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Kidney Disease
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CKD 3 or not?

My EGFR last year was 57 and this year is 56. I asked my PCP for a referral to a nephrologist and he asked why I was making this request to I pointed this out to him. He said I don't have a kidney problem and my kidneys are in excellent health. My other lab work is within range but based on everything I've read this would classify me as having CKD stage 3. Should I trust what he's telling me or consult another doctor?

10 Replies

Pl see Ur doc, no point taking risks . It's you n your health that comes first.


Yea, maybe you didn't read my message all the way through. My doc is the problem. He says my kidneys are in "excellent health". My question is, should I trust this doc or not? Is his advice legit or not? Is it possible to have a GFR of 56 and your kidneys still be in excellent health? Everything else is within normal ranges. In the meanwhile I'm looking for another doctor to get a second opinion.

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It would be helpful to know how old you are, since gfr does decline with age.

Also, do you have diabetes and/or high blood pressure?

Finally, your doctor is no different from the majority of doctors (at least in the U.S.). Many doctors, including nephrologists, feel that stage 3 is not something to get excited about. I and many others beg to differ. My belief is that, if I do now what they tell people in stages 4 & 5 to do regarding diet especially, I may never get to stages 4 & 5.

National education, support and advocacy organizations:

• DaVita Kidney Disease and Dialysis Forums is well known for their recipes but they also have a forum for patients too.

• Renal Support Network provides many support and advocacy services including a phone support line.

• AAKP is a comprehensive resource focusing on the quality of life for kidney patients through education, advocacy, patient engagement and the fostering of patient communities.

• National Kidney Foundation provides a portal for patients too.

Good luck,



Thank you for your quick response. I'm 60, not diabetic. 5'9 and 155 lbs. Most of my life I was very active. Running and lifting weights to stay in shape. At the age of 55 I was injured and then everything started crashing down. Shortly after my injury I started getting neurological problems that caused small fiber naturopathy and peripheral naturopathy. In addition to all this I developed microscopic colitis which took the VA doctors 3 years to diagnose so I suffered with chronic diarrhea off and on and was borderline malnourished. I had been on a high dose of Naproxen prior to becoming I'll and my doctor instructed me to stop taking it as it was causing kidney impairment. That's the only advice I've ever received.


My doctor told me to stop taking Celecoxib and to take my blood pressure daily (I do have high blood pressure). Anything else I know is due to my own search for information and the people on this site. I would consult with another doctor.

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Thank you! I've put in a request with another doctor for an appointment because my current doctor refused my request for a referral to a nephrologist. He stated my kidneys are in excellent health based on my labs. I'm not so confident based on what I see and what I've read on the National Kidney Foundation website and other reliable sites. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables but because of my injuries and illness exercise has taken a leave of absence. I've recently tried to add some here and there. My biggest downfall is I love bacon, sausage, steak, ribs, and all things pork. Basically anything bad for us. As a result of eating these items and no longer exercising my cholesterol took a spike up to 272 so he gave me 3 months to get it down or he's going to put me on meds to lower it. So I've gone to eating oatmeal made with natural almond milk, chia seeds, and cold milled flax seeds for breakfast. I eat fish almost everyday and have cut out all the bad meats. Only have red meat maybe once a week now. But I want a doc who will give me more guidance on proper nutrition and how to slow the progression. I'm not sure I'm doing the right thing.

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Hi Pappy,

The direct answer to the question about the doctor's integrity is that if you have doubts about him/her, then no, it is not the doctor for you. You have to be able to trust the doctors you have in your health care team.

A GFR of 56 is stage 3A, which means you just went from 2 to 3 and you are in the high end of 3.

Whats does that mean? It means, its time for you to become educated about CKD. Lowraind gave you some great links to start with.

The thing with GFR is that many things like age and level of hydration can impact the GFR. For example, I lost one point when I had a birthday. Nothing else mattered, except I got a year older. This may be why your GFR dropped one point.

There are other lab values which indicate CKD like creatinine, protein, potassium and phosphorous levels and even your blood counts, including iron. Take a look at your labs and see if anything else is off.

Many, many doctors do not do anything about CKD until stage four. That's mainly because there is not much they can do. The big thing to do right now is to learn about a renal diet as that is something you can do to help if you do have CKD. Check to make sure your medications are kidney supportive. Do not take OTC without your doctor knowing. Ibuprofen is very bad for the kidneys. Stop smoking if you do. Also controlling diabetes and high blood pressure, if you have those, will help.

Come back and let us know what you discover.



So true about other labs entering into the diagnosis of CKD such as protein, potassium phosphorus levels. There were other labs too that entered into my diagnosis at CKD 3b. Thanks for the info.

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Good morning Pappy58, please see this "Is CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) Reversible with Diet? video on utube for Dr.CanDberry MD. Please don't listen to your doctor because you can reserve your stage3 ckd. Good luck.


Many doctors don't know much about CKD while some wait till it get to stage 4 to 5 before they do something, one thing I know is that kidney function decline with age and other risk factors, you had chronic diarrhea and use high dose of OTC DRUGS this two alone is enough to damage kidney but you can still make change like getting hydrated and finding another way to manage your pains will make a change in your GFR, change your diets to kidney friendly will help your kidney health, I wish you well with your plans.


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