Hi. Was diagnosed hypothyroid 3 years ago & now been told I have CKD stage 3a? Can CKD be reversed with diet & exercise? I am a fit 52 years

I am sub clinical & currently on levo 75mcg / 100 alternate days.

I was shocked to get this renal report, as I am monitored on a 3 monthly basis. Why was CKD not picked up earlier? Again, I have had no noticeable symptoms. Have read that it can go hand in hand with hypothyroidism. Any info / links would be appreciated, especially regarding diet .

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16 Replies

  • Hi Wegelf. This is my personal experience. I too was stage 3 CKD with a GFR of 52, which I found out last summer purely because my doctor knows I now ask for all results so he knew I'd see it. I asked for historic results and saw my kidney function had been below the bottom of the range for 5 years.

    Why isn't it picked up earlier? I believe we aren't told because doctors don't know what to do about it. As you say, it seems to go hand in hand with hypo and virtually everyone I ask finds their kidney function is low.

    I take alpha lipoic acid and it worked like magic. After 6 weeks of taking 600mg a day, my GFR rose to 64 - higher than it was 6 years ago. I have just had a new blood test on Friday. It took about 2 months before I noticed an improvement in how I was feeling.

    I suggested the ALA to a telephone contact and she found an immediate improvement, much more quickly than it happened for me. So I would say ALA is worth considering.

  • Thanks Rosetrees. I am looking up ALA as I'm not sure what it is, but it certainly sounds worth a try. Will keep you posted! x

  • Hi Rosetrees. So ALA is a form of anti-oxidant if I am correct?

    Do you think that by drinking green tea and increasing the amount of anti-oxidizing foods (like blueberries etc) would make a difference? One of the internet searches I read, suggested that taking ALA could affect thyroid levels? I'll check with my Dr too, as they seem quite happy for me to be taking a pro-active approach! I will certainly consider giving it a try. Thing is, I guess we all have different symptoms and metabolisms, different things will work for different people. Trial and error I guess. I'll keep you posted though, and thanks for taking the time to reply. x

  • Hi Wegelf. I'm afraid I don't know enough to know if green tea and blueberries on their own would be enough to help. I drink green tea and eat blueberries, but not consistently and I'm as certain as I can be that it was the ALA that helped both myself and my contact. As with all things thyroid and adrenal, what works for one might not work for another. It's all trial and error.

  • What is CKD?

  • CKD is Chronic kidney disease / or Chronic renal disease - it means that my kidneys aren't functioning properly - in fact only at about 50%. I have read that it is quite common with hypo t.

    Hope that helps.

  • Whether you can increase kidney function significantly or not probably depends on the cause of the CKD and whether the damage is temporary or permanent.

    There are certainly things that you can do to stabilise the eGFR.

    The most important are to minimise salt/sodium intake and get regular exercise (e.g. walking).

    It is also important to monitor your blood pressure, as high BP is bad for kidneys. You can get a good BP machine for less that £50 and this is also useful for monitoring heart-rate if you are taking T4 and/or T3.

    My kidney function declined over around 25 years (caused by chemotherapy) before I started to feel the effects, some of which are similar to some of the physical effects of hypothyroidism. It is very frustrating that it took so long before I was referred to a renal consultant.

    I have been on medication for several years and my eGFR has been relatively stable at around 20% (stage 4 CKD).

    I do not know if there is a connection between CKD and hypothyroidism, as I was only aware of my thyroid function being checked after treatment with Interferon Alpha for years ago, which is known to have an impact of thyroid function.

    If you get referred to a renal consultant, ask if they are part of Patient View (https://www.patientview.org/). This is a website where you can access your renal blood results and renal consultant's letters. This started as RenalPatientView, but is now in the process of expanding to include more medical conditions. Unfortunately, the PV website does not show thyroid results (yet).

  • Hi Yousurname - that's really helpful. I am awaiting an appointment for a scan, hopefully about 6 weeks, so will be better informed then - as to whether the damage is permanent or not. I shall definitely look at lowering my salt intake too, though I generally don't each much in the way of processed foods etc. I will definitely ask if I can get my results from 'patient view' too as I think some doctors feel that the less you know the better..... lol !

  • You may be surprised how much salt is in everyday food.

    I also suggest that you have your Vitamin D checked, as the kidneys play a part in processing Vit D. Your renal consultant may prescribe Alfacalcidol (One-Alfa) to boost Vit D.

  • Yeah, thanks for that. I think it's just a wake up call - a bit of a lifestyle tweak. I guess I'll see a renal consultant after I've had my scan. Vitamin D?? Long holidays in the sun then?? LOL!

  • Hi try not to worry. I have renal failure , along with a host of other horrible conditions. make sure you are under a really good nephrologist. have U`s and E``. kidney function bloods, done frequently, with ranges. In particular watch your Diabetes, levels. All the electrolytes, main ones are Potassium and sodium ( U`s and E`s) , calcium and magnesium. Do not take magnesium without being under medical supervision and script. Sodium, salt be very careful. keep the level just in range. potassium ,is ideally at 4, any range. if vit D low on test, make sure you have a calcium test, it is the corrected calcium, that matters.If taking D, must be script and re check of calcium and vit d after 4 months. Calcium,. Potassium, magnesium and sodium are the main electrolytes for heart and ,kidneys, vital they are always in range.

    it is important to have a healthy life style and be very aware of any infections. Important BP is good and cholesterol. otherwise drugs for those.it is only slightly connected to the thyroid.I am afraid, it is just a question of stopping any deterioration. if you do deteriorated plenty of treatment, for most people

    Best wishes,


    Not sure if you know. if you want to reply to any specific post, click on the "reply to this" under that post, so that we know.

  • Hi Jackie, I did have a high reading for my potassium levels about 2 years ago & my doctor asked me if I had been eating lots of bananas?!? lol! Since then, my potassium levels were quite high and as I was going traveling to do voluntary work in Asia, my doc suggests I have my bloods checked whilst away. It is only because the doctors here flagged up the high sodium, eGFR to 52% and high potassium, that I was aware that anything was wrong. I would have things checked here but don't have the £ to pay & insurance won't cover a they say it is an existing condition :( have spoken to docs in UK & they are arranging ultra sound when I get home. Not sure if I'll be referred to endocrinologist or nephrologist (I'll have to look them up on the internet to see which each of them do) - the doc didn't say...

  • Hi I am afraid GP`s, some Nephrologists and even some cardios are very ignorant about Potassium and how dangerous it is.For a start I would also ask for a magnesium test, never take any other than in food. Tiny range and the most vital of all. U`s and E`s should be done at least 4 weekly at the moment. Make sure you are drinking lots of water. It is vital not to become dehydrated. I do not want to scare you but high Potassium can cause either Cardiac arrest or more likely total renal failure, if quick this is reversal. Sleepy is a bad sign, if this happens drink even more.to keep hydrated. i have survived 2 comas from this, but unusual. The ultra sound will be to look at size and cysts etc. Neither need to worry,May be stones too will show. i have dozens, they are only dangerous if in a cyst, as mine, or if move too much. Then severe pain, passed out usually, blood then in urine.. Again nothing to worry about too much. Ultra sound though, a very good idea. I have tremendous pain in my kidneys too, again, you just live with it. it is quite unique, sort of deep inside the body. I have a very serious kidney and liver disease condition, born with it, still here but a few bumpy rides. So take care of yourself and try not to worry. If I can help anytime send me a PM if you like.Do be sure to have at lest Diabetres tested annually, more if you think a problem. Symptoms start off like thyroid, it is autoimmune and hormonal.Food most Potassium is toms, bananas and Kiwi, magnesium rich lots, of things,can push it up or too much salt.

    Best wishes,


  • Hi Jackie, thanks for the info. You have been really helpful and reassuring.

    I think it is worrying when something comes out of the blue and you're not prepared for it. At least I know that it can be somewhat controlled by diet and attitude!

    Again, thanks for the support. x

  • Hi it is always a shock even if you think you have something.,to actually have it confirmed.Do send me a Pm any time, click on my name is the easiest way.


  • Hello Rosetrees, Yousurname, and Jackie.

    An update at last. I went for my ultrasound scan the other day and the radiologist? said that everything looked pretty normal - the kidneys were a good size 9.5 & 10 cms, there appears to be no blockages, stones or calcification. Suggested that I would need radioactive dye to be able to monitor the actual function.

    All that being said, my latest blood sample showed my EGFR had increased to 58. When I called my doctor, it said on the notes that 'no further action was necessary'... My doctor has suggested that I have regular blood checks and minimize my salt intake, stay healthy, exercise blah blah ... everything that I am already doing.

    I haven't looked into the Alpha Lipoic Acid yet - as suggested by Rosetrees, but will give it a go and see what happens. Thanks for all your replies to my post. x

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