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Kidney Disease
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Low gfr for 30 years old

I just had routine blood work done and my gfr was 59. I am 30 years old, 5'9" and 130lbs. I have low blood pressure, usually 120/65. I am very skinny, which I read somewhere that it can cause lower gfr readings. The week leading up to my my blood work I had been taking 2,000-6,000 mg of vitamin c due to a cold. I also reflected on my diet in the time leading up to my blood tests. It was very poor, high salt intake and I had been drinking some sodas even though normally I don't. Usually I just drink water all day and coffee in the morning.

My doctor said I need to come back for another blood test in a week. My question is could my diet and lack of drinking of water have affected my gfr reading for the last blood test? I am very worried, as I don't have a history of kidney disease in my family. I also don't have blood in my urine or any other symptoms of kidney disease. Any insight from someone who knows more about this than me would be greatly appreciated!

6 Replies

Hello! I am currently in end stage renal desease (CKD stage 5) and am 20 years old. Being thin doesn't necessarily mean that your GFR is going to be lower; I've had ckd my entire life and was underweight with a GFR of 60-70 growing up due to my metabolism.

However, a poor diet in general, such as a lot of salt/sodium, fats, highly caffeinated drinks will cause body stress in the form of renal function decrease. You also strayed from your norm on top of being sick, which put your body under stress. Lacking in water isn't necessarily an issue, since other beverages like teas and juices hydrate just as well. However, it could help if you "eat your water" so to speak, through foods high in fluids (like melons and cucumbers). You'll not only hydrate, but also get some other nutrients out of it and your body keeps it longer due to the need to digest.

It can vary from person to person with symptoms. Some people have them early on and some don't get any until their kidneys have failed completely and they suddenly get sick. It all depends on how well your body copes and how fast the progression is. What was your gfr reading before? Being able to compare numbers is also a good thing to do to keep things in prospective. I would be more concerned if your levels decrease by more than 3-4% and don't improve again, or stablize. Just keep an open dialogue with your nephrologist and they are great at making suggestions for improving or stablizing your GFR.

The key overall, is consistency. Making sure that you keep your diet and exercise consistent and only tweak things if the doc says so. Sometimes depending on the ckd (I'm assuming you have?) Or just kidneys in general, the gfr will bounce back up when you resume the normal diet and lifestyle that works for you and your labs tend to level out (sometimes not if the kidney disease is anything like mine. Mine just did whatever it wanted no matter what I did after I hit late stage 3 in the 20% range. Mine was also progressive and congenital). It's alright to splurge every once in a while, but I've personally found that it can't be back to back (like soda and fast food/super salty thing) or else my labs go out of wack. It varies for everyone, so find a pattern that works for you.

I wish you good luck! I hope I answered some questions that you had and you can always shoot me a message if you need ideas or have questions on anything kidney related!

Happy holidays :)


Wonderful message you said it all!!!


Being skinny with low muscle mass normally cause low creatinine in blood. Measured creatinineis used to calculate gfr. Creatinine can be raised due to exercise prior to blood test, eating a lot of meat before a test, antibiotics and also possibly vitamin c. Lay off the vitamin c and get retested.

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Yes, your diet and hydration levels can affect your gfr. It is a point in time measurement so if you were particularly dehydrated that day and/or had a large protein meal prior...or even ran a half-marathon, those factors play a part. Go to your next appointment well hydrated and lay off any red meat the day before to be safe. I actually don't think 59 is a bad number, but it is something that can fluctuate. Good luck!


Hi Rhubarb012,

Having lab results that are out of norm can provoke anxiety, but as others have said, there are a variety of reasons you could have a lower GFR in particular your cold. Your reading of 59 is still pretty high and if it had been 1point higher in the states, it may not have even been recognized as being low as they recognize 60 or above as normal. In any case, it is a good wake up call to start treating your body better. As you get older, your body begins to wear down. Of course this is obvious as people start developing all kinds of health issues in their 50's and 60's. Wish I had eaten better in my 30's and exercised more. Hang in there, things will look up.

I noticed you wrote about anxiety on another forum. I had severe anxiety until I started doing yoga and listening to sleep hypnosis. I got a nighttime sleep headseat that blocks the light and so only I can hear the music or audio. I listen to free videos on you tube for sleep music or anxiety sleep hypnosis. I love Thomas Hall. It has helped to rewrite my thinking process as I used to focus on all the negative things that might happen. Now I am able to block those thoughts from entering my mind.

Happy Holidays!

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Thank you so much for your reply. It really scared me, and of course I began to panic about everything.


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