29 with low gfr in Japan: Had a test done in... - Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease

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29 with low gfr in Japan

KGrand profile image

Had a test done in July and my gfr was 53.3 and my creatinine was 1.02. Doctor wanted me to retest in September and when that was done my gfr was the same and my creatinine was 1.03. I just turned 29 with no known kidney disease in my family. The doctor is sending me to a specialist next week to try and figure out what's going on. Said that at my age she was a little concerned about the numbers. I went back and looked at my tests from last year in February 2019, gfr was 61.9. I don't know what to do honestly. I'm in Japan (from America) so this is luckily something I can afford but the language barrier does cause some problems and I don't know what could be the outcome. Any advice or questions to ask the doctor would be super helpful.

Thank you

16 Replies
Bassetmommer profile image
BassetmommerNKF Ambassador

Hi KGrand.

Early diagnosis is the best way to combat this disease. At Stage 3, there are lots of things to do to help the kidney function. But first, it is important to figure out what is going on. There are many tests, urine and blood test to discover a cause. The biggest culprits are diabetes and high blood pressure. Look at somethings you might be doing. Do you take a lot of Ibuprofen? Stop. Terrible for the kidney. Do you work out and take supplements? Do you take OTC medicine or other products including herbal teas? If so, some things are very innocent looking, but harmful for the kidney. Do you drink sufficient water? Are you a big coffee drinker? Alcohol drinker? Do you take other prescription medicines such as blood pressure pills? Do you know if they are kidney safe? This is something you can check on line. Do you eat processed foods in quantity? Snack with salt? I know it is a lot of questions but discovering something and stopping it can help so much.

Let us know how things go.

KGrand profile image
KGrand in reply to Bassetmommer

Thank you fo all of this! I actually don't take medicine often prescription or otc. I don't have ibuprofen here and haven't had it for well over a year. Water intake can be better but not the worst but I do drink one cup of coffee every morning. I eat healthier here in Japan than I did in America. I do know eating healthier is always better and I can make the adjustments needed but I just didn't know if this much of a difference could be caused by just food? For well over 2 t months? I have a healthy blood pressure and no known diabetes results but I will ask the specialist next week. I read type 2 can be hidden for a long time before diagnosis.

Bassetmommer profile image
BassetmommerNKF Ambassador in reply to KGrand

HI, The answer to can diet make a difference is absolutely yes. If you are eating high carbs, lots of red meat and salty foods, all those things impact the kidney.

The thing to keep in mind is one lab up or down is not really enough to say what is going on. The doctor might suggest an ultrasound and or biopsy to look into what is going on. Testing every possible thing is the key to getting a true diagnosis. It does take a bit of time.

orangecity41 profile image
orangecity41NKF Ambassador

What you ate the days before the eGFR test could affect your outcome. Many of us keep a record of our eGFR. Mine bounced from 70 to 62 even on a CKD diet. Certain Medicines too can affect the eGFR. Discuss the eGFR results with your Doctor and see if a prescribed diet is needed.

I would start by assessing any medications you take both otc, and prescription. Then your dietary intake. I give your doctor credit for noting a problem, being concerned, and taking action. A lot of doctors poo poo this stuff.

No medications at all. Dietary is something I can look at but it just seems like a drastic change for it to be dietary only?

She didn't at first sadly. In Japan you have to get yearly check-ups. My results came back and the doctor for that check up/ my employer told me I had to go back for more testing. My first dr did ignore it :/ I'm lucky the other one didn't!

Good for the second doctor! Keep us posted and start doing some research on kidney sites others have shared with you. You might be able to narrow it down. Do you do intense exercise, or overweight? There are so many things that can contribute. High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, etc

Have cystatin-c added to your next blood work. Creatinine is a horrible biomarker for kidney function since it is a product of muscle metabolism and how much we use our muscle can vary enormously from day to day. The more muscle you have, the more creatinine your body produces even though the eGFR calculation for creatinine is based on an average of people diagnosed with kidney disease. Doctors don't really even know what is normal for the general population since the people that did the original study only developed the standard based on people that already had confirmed kidney disease. Cystatin-c tends to produce more stable results as a biomarker, so you have a better idea of your kidney function.

KGrand profile image
KGrand in reply to

I can try asking the specialist next week. Issue is the language and differences between American and Japanese hospitals/ labs. But I will definitely ask! Thank you.

Helloyall profile image
Helloyall in reply to KGrand

Re language barrier: They have interperters. Pre arrange for one before your appointment or have a support person who can translate. This too may have to be done in advance to get permission. Most hopitals and clinics have STRICT VISITOR policy due to containing COVID-19.

KGrand profile image
KGrand in reply to Helloyall

I live in the country in Hokkaido. Not all hospitals have this option including the hospital here. Even with the doctors speaking a good amount of English there are just things that they don't do here. If I was in Tokyo it would be one thing but Hokkaido and countryside are a whole other can of worms. I do however have a friend who is a nurse (not at the hospital I go to) and speaks English so I will ask her. And true, it depends on what the hospital will allow.

At this stage watch your salt intake ( (watch out for the soy sauce!) Your daily cup of coffee is fine. Drink lots of water, moderate protein . Hope it goes well with the new nephologist and they discover cause and management.

KGrand profile image
KGrand in reply to Helloyall

Will do! I'm going to look up some low sodium/salt recipes. Thank you so much!

Helloyall profile image
Helloyall in reply to KGrand

Simple leave it out and ev3n soda has it like 7-up

Do not eat processed premade foods. Watch the soy and the like so previlent there. Can use aminos instead( see Braggs if you can find it)

KGrand profile image
KGrand in reply to Helloyall

I think the biggest thing for me is just when I cook. I don't drink soda and we don't often use soy sauce. It's definitely here in a lot of things but you can avoid it too.

Hi KGrand, I’m hoping you are still on here, even though your post was four months ago. I’m also in Japan and my eGFR was 59 and then 63. However, I think Japan uses a stricter criteria for calculating this. I’ve put other peoples creatinine and age into online calculators and the eGFR is what they have been told by the doctor. When I put mine in it is 84 or 78 based on two blood tests I did.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you any clearer on what’s going on with you?

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