Stress and CKD: Has anyone noticed a... - Early CKD Support

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Stress and CKD


Has anyone noticed a relationship between stress and blood results for CKD? Normally my blood results are all over the charts and my creatine levels range from 1.7 to just this month 1.13! Could me now working from home and having less stress be the cause? I've not changed anything else besides my work environment.

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Creatinine tends to fluctuate for most of us in a small range. Stress does play a part in a lot of diseases, but I can't say for sure about Creatinine levels. I would rather think that something is different than when you were not working from home. For example you may be more hydrated due to having more time to drink properly. I am a nurse and everytime I work I come home dehydrated due to lack of time to drink enough. Hydration does have an effect on Creatinine levels.

My kidney doctor, just last week told me creatinine is NOT that dramatically affected by hydration. Other things, such as BUN, but not creatinine. You do NOT flush creatinine out of your system by simply drinking water. If this were the case , those with CKD would be directed to take excessive amounts of water, lower creatinine levels, and therefore improve GFR. She said it is always good to remain hydrated, but it is an old wives tale that drinking water in large quantities, reduces creatinine levels.

LOL all doctors are different. Mine told me the opposite. It does make some sense that Creatinine can not be flushed with water, though.

Here is another link that may be helpful for people wanting to decrease Creatinine. I still think non vigorous exercise and decreasing protein are the best options as those make the most sense for creatinine reduction.

Agree. I go to my kidney doctor and she says stay hydrated but there is no need to drink lots of water. That excess (over daily requirements of say 56 to 64 ounces) will do nothing to creatinine levels. I go to my primary care doctor and he says drink lots of water. When my primary care doctor does FASTING blood work (no water for 12 hours) he sees my creatinine level of 1.7 and says "that is because you fasted:" When I go to my kidney doctor and also get 1.7, that is when I am fully hydrated. In fact I tend to drink a bit more to see if it lowers my 1.7. NOPE. I'm at 1.7 no matter what. And that has increased from 1.5 over past weeks. My kidney doctor said I am losing 2% of my kidney function yearly. i'm at 3b right now. She says in about 3 years I will be stage 4. And about 2 years into stage 4 I will be put on the transplant list. No matter drinking excess or not. So I do just as you say. I keep my protein level within daily requirements for adult male (about 50 to 52 grams per day) and drink enough to keep hydrated.

I am sorry to hear about your kidney loss. It is funny that doctors can't ever come to the same thought process.

Here is a link from American kidney society that drinking more water can actually DECREASE GFR.

Here is another one year study that found kidney decline was the same in those drinking lots of water and those who just drank normally.

One thing that can affect creatinine level (not stress) is activity level. However not as dramatically as you report from 1.1 to 1.7. Creatinine is produced by muscles. The more you use them the higher the creatinine. Being home, you are likely sitting a LOT more than at work, or simply going to and from work, etc. But your range is wide.

What an awesome question! I highly doubt any serious research has been done on the issue.


I found out too late that untreated stress caused my PKD cysts to grow, due to the “fight or flight” stress response of excess cortisol which caused faster cyst growth, which in turn caused my creatinine to increase, and my eventual kidney failure 10 years after my diagnosis. I had extreme stressors (marriage ended, moved twice, single mom, no family/social/support system, financial trouble, health deteriorating and a VERY stressful tech job) all of which I did not ask for help with, due to lack of trust and extreme independence. My mental health is slowly getting better because of the work I am putting in to help myself, because no one else really can.

I wish all the best for you in dealing with your stress. It could very well save your life.

I'm sorry. I believe now that the constant stress I was under from work was causing the rapid decline of kidney function. I've noticed with better less stressful working conditions my kidney function has actually leveled out and improved. I'm sorry you weren't as lucky. I know in my situation quiting work was not an option and still isn't. Sad that we have to sacrific our health in order to pay bills and have health insurance.

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