Stage 4 CKD at 30 y/o. ZERO symptoms. - Early CKD Support

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Stage 4 CKD at 30 y/o. ZERO symptoms.

smellicusx13 profile image
smellicusx13

Good day everyone. I was recently diagnosed with stage 4 CKD. I’m only 30. I’m freaked out here. My GFR is 20 right now. Im going in for a rental biopsy to find out if the condition is reversible. Shouldn’t I be freaking dying right now. I’ve researched all of the symptoms associated with CKD-4 and nothing. I feel perfectly fine, and have had a nephrologist look at my extremities and everything is normal. No swelling. Sleep is normal. No nausea, fatigue, shortness of breat, bad breath etc. Anyone experience this?

16 Replies

Hi - I specialise in renal health as a nutritionist and yoga teacher as well as a kidney patient myself since a young child. Few questions: How is your blood pressure? Have you taken any over the counter or prescription meds recently, including ibuprofen which can be damaging to the kidneys? Any heavy metal toxicity exposure?

Do take your time to tune into what your body is telling you. People experience things in many ways and for some none are particularly symptomatic until kidney function has declined substantially. It varies enormously. Also has a scan been done to assess any structural issue in terms of a blockage?

My blood pressure has been high for some time but my nephrologist and I have been working on it. It was 147/90 an hour ago and I’ve been taking my BP medicine for a week now. It used to be much higher. I don’t take ibuprofen since I had a sleeve gastrectomy done in October 2016. I rarely get sick which is why I hardly ever take OTC meds. My urine is bubbly but a normal color. BUN is 32 and Creatnine is 3.87. No metal toxicity. Aside from my BUN and Creatnine, and potassium being a bit elevated, all my labs are fine. I feel perfectly fine for someone apparently suffering from advanced stage of kidney disease. I had an ultrasound done last week and no cysts, atones, or blockage was found.

Ok -sounds like hypertension has been an issue and was it weight issues that necessitated the gastric sleeve? Weight issues tend to impact blood sugar and this isn't great for kidneys at all. Certainly look at lifestyle and food choices that will soothe the nervous system and bring calm as you navigate this chapter.

I just looked up renal issues post bariatric surgery - found this. Perhaps explore the link a bit more. One day at a time academic.oup.com/ckj/articl...

Thank you very much!! I’ll take a look!

You're so welcome. Best, Ciara

Hello, its a blessing that you do not feel any symptoms. And no you are not “freaking dying right now.” Through diet tailored to your labs and cutting down or even stopping salt and processed food and by following an appropriate excercise (walking is good as well) routine, keeping yourself hyderated and avoiding smoking and alcohol you can improve your numbers. Many have. Knowing the cause of the decline in kidney function through biopsy will be helpful in working on a treatment plan. But diet is a big part of the treatment so getting a referral to renal dietician will be good. All the very best to you and worrying does not help. So instead go take a walk and stay upbeat, this too shall pass.

smellicusx13 profile image
smellicusx13 in reply to SN23

Thank you! I’m overweight but i excercise regularly (cardio and strength training). I cut out all supplements like protein shakes and pre-workout drinks.

The exercise might be a factor if it is extreme.

A factor for what?

swscott profile image
swscott in reply to smellicusx13

Strenuous exercise can cause the Creatinine to rise

smellicusx13 profile image
smellicusx13 in reply to swscott

Yeah well I was definitely doing a lot of that the months prior to my diagnosis.

Some of the protein drinks that people are encouraged to take these days as part of a keep fit routine may not be the best thing for kidneys.

I was in a similar position to you some years back when I had a renal crisis. In fact I dipped a bit lower. There is a lot of confusing information out there so you have to really watch your own body to see how it reacts. But I tried to eat as cleanly as possible. Concentrating on fresh foods. That way you know that nothing that has been added in processing is causing you problems. No fizzy drinks. Trim sugar or sugar substitutes. I did continue to eat meat and protein but in reduced quantities. For a long time I felt nauseous if I drank tea or coffee so stopped drinking both for quite a time.

You have to become much more aware of how your body reacts to whatever you eat or drink. That's the best hope you have of turning the clocks back.

It may be possible to reverse the situation but it depends what brought you to this point originally.

Hello, I'm not a medical professional by any means but I do have CKD (born with), have a GFR of 15, currently stage 5 basically and I'm only aged 23years. Hopefully I can shed some light and insight.

You shouldn't 'be dying', I also didn't suffer with barely any symptoms till recently either. Which really is general kidney pain, similar to the pain you have in the lower back with an infection. I do also find myself getting tried faster and feeling sick is creeping in of a morning on the regular, for me personally. But only started happening when GFR dropped to 16/15. Now working towards having a living donor kidney transplant. But you being younger is advantage in some ways. Inregards to having/coping physically and recovering from transplant into living life afterwards. It is truly amazing what science and doctors can do these days. Having a positive outlook is important due to GFR dropping and possibility of transplant is a long road. Try not to consider it as dying, so many people under go kidney issues and come through thanks to modern-day medical success.

Considering bands for kidney function on GFR bases Stage 4 - GFR 15-29 (severely reduced kidney function). Stage 5 - GFR lower then 15 (severe / end-stage kidney failure or dialysis). Personally my high blood pressure was one of the main factors in my GFR dropping considerably. Having good BP control is so important to maintaining and protecting the kidneys.

In the reply's and comment you say your urine in bubbly, mine is as well - apparently according to my consultant, it is due to high protein levels. So that maybe something to look into, protein levels. Speaking of protein, you say something about gym routine and drinking shakes etc. Which I've always been advised to stay clear of, as they are high in protein can be damaging for kidneys if used/over used too. Also no ibuprofen or Anti-inflammatories. Diet also can help greatly, eating cleaner - more fresh food, cooking from scratch, so you know what is in the food you are eating. Reducing salt and processed food intake is adviced as well.

I hope you find this useful, they are main things I have experienced and learnt so far.

Sorry for late response I only just saw your posting. I was diagnosed with stage 4 CKD when my eGFR was like yours at around 20%. That was over 3.5 years ago, and I had no symptoms other than feeling tired which I had just put down to being in my 40’s. Since being diagnosed my kidney function has gradually fallen and in June this year it reached 12% and I was feeling very unwell and have had to go sick from work. Like you I have no cysts or blockages and I am not diabetic. I don’t even have high blood pressure. Your bubbly urine is due to protein leaking through the damaged kidneys.

This is my husbands exact situation, he is 33 just found out yesterday that he is in stage 4 and he feels better than he has in a long time. Been doing the veggie based( for the most part) diet. Works out, no symptoms.. have you had any updates since this posts?

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