Living with one kidney: I was wrongly... - Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease

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Living with one kidney

zeleno profile image

I was wrongly diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2012 and they removed my right kidney. I feel great,no issues, but I just did my lab test recently and my Creatinine is little high (1.18) , GFR is low (53). I am on Atkins diet since April (lots of protein and fat, little carbs) and not sure if this is what probably caused the out of range values. I really feel great with Atkins (lost weight), but little afraid that this could influence my only kidney. Any suggestions?

I am also fighting with increased cholesterol (296) , LDL (205), triglycerides (232), low HDL (48). For the first time now my red blood cell count increased (5.17), along with hemoglobin (16.1) and Hematocrit (47.9)....

Ah, so many little things that just make we worry !

BTW- anyone else with the same experience (wrongly diagnosed/ kidney removed/ and then the biopsy results benign)?!

13 Replies
Bassetmommer profile image
BassetmommerNKF Ambassador

HI Zenleno,

Sorry about the misdiagnosis. That's a pretty big oops. Did they do anything about it?

Atkins and any of the other high protein diets is counter to good kidney health. You have one kidney that is being overworked. I never understood Atkins diet. People like it because they get to eat lots of fat. So not good for you. Of course your numbers are going up. Meat and fat is going to increase your cholesterol.

Please go see a renal dietician who can help you with a diet that will work for you including losing weight. Renal or kidney friendly diets do not mean you have to give up all meat, but they recommend a much lower amount of protein in general. The idea is to eat a steady amount of all different kinds of foods but being aware of what is kidney friendly.

Many people lose weight and keep it off on this kind of diet.

zeleno profile image
zeleno in reply to Bassetmommer

Thank you very much Bassetmommer for your response and advice!

Nothing was done about the misdiagnosis- I probably should have sued the doctor...

Even a healthy person starts loosing kidney function at around 40 years. So it depends on your age. It also depends on your race and gender. For example, If you are a white woman around 50 years old you might want to talk to your doctor and consider changing your diet, but if you are a white man in your eighties you are probably fine. Of course I am not a doctor. It is always better to ask a professional.

zeleno profile image
zeleno in reply to Alexperk

Thanks Alexperk for your response. I am 52 years old female (white)... and will take your and advice from Bassetmommer to check with the professionals.

I would just echo other comments, that any animal protein (including dairy and fish) put a greater load on your kidney than plant-based protein. There are videos on this subject nutrition and A high-protein diet, like Atkins and paleo, may cause an initial weigh loss, but it is not sustainable for good health, and can cause the other issues you are struggling with. Good luck!

Unfortunately I had my left kidney out last year then I was told I had incendently renal cell carcinoma so not sure why they took it out in the first place. I'm thinking because of a blocked kidney stone. But my main concern is I'm not being followed up by a nephrologist. My gfr is 46 and I'm now having problems with the other kidney. Do the Drs. Think it's not important .

I agree with the other responses, no one with one Kidney or with Kidney disease should be on the Atkins or any other high protein diet, especially high animal protein which will cause your serum creatinine to rise substantially. Studies also have shown that a diet high in animal proteins result in an increase in inflammation, which could lead to damage to your kidneys and an decrease in GFR since you are putting additional strain on your kidneys to filter more toxins out of the body.

Thanks for your comments/ advice. I am searching now for a renal dietitian to make sure I follow kidney friendly diet. Was too much focused on loosing weight only.

Wow! I cannot even imagine how you've dealt with THAT medical error. Incredible. . . .

I've experienced some very marginal medical care over the years, but nothing close to what you've experienced!!!

My nephrologist has specifically told me to stay away from diets that are high in protein. Rather, he has suggested diets high in healthy vegetables, fruits, chicken and fish as well as healthy fats like olive oil.


zeleno profile image
zeleno in reply to Jayhawker

how I dealt with it? When I was told (after the surgery) the mass on the kidney was benign, I felt first angry, then little relieved (because it wasn't cancer), then angry again... I felt as being rapped somehow... but I tried just to concentrate on the recovery after the surgery...not to think too much about the fact that my right kidney was removed for ever because of both urologist I went to decided it was cancer without doing a biopsy before.

Thanks so much for your comments/ I have to put my kidney on the first place now and take care of it -which means find the right diet.

Jayhawker profile image
Jayhawker in reply to zeleno

Truly a nightmarish situation. And you actually had to pay for the medical profession to mistakenly remove one of your kidneys! Frankly, this is just disgusting!!

But you are right; there is no going back. Now you just need yo be sure to take care of your remaining kidney.


NOT for every one -- yes- most organs loose efficiency and we all loose most nutrients - after age 35 - to 40. But in my case -- even at age 703 - my eGFR was over 84 -- that is Kidney Filtration Test -- with type 2 diabetes - doctors recommended I take Lisinopril- to protect Kideny damage. I did NOT take - still had NO reduction in Kidney function.

After a Recent heart Failure - I am taking Lisinopril and my eGFR went don to 72.

Even at age 703... You are doing great! Sorry, could not resist... BTW what is your creatinine? Thanks.

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