Kidney disease progressing fast - Early CKD Support

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Kidney disease progressing fast

Drakula profile image

I am writing after almost a year.

My kidney disease is worsening. From last 5 years, I was able to maintain GFR around 30-35.

But in almost a month, it had come down to 25 .

Heamoglobin and RBC both came down below the normal level for the first time. It was always normal before the latest lab.

I was feeling the symptoms from last 1 month, too much shortness of breath even in little effort, fatigue, and itching from last few days

I am very tensed and unable to identify the reason of all these except that i was heavily stressed with something personal in last few months.

22 Replies

Hi Drakula,

So sorry you are having a hard time. Stress will do things to your body. I for one find my sugar levels go up when I am stressed.

GFR will and can fluctuate. If you have noticed that your blood levels have gone down and you are tired, that might indicate you have anemia. This is something you can speak to your doctor about and there are many ways to help with that. My levels went down when I went to stage four and I was short of breath. I was able to bring them back up with taking iron that was prescribed by the doctor. They went back up and have stayed up.

The itching might indicate high phosphorous in the blood. Do you know what your level is? Try changing up your diet to reduce the phosphorous intake. You can Google foods high in phosphorous.

See if you can get another blood draw soon and compare. Make sure you are hydrated before the lab.

Hope that helps.

Drakula profile image
Drakula in reply to Bassetmommer

The phosphorus is in normal range.

May be itching is the result of elevated urea. It is 77.

I was perfectly maintaining by GFR from last many years but when the stress hit me hard few months back, the GFR came down. I lost 8 percent kidney function as a result of stress.

Is there any significant relation between stress and reduced kidney function?

I mean are there any studies which support this claim?

Because in my case, I am very sure my reduced kidney function is a result of my mental stress which takes toll on my health.

Stress is know to affect kidneys among other things and the itching can happen with reduced kidney function.

Stress can cause all the symptoms of heart attacks, effect breathing, cause panic attacks and so much more. As yet I have not discovered how to deal with stress other than by medication, and this can also have undesirable side effects. I'm usually told to stop worrying, as if I could turn off the switch!

We are now seeing elderly dying from the stress without even getting Covid 19, just the worry of isolation and panic of the thought of contracting Covid 19 is doing it.

I had my kidneys fail completely at one time, fortunately they were able to be kick started back into working.

I had a distinct lack of energy and great difficulty moving about. I don't remember particularly struggling to breath although I'm sure this was part of the struggle at the time.

Drakula profile image
Drakula in reply to Cheyne13

What steps were employed by u to kick start back the working of kidneys?

Stress is called a silent killer for a good reason. It does all kinds of harm to the body. For kidney disease it may have affected your blood pressure causing it to rise. Too much Urea probably caused the itching. What are you doing for stress relief. Ask your doctor about taking an iron supplement but be aware it may cause constipation. It might be better to ask him if you can get extra iron in your diet. Take care.


I am already suffering from constipation.

Iron supplement is recommend by my doctor to treat anaemia but it may further worsen my constipation

Bassetmommer profile image
Bassetmommer in reply to Drakula

HI Drakula,

The constipation from iron is easy to mitigate with being careful. My doctor recommended a stool softener, which helped. I also made sure I was eating lot of veggies and drinking tons of water. It did not take long to get my anemia up. This is something the doc can help with and I felt much better.

Drakula profile image
Drakula in reply to Bassetmommer

Hello Bassetmommer

I have one query.. Please reply.

At which gfr, you were given iron supplement by your doctor.

Have you even been prescribed EPOs raise the heamoglobin level.

I am quite frightened. I don't want to take EPO agents.

My doctor told me that initially I am giving u iron tablet but if heamoglobin will not increase after one month, then he will prescribe EPO injects.

Bassetmommer profile image
Bassetmommer in reply to Drakula

My iron deficiency was diagnosed twice before. Once at a higher GFR, at stage 3 and then again at stage 4 with a GFR of 20. But it took more than a month to get the level up so I hope your doctor will give it enough time to work. The trick with iron is how it absorbed into the blood. Just like B12 anemia (Pernicious anemia) it is in the ability of the body to absorb and process iron. For some people, this is not working and they have anemia. But it can also be from not eating the right foods. But it has to be monitored because too much iron is also dangerous.

Do you eat meat? This is one source of iron. But people with CKD should limit protein generally and meat is very high in protein. So if you cut meat out of your CKD diet, then you need to make sure you get iron from vegetables or other sources. But then the veggies that are highest in iron also are often high in potassium. It take balance and a watchful eye to help with this issue.

Drakula profile image
Drakula in reply to Bassetmommer

Great insight.

So what's your trick to get it up?

Are u still taking iron tablets?

Have you ever been prescribed EPO injects?

Bassetmommer profile image
Bassetmommer in reply to Drakula

HI Drakula,

How funny is your name since we are talking low iron blood. That would be like diet food for Drakula….. lololol

I am not on iron. It took about three months to get it up to a good range. It does fluctuate. I eat a lot of leafy green veggies. I have to be careful because of the potassium, so it is a balancing act. I have never had to have EPO injections because it came up with OTC tablets. But there are many who that does not work for.

As all have said, having proper iron is a delicate balance which is why you need to work with your doctor. If you take iron without proper supervision from you doc you can become toxic.

Drakula profile image
Drakula in reply to Bassetmommer

Hahahha right funny name .

Hello Bassetmommer, you had written that we need to be careful with thi iron OTC as it may increase the toxicity in blood.

Toxicity in what sense? I mean what will increase in blood?

Bassetmommer profile image
Bassetmommer in reply to Drakula

Drakula profile image
Drakula in reply to Bassetmommer

And one more thing...

For how long have you been maintaining your kidney function in stage 4?

Bassetmommer profile image
Bassetmommer in reply to Drakula

over 2.5 yrs at this GFR but I was stage 4 for over 4 years

Drakula profile image
Drakula in reply to Bassetmommer

Hey bassetmommer

Are you now stage 5 ? . What is your present gfr and how long you have been maintaining it?

Bassetmommer profile image
Bassetmommer in reply to Drakula

no I am stage 4

If you are not on fluid restrictions you can increase fluids. Also fruits and veggies low potassium choices can add fiber. Ask your doctor about a stool softener. I would not recommend increasing fluids or adding medications even if over the counter without asking your doctor first.

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Hi Drakula

Sorry to hear you are going through a rough time. Stress is indeed,a very real issue that affects your body. If you cannot remove the stress then you must find a way to relieve it. It's not always easy to do that but the fact you recognise you have a problem is good start.

What has your Doctor said about your renal function? Its no use to know you have a problem without knowing what your options are, go back and ask what next steps are.. ...

Good luck, try to stay well.

Hi Drakula. I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling so poorly. I’ve been going through some fluid retention issues lately myself, so I understand. I know that creatinine can go up for a few reasons.

1. Too much protein in your diet may be one reason (this may also explain the itching. Too much phosphorus from meat proteins, dairy, and nuts and seeds, in your diet can also make one with CKD itch).

2. Weight-lifting exercise can also raise blood creatinine levels. As the muscles break down, the proteins get sent into your bloodstream. However, daily cardio exercise (like walking, even on a treadmill or just around your home) is very helpful. It can help to energize you.

3. Usually, what helps to improve your GFR level is keeping yourself well hydrated by drinking water daily and flushing your system and kidneys. That’s always a good thing. If you’re unsure of what a safe amount to drink is for you, speak to your PCP or your nephrologist.

Everything I have stated so far is probably everything you may already know. If this is the case, I apologize to you. If not, I hope it’s helpful to you. I can certainly understand your concerns, believe me. I wish you all the best. Please keep me posted on how you’re doing. Do take good care of yourself. God bless. 😊👍🙏

Hi again Drakula. I forgot to mention, with regard to your stress levels and possible panic attacks (thode can also cause shortness of breath), have you tried drinking a little chamomile tea? If you’re searching for a more natural remedy to provide some “calmness” during a tense phase, chamomile and other decaffeinated herbal teas may help with that.

With regard to the iron supplements, a dietician once told me, after my doctor noticed that my iron tabs weren’t having the impact he had expected, that taking them with a beverage high in vitamin C (such as orange, cranberry, or even a little tomato juice) would aid in the better absorption of the iron by your body.

Also, the advice everyone has shared with you is awesome. I didn’t know that high urea can also cause itching. Thanks for that, everyone! I always learn so much in this forum!

And by the way, I can also certainly attest to the fact that stress does raise my blood sugar levels as well, and yes, I too believe that it can also wreak havoc on your entire system. Stress doesn’t ever go away (unfortunately), but we can find constructive ways to deal with it. Exercise (cardio) is usually recommended by physicians and physiotherapists. Perhaps your doctor could advise you best on that.

I hope you feel better soon, Drakula. We’re always here for you. Keep us posted. 😊👍

I am confused. When I researched on internet, I got idea that there are two reasons for anaemia in ckd patient.

1.. Less production of EPO

2 Less iron

My doctor has prescribed iron supplements to me but if the reason is less EPO, then what purpose can iron tablets serve in this case?

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