New to ckd and need help understanding c... - Early CKD Support

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New to ckd and need help understanding creatinine

Animal240
Animal240

I’m newly diagnosed with ckd. I’m told my creatinine levels aren’t too good. Questions I would like help with please:

1. What is considered a good or reasonable level.

2. Which is better a higher reading or a lower reading.

3. Can these figures fluctuate or do they continue to rise/fall as the condition worsens.

4. What is GFR and how does that relate to creatinine.

5. What is considered a good or reasonable GFR level and can this also fluctuate.

Any help on the above would be appreciated.

Thanks

16 Replies
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Here is link to an explanation of eGFR that might help in understanding.

kidney.org/atoz/content/gfr

mayoclinic.org/tests-proced...

Welcome to the forum. It is a good place for support and sharing information.

Thank you I’ll take a look.

Your questions are excellent. Almost impossible to educate you completed simply by this post. You need to do some google searches, visit reliable kidney and health websites to learn details. In google type "understanding kidney disease". You will find excellent links. The best are davita.com, and freseniuskidneycare.com, to get easy to understand answers. If you would like more opinion of posters here, you might want to post your sex, age, race and lastest creatinine level on your last blood test.

Animal240
Animal240 in reply to RickHow

Thank you. I’ll be taking your advice and doing some research.

RickHow
RickHow in reply to Animal240

After you have searched around a little and learned some of the basics be sure to then post any questions you have. You will find a lot of people here willing to help you understand terms and also share our own experiences. When I was in school our school motto was "knowledge is power". I think as you learn things from this website and your own education on reliable websites this will become a lot less frightening to you. It won't change your condition, but a lot of what you are feeling is because of what is unknown to you. We seem to always assume the worst. With knowledge we may learn that while it is not great, it may not be as bad as we think. Keep us updated. Remember no question is too silly to ask.

The others gave your very good answers and links. If I could be even more simple yes eGFR can fluctuate, but Creatinine either improves or worsens. If you read the post on hydration you will see what I mean. If you eat a lot of meat and then have labs that can raise your Creatinine and so can an intense workout. However, that still means the kidneys are working harder than they should and can not remove the creatinine your body does not use. If you go to labs.com you can learn about normal lab values. Do you have a Nephrologist yet? These are very excellent questions to ask them.

I have seen a doctor in renal at my local hospital once who prescribed blood pressure tablets and i m to have blood tests every six months now instead of annually. Thanks for your information, very helpful.

If your objective is slowing down, possibly stopping your CKD progression (worsening), please consider dropping animal proteins from your diet. Of course we do need protein, so substituting vegetation will be needed (eg. legumes).

Animal240
Animal240 in reply to wbiC

Thanks for the advice, I have already started to eat more fruit, berries etc and eating more veg than I once did. I’m finding cutting down on meat a little hard as I am a meat lover but I am cutting back.

RickHow
RickHow in reply to Animal240

The reason for reducing meat is to reduce protein intake. But it does not mean eliminate it. Personally I avoid beef entirely. But once during the week I do have pork and once or twice that same week skinless chicken. But I just monitor my portion size to about 4 or 5 ounces, occasionally cheating with a larger portion. Remember breaking the "rule" once in a while is not going to destroy your kidney. It is fine to treat yourself here and there. Same with other items (have the "not allowed" item occasionally). What I do is on the counter in the kitchen I keep a small card. On it each time I eat something I jot down the protein content of that item (all packaged food has it on the label, and non packaged food protein is easily found on the internet). I total that content as the day passes. It helps me in 2 ways. As the day progresses I can see if I'm close to or over the limit before the end of day and thus adjust my further intake. Also over time it teaches me which foods are so high in protein, that I would be better to avoid them. But, as my kidney doctor recommends, we need protein. Just try to keep it at or below the recommended daily amount based upon your sex and weight. But again, cheating here or there is NOT going to destroy your kidney. Same with Nsaids. It takes frequent and/or daily use to really cause problems. Taking them once in a while is harmless. Not frequent, not high doses.

wbiC
wbiC in reply to RickHow

> But it does not mean eliminate it.

Actually, I believe the intent ought to be to eliminate all animal protein consumption (eventually, so far as practically manageable), as even small amounts being digested aggravate the kidneys. In particular: merely reducing portion sizes while maintaining frequency of consumption would have NO impact, imo.

RickHow
RickHow in reply to wbiC

I think you will find this article very, very interesting:ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

A study on the effects of plant based diet on CKD. The bottom line conclusion seems to be that they could not measure if a plant based diet prolonged life in a CKD condition. It does list many, many positive effects of such a diet. But they could not just come up with any statistics to say such and such a % of people lived "x" months longer. The problem was because following a plant based diet one has to be sure that they are not also eliminating certain other minerals that the human body needs. Sort of an analogy to a hose. It gets a leak. You patch it (eliminate animal protein) but it causes another leak (you deprived yourself of certain other needed nutrients). BUT if an individual DOES follow plant based, effectively, there seems to be benefits such as lower cancer incidences, lower blood pressure, etc. But they could not conclude, in any measurable way, any long term improvement in renal patients.

Yours is an interesting perspective. There are so many articles on the internet (from reliable sources. As not everything written on the net is fact) on this subject. I believe the general agreement is that HIGH animal protein diets do progress CKD. Basically having animal protein each day (even in smaller portions) will advance CKD. How much? No one knows for sure. But this is why I personally have animal protein once a week, sometimes twice. For me personally I don't find this as being high animal protein intake. I liken it to NSAIDS and CKD. A continual, frequent (therefore high dose) of NSAIDS over time will hurt the kidney and progress CKD. But all my doctors (of which there are man) tell me, infrequent use of an NSAID (say for a day or two due to back pain, or something, etc.) will NOT cause harm. The kidney can handle and process it will here and there. It is the amount and the frequency that cause damage. Remember what is CKD. Part of the kidney is diseased (or actually dead tissue, scared), and therefore can not efficiently filter out all "the bad stuff". So taking in the bad stuff in high amounts, or frequently, is not good. But a couple of ibuprofen once everything 3 weeks, or once a month is not going to kill you. Having that 4 ounces of chicken or pork, here or there is not going to kill you. A high intake of animal protein daily will hurt you. We each must follow our own approach. Good discussion.

wbiC
wbiC in reply to RickHow

thanks, I'll read it when I'm back home. A quick glance shows no mention of animal protein's detrimental impact on challenged kidneys, (which is kinda my point).

(I'm only online weather permitting since I'm limited to a parking lot near a reliable wi-fi source, so I mostly download/copy & read later at home)

see also: healthunlocked.com/early-ck...

RickHow
RickHow in reply to wbiC

I found a very, very interesting article involving protein intake and why source of proteins are the best for CKD. I send you the link. You will like it I think. It describes, as I read it, that protein breaks down in our bodies into amino acids. And these acids, in increased amounts are what hurts the kidney. And how many animal sourced proteins actually produce LESS amino acids than do some non animal sourced proteins. It says that dairy, eggs, meats, poultry, fish, for example, proteins produce LESS amino acids than do fruits, vegetables, grains. Now to be sure this does not apply to all fruits, vegetables, grains. As it references such things as soy beans are great. While dairy, meats, etc produce less amino acids (less harmful to kidneys therefore), you can not just consume any amount each day, but need to keep within the daily recommend values. AND that the amount of protein, per day, should be based also on your weight. And it provides a chart for each category of weight on how much protein and calories are best if you have "CKD". Very interesting article and I think from a reliable source.

RickHow
RickHow in reply to wbiC

here is the new link:

nephron.org/nephsites/adp/p...

Many thanks that sounds a very interesting read, I’ll be taking a look.

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