendly or kidney friendly. This is time consuming, but I then have a pretty good idea of what is going into my mouth and through my kidney.

-One of the names that came up often through my searches is Mathea Ford, RD/LD. I have found that her books have been quite helpful. The ones that I have so far are:

-Living with Chronic Kidney Disease--Pre-Dialysis;

-Create your Own Kidney Diet Plan (which I have done in order to track sodium, potassium, phosphorous and protein, as well as carbs and calories);

-and her last book that I purchased, The Kidney Friendly Diet Cookboook.

From my various searches, I have various lists that I will get back to or that I found important. They are:

--Links regarding CKD;

--Food sites, ckd;

--New to Kidney Disease--questions to ask;

--Healthy Foods for People with Kidney Disease;

--Stopping Kidney Disease;

--Snacks for a Kidney Diet.

The last things that I have started to do is delve into my drug interactions list and I am taking a Kidney Smart class this Tuesday. Oh, I have also changed my nephrologist and am still not totally happy with the new one. I may give her one more appointment, or, depending on what I find out on Tuesday, I may not.

I too have used the books by Mathea Ford and find them helpful, and also helps deal with CKD. Sounds like you are on top of things and being proactive.

MarBea profile image
MarBea in reply to lowraind

Love, love, love, love your attitude!

I try to be on top of things. I have quickly decided that if I don't take steps to help myself, no one else is going to.

Suggest you look into a good learning university hospital with good reviews for nephrologists. With CKD you may not feel any symptons until late stage 4. Learn more about a kidney friendly diet. What you are eating is not only not good for heartburn or reflux, they are also not good for trying to help your kidneys. You should always read food labels. Stay low on sodium, potassium, foods and drinks with phosphoric acid such as any Colas/Pepsie. Limit dairy. Eat more vegtables, quality protein but best with chicken fish. Limit red meat. No JUNK food at all.Make sure to get any high BP down to normal. It kills kidneys.

Learn as much as you can about CKD. Google Davita for diets. A lot of good info. Also Google Lee Hull Kidney. Maintain good but not very rigorus exercise as many days a week as possible.

I am in early stage 4 and feel fine although I progressed from creatinine 1.5 to 2.1 over more than 10 years. I do all the above I suggest for you. What you want to do is slow the progression if possible.Many people have no idea that they have a kidney issue unless they get blood tests with a good doctor.

Good luck.

vinadhun2 profile image
vinadhun2 in reply to motolas

I am 72 year mail. Have never taken any blood test in my life. First time in Dec19 and all my parameters are normal. No B.P., no sugar, No cholesterol problems, no protein in Urine. Sonography tests are normal, including doppler sonography of kidneys. The only villain is Creatinine which is at 1.90. Can anyone throw some light

motolas profile image
motolas in reply to vinadhun2

I will try to get back to you tomorrow with some questions and suggestions.

vinadhun2 profile image
vinadhun2 in reply to motolas

That will great

vinadhun2 profile image
vinadhun2 in reply to motolas

Let me give you some additional inputs:

I have been working out in gym since 25 years. I kept on taking whey protein off and on.In the month of December 19; I had taken whey protein and another supplement called glutamine. I had stopped taking these from mid January.

I used to do weight training three days in a week and cardio exercises 3 days.

So in short had taken the supplements from November till mid January.

vinadhun2 profile image
vinadhun2 in reply to vinadhun2

Further I am not very muscular person.

I am 5ft.4inch tall and weight is 59kg.

I am lean

motolas profile image
motolas in reply to vinadhun2

Seems that you have received some advice from others. Is that correct?

vinadhun2 profile image
vinadhun2 in reply to motolas

Not clear

What do you mean?

motolas profile image
motolas in reply to vinadhun2

Sorry. On this site I thought you had received some advice. If that is not true let me know and I will respond.

vinadhun2 profile image
vinadhun2 in reply to motolas

No specific advice received

Please give your valuable advise

motolas profile image
motolas in reply to vinadhun2

Get back to you few hrs.

motolas profile image
motolas in reply to vinadhun2

Sorry for the delay.

I will give you some questions/info but may have to get back to you later if you feel necessary.

Now that you have blood info and tests, I see all are ok except for creatinine. Are you now under the care of a nephrologist? Any advice from him/her?

Have you been taking any NSAIDS (Ibuprofen, ie Advil) for pain regularly as they are contraindicated for CKD. Acetaminophen is ok.

Are you on any prescribed medication? Some do affect ability of kidneys to metabolize.

As you know, every case of CKD may be different, so advice may not provide an answer.

As noted previously, many people have CKD without knowing and could be taking supplements or pain meds without knowing they have a problem, particularly when regular blood tests are not taken, which appears to be so in your case.

Your BMI is in range. Would keep it that way.

Moderate exercise is good.

Having CKD, recommendations are to restrict protein to about 30 g /day, eat vegetables and fruit daily.

Best advice is to read as much info re CKD understanding, reiterating each case is different.

Not sure, if any of this is helpful to you.


Since your tests were negative, are any famly members with CKD?

When is your next blood test?

Suggest low protein night before test as well as no exercise

vinadhun2 profile image
vinadhun2 in reply to motolas

Thanks for taking time out to respond.

I have met nephrologist once.

He is also not able to identify any specific cause.i have never taken pain killers over continuous duration. May be sometimes.

What I had taken for long was capsule for constipation called Senna.currently I am taking around 50gm of protein per day.

Regarding CKD in family,frankly I am not aware even if it was there.

Any other suggestion or advice welcome

vinadhun2 profile image
vinadhun2 in reply to motolas

One observation:

One of the kidney has mild (slight) shrinkage.

This nephrologist says is not considerable and nothing to worry

motolas profile image
motolas in reply to vinadhun2


Hi, Just want to make this short and sweet. Stage 3a & 3b is really nothing to panic about. I had a kidney removed in 2014 so naturally I am stage 3a or 3b. I have really not change anything but joined WW and trying to get to a normal weight. I feel great I get out and exercise and I am 76. I kind of not eat too much protein and plenty of fruits and veggies. Check out This may give you some peace of mind. Yes I do go to my kidney doctor every 6 months. Try to relax. Enjoy !! Buddygramma

Hi Maalaa, listen to what your body is telling you, if you find certain foods give you acid reflux issues, stop consuming them. I had the same issue, and the drug I was prescibed Omeprazole for reflux, actually caused my kidney function to drop severely. So rather than need to take a drug that's causing more harm than good, it's better to adjust your diet. I read a book by Dr Jonathan Aviv called The Acid Watcher diet and this was a revelation. He gives you guidance on what to eat to get your oesophagus back to good health. Foods such as coffee, tea, tomatoes, raw onions and garlic, alcohol, chocolate etc cause the oesophagus sphincter to weaken allowing stomach acid to bubble up into the oesophagus causing pain and damage. You kidney function does deteriorate with age, the Nephrologist told me this. Mine was 60 egfr when I was 60 years old and the doctors didn't bother to tell me about this or give me any advice. I'm now 68 and my function is 35egfr but that's due to the omeprazole. My brother had his tested and was about 76 egfr, he's 71 years old so very lucky, my husband is 69 and his function is about the same as his age, both brother and husband feel well and have no side effects that they know about. Unless you kidney function is about 100 egfr you have a level of kidney disease - if you look on the NHS web side there's lots of information about the disease - if you are at in the UK that is. If not, just do a search on the internet for egfr function rates. Good luck with looking at a diet that helps you back to good health.

Maalaa....Hello! I am 70 years old, my doctor is 'okay' with my 50 GFR maintains at that level, but I do watch it all the time....take care

Thanks for your reply. Do you take normal diet or diet with low protein, low salt , phosphorus and potassium?

The renal nutritionist on my kidney doctor's staff told me to avoid consuming everything you have listed except bananas. I don't know about guava.

Soojai profile image
Soojai in reply to jaykay777

Mom's nutritionist suggested bananas or sweet potatoes for breakfast but seeing other responses here makes me doubt if my mom can really include these food in her diet. (She's 60 y.o and diagnosed with CKD stage 3)


Well, several of those things you mention about your diet are promoters of GERD, like onion and chocolate and coffee. You might want to cut back on some of them. Your last kidney value puts you in the normal range. That is somewhat of an arbitrary number. Your other values in the renal panel as well as your urinalysis will make the condition clearer.

Docs often do not think that Stage 2 CKD is anything to worry about. I don't agree. You need to start monitoring your blood values more often and adjust your diet to be more kidney friendly. I would also seek out a renal dietitian for diet advice.

I would also beware of taking stomach meds for the GERD as these have to be adjusted for those with CKD and can, for some, be damaging to the kidneys, esp. PPI drugs and even Zantac. Use them as little as possible and try to find non-drug help with the GERD. If you've had it a long time, you might request an upper GI endoscopy to check on the health of your esophagus.

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