What is a normal decrease in GFR? - Early CKD Support

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What is a normal decrease in GFR?

meggiemog
meggiemog

Finally had a chat with my GP about my blood test results. Had a test done in March 2020 - GFR was 80. 2nd test December 2020 GFR was 65. 2 weeks later test was done again without eating any meat and drinking at least 4 litres of water 24hrs before and rose to 68. He said GFR shouldn't have dropped this far in 9 months and said 2 years ago my GFR was 88 - which he was much happier with. I have lost over 2 stones in weight since July - as I have been feeling randomly sick and can't eat a full portion of food. Now waiting results of urine tests (looked normal to me) - as there's no real reason for my GFR to have gone down with the tablets I take on a daily basis (according to my GP) . I know results fluctuate - but what is a 'normal' reduction in GFR standards?

27 Replies

Here is a link to National Kidney Foundation on eGFR calculations and information on stages and progression. kidney.org/atoz/content/gfr

Thanks for the link! Very useful.I guess I need to see what happens with the urine test results. If there's no trace of protein, then who knows what is causing this - although I do have a scan coming up on my salivary glands for Sjorgren's syndrome, which I believe can affect kidney function.

Keep us posted.

Will do.

Got a phone call I wasn't expecting today - I have a renal ultrasound tomorrow night, so hopefully I will get to find out what's going on in there!

Thanks for letting us know. Likely with the ultrasound, they will be able to better diagnose.

Yes. Definitely look into any meds you take, even over-the-counter pain medication such as Advil, Aleve, Motrin and Aspirin. All of these can cause damage to our kidneys. Anti-inflammatory drugs are notorious for that. Do speak to your doctor about this. All my best to you dear. God bless. 🙏😊👍✌️

Don't take anti inflammatory meds they have always made me feel sick so I don't take them. I think that's why my GP kept asking me if I was taking anything new!

Darlenia
Darlenia in reply to meggiemog

Autoimmune conditions can definitely affect kidney function. There's normal decline of kidney function as one ages, but then there are other factors such Sjorgrens which can indeed accelerate it. While your gfr numbers aren't in the lowest of ranges, I'm glad you and your GP are mindful and are interested in slowing the downward trend. Sending encouragement that your doctor will find the underlying reason and that soon you will have a way to work with it. Modern medicine has many tools to deal with many conditions.

meggiemog
meggiemog in reply to Darlenia

It has taken a long time to get to this point - believe me! It took losing weight and feeling washed out 24-7 to get taken seriously- and a good GP who actually listened!

Darlenia
Darlenia in reply to meggiemog

We love our GP too. He stepped in when our nephrologist actually gave up on lowering my husband's blood pressure. And keeps an eye on his other specialists as well. A great GP is worth gold.

meggiemog
meggiemog in reply to Darlenia

I couldn't agree more! A good GP is good for your health! 😍

Hi, I have the same problem and am also wondering. 2 years ago eGFR was 75, a year ago - 65 and a month ago - 56!((((( I was asked to re-take in a month, really worried and upset. That your eGFR went up by 3 is great news. Keep up the good work. I really hope mine would be higher too next time.

meggiemog
meggiemog in reply to Yulia2010

Well I must admit 65 to me was a bit of a wake up call. Rule of thumb is gfr of 90 or so in your 50's - I feel more like I am in my 70's - in fact my Dad has more energy at 79 and his hearing is 100x better than mine too!

Yulia2010
Yulia2010 in reply to meggiemog

Yes, I understand. I am a bit shocked by this, too. Can I ask if you just cut out meat or fish and chicken, too? What about legumes, potatoes, bananas? Were you still eating them?

meggiemog
meggiemog in reply to Yulia2010

This could be a long reply - apologies! I was put on a low fodmap diet by a GP at the medical centre I am with. She did not check bloods or anything. So I followed the diet religiously- and found i still felt crappy a lot of the time. The dietitian was super - said she didn't think my problem was IBS , however it did make me realise that gluten was not my friend! I do eat meat and fish. I would say i don't eat a lot of potatoes as i actually find they fill me up too quickly - but I have found cutting out processed foods and cooking things myself is much better. A lot of people on here prefer vegan diets - but I have 3 problems with that - soya, oats and carrageenan, all have made me double up - so I avoid them. To be honest you have to see what works for you. Maybe try to be veggie the day before your next blood test and try to drink 4 litres of water, no caffeine either - that's why my gfr went up. I believe in everything in moderation- and if it doesn't agree with you, give it up!

Yulia2010
Yulia2010 in reply to meggiemog

Thanks so much for a very informative and helpful piece of advice. I will try to do just that. For my thyroid problems, I can't eat anything containing soya and carragenan is really dangerous, I read it caused bowel cancer. Will try to cut out meat, though.

meggiemog
meggiemog in reply to Yulia2010

You have to do what is right for you! I found the low fodmap diet frustrating as most of the veggies I love were off limits till I finished the diet! The internet is an absolute amazing place to find fabulous recipes though - which ever way your diet takes you :-)

I am in my 70s, (79) so understand what you are saying. I was diagnosed 5 years ago at CKD stage 3b; and appropriate prescribed diet, along with exercise , has helped slow down the progression.

I feel well old before my time. I am 52 - my Dad is in better shape!

I’m 33, with a history of autoimmune disease, currently being investigated for primary Sjögren’s, although I have a previous diagnosis of lupus, we just don’t know for certain. My eGFR has only ever been above 90 on a couple of occasions for as long as I can remember. It’s dropped into the high 70s a few years ago (I believe due to me taking Arcoxia at the time). Most recently it is 81. It just gets swept to the side as normal, which I guess it is but everything I read says at my age it should be 90+. A few months ago I had a urine dipstick test show blood, but lab analysis didn’t agree. Now, since October, my urine smells odd, I can’t put my finger on the smell, it just doesn’t smell right, almost stale smelling. I think I’m going to speak to my GP about it but I hate sounding like a hypochondriac!

I know what you mean about pestering your GP - but you know your own body. In all honesty if you have a major organ start to fail is it not better to know and do what you can to help it? That's not being a hypochondriac - that's being sensible! I have had a couple of experiences of being misdiagnosed - so there are only a couple of GPs in my practice that I trust now! If you don't mention changes - then they can't help.

Well first take solace that your egfr is in the "normal" range (above 60 rule of thumb). And that your readings in the 60's is considered "mild CKD". Also you seem to have a good GP who is investigating the fluctuation. The change from 65 to 68 is hardly worth considering. A efgr rate varies that much easily. I once had a blood test at one doctors office and then that same day (later in the day) has another blood test (for a different purpose but still included egfr) the they were 5 points apart. In the same day!! For your final gfr you did NOT eat meat for 24 hours. Meat is quite general term. Meat in and of itself is not going to harm your kidney. It is the type of meat and quantity of meat and most importantly the frequency of meat that matters. For example, you eat beef every day then yes over months (years) it will decrease kidney function. But have beef for example once a week, or twice, you are not going to develop CKD because of it. It is the protein quantity that you consume every day that matters. You cut out meat completely and yet consume high non vegetable proteins, your CKD level will worsen...over time.

Same with NSAIDS. Bad for kidneys? Yes if you consume them frequently in high quantity.

But occasional use or even lets say for a week or so because you sprained an ankle, or have a tooth ache, won't harm your kidney. It takes consistent, frequent usage of NSAIDS to damage the kidney.

Your GP seems to be on top of this.

meggiemog
meggiemog in reply to RickHow

Indeed he is. I think his concern is 'no apparent reason' for this loss in GFR. That includes all meds I have taken in the last 12 months. None would contribute to this decrease. I do have an ultrasound scan on my salivary glands to check for Sjogren's as I get a very dry mouth and my skin is dry and itchy as well as very shiny! I feel like everything I drink just comes out of me - I'm like a prune! I have had chills too - which happen on a very regular basis - cold to the bone. An example is sitting in a 22 degree c room fully clothed with a thick winter jumper on - 2 blankets and a hot water bottle - and am still cold! Usually end up in bed with 2 duvets on and sleep for an hour or 2 - then wake up sweating. GP has asked me to take my temperature when this happens - and I go from 36.6 down to 34 degrees c - how or why I have no idea.

RickHow
RickHow in reply to meggiemog

keep us posted. There are so many things that can be troubling your results and only your doctor has access to everything. Almost sounds like some type of anemia or blood disorder, but your doctor has access to all that information. my skin is so dry (nothing to do with CKD) that I actually get open "cuts" on heals and side of feet. And the skin on my torso actually flakes off, like you get after you have a sunburn. In the summer if I wear shorts and sit in one spot, say to watch a 2 hour movie, when I get up, it looks like it snowed on the floor. They call it "ichthyosis". No disease. Just me. So while you have these other problems (fluctuation, dry skin) it can all be just something else. In other words not the CKD causes the other problems, but whatever is causing the other problems may be causing the egfr drop.

Have you ben checked for Hepatitis C , with the cold to the bone issues . A friend had that and the doctor found she had Hep C . She got treatment and now does not get this cold shivers any more.

To be honest I really don't know if I have been tested for that or not! Got salivary gland scan tomorrow and stomach emptying study today - will see what happens with these. I am just like anyone else who would just like to know why their body does weird scary things randomly!

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