any advice appreciated: Hi all, I'm 52 with a... - Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease

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any advice appreciated

Earlc profile image

Hi all,

I'm 52 with a gfr of 60, I had a kidney scan and everything looks fine. All other tests are normal, no blood pressure issues or diabetes. Does anyone have any ideas as to why my gfr is this low, my doctor said I shouldn't worry and that we will check my bloods every six months.

I know this is not such a concerning issue as others may have but I am slightly anxious.

Many thanks in advance.

8 Replies
orangecity41 profile image
orangecity41NKF Ambassador

Here is a link to NKF article on eGFR, which might help explain your test results.kidney.org/atoz/content/gfr

Earlc profile image
Earlc in reply to orangecity41

Thank you.

As you can tell from the link that OC provided you'll notice that GFR does diminish as a person ages. In your case it is in a premature decline. Since you don't have either diabetes or hypertension the cause is probably elsewhere. You can wait for additional testing to see where you are (each GFR score is just a snapshot of the time the labs were drawn) and if you work out an average of your total scores you'll get a much better idea of where you are. Forty-four months ago I was diagnosed with a GFR of 32. I collected hard copies of my labs from over a year before that and discovered that I had CKD for over a year before I was informed. I added all of my GFR scores from the beginning to just last week and found my average has been 51. There is no cure for CKD and no magic potion or book to read to get your GFR to improve. What you can do is become proactive and learn all you can to slow the progression. There are a number of things you can do to help yourself and stay off dialysis for as long as possible.

Ask your doctor for a referral to meet with a nephrologist. The kidney specialist will do a complete medical history, run additional labs, have you undergo diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your declining kidney function, and then guide you to an appropriate course of treatment. Ask for a referral to meet with a renal dietitian. Bring as many hard copies of your labs with you and together you will be able to develop a kidney-friendly meal plan that works for you. It can be vegan, vegetarian or include some protein from poultry and fish, depending on your preferences. There is no one size fits all diet for folks with CKD. The changes you need to make are all part of a lifestyle change and to be successful you have to be willing to make the needed changes. You should avoid eating red meats, cured foods, processed foods, fast foods, and anything else that contains too much of the items mentioned below.

The nephrologist will guide you to a basic plan and advise you on watching your protein, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, and calcium.

If you are taking any medications you should bring a complete list with you and let the nephrologist advise you. To get an idea of what I'm talking about, please go to drugs.com and under the MY MED LIST enter any and all prescription meds you take. You'll get a list of any mild, moderate, or severe interactions with other meds, foods and even possible harm to your kidneys from taking those meds. That will give you some questions to ask and perhaps there are better meds take that don't impact your kidneys. It can be a lower dosage, taking them at different times, or even a different med that won't negatively impact your kidneys. If you sign up for the daily newsletter from Drugs.com you'll be kept up on the latest information from them and that will help you learn and remember, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Also, if you take any OTC meds please include them on your list for the nephrologist. Supplements can be harmful to your kidneys, so always receive the okay from your Care Team before you take any supplement. Avoid taking any NSAIDs like ibuprofen, advil, aleve, or aspirin. They are not kidney-friendly. If you need to take something for minor aches or pains you can take Tylenol. However, don't overdo that as an excessive amount can add to liver issues.

If you want to learn about CKD you can one or both of the things I'm going to speak to. You can go to davita.com and register for a free, virtual, 90-minute Kidney Smart class. You'll get a lot of information and resources that will make you familiar with CKD, all of the stages and the precautions to take as you move through the stages. You can also go to kidneyschool.org and watch the learning modules. These are great ways to learn and develop questions to ask your physicians.

Finally, speak to your physicians about an exercise regimen that you can do to stay active and healthy to keep your numbers inside the reference range for your labs.

I know it seems like a lot but it's really the best way to slow the progression and keep your kidney function as healthy as possible for a long time.

Best of luck.

Earlc profile image
Earlc in reply to Mr_Kidney

Thank you, really appreciate your feedback.

Creatinine is a really bad measure of kidney function, and the closer you get to a normal creatinine level the less accurate the measurement becomes. That said, unless you have protein in you urine or some other indicator of Kidney disease, you do not have CKD. Even if you do, you would be stage 2 which most doctors are not concerned about because CKD is way over diagnosed. If 37 million people have CKD in the US like the kidney foundation says, why is there less than a million in kidney failure. You have to remember doctors make money off of running test. Setting the bar for CKD low supplies doctors with 37 million potential customers to make money off of in the name of intervention. This is why healthcare in the US is so expensive.

Earlc profile image
Earlc in reply to

Thanks MattKansas, that makes a lot of sense.

Why there is NO preventive measures ?

I agree

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