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Old 05-13-2011, 10:28 AM   #1
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Blood test reveals low GFR :(

In the last 3 weeks, I've been feeling really thirsty, resulting in drinking more water than normally and peeing a lot more. So, I went to the doctors earlier in the week and they did a blood and urine test.

Saw the doctor today and he said that no diabetes is present, however I have a "disappointing" GFR of 58, (90+ as normal) which is low for someone aged 45.

When I went in to get my blood tested, I hadn't eaten for 12 hours and I think I may have been a little bit dehydrated, if that makes any difference?

Anyway, he said I should cut out chinese and curry, stop drinking carbonated drinks and don't put salt on my food for the next month. Then they will do the test again.

With a reading of 58, is there any chance that I could have a much higher reading when I go back in a months time? Can diet make a change like that over the next month, or has he only said that to avoid more damage to my kidneys?

Naturally, I am completely devastated.

Thanks,

Jon

Last edited by Jon12345; 05-13-2011 at 10:28 AM.

 
Old 05-21-2011, 09:55 PM   #2
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Re: Blood test reveals low GFR :(

Hi Jon,

I am sorry about your GFR result. Your doctor is going to re-test your blood and urine. The lab results will confirm whether your kidney function has decreased.

Quote:
I've been feeling really thirsty, resulting in drinking more water than normally and peeing a lot more.
.

Our kidneys compensate for any kidney problems that develop. The kidneys go into an overdrive mode and keep going. This is good, but it also means that many kidney diseases go undetected until there is a substantial loss of kidney function.
Initially, there are no symptoms. Increased frequency of bathroom breaks could point to kidney or several other health issues. I am glad that diabetes has been ruled out.
Moderate or severe dehydration affects the kidney function negatively and can result in a lower GFR test result. I am not sure about the severity of dehydration that occurs after a 12 hour fasting period.

How is your blood pressure? With reduced kidney function, there is a good chance it may be elevated. Are you on any anti- hypertensive medication? Some medications that affect creatinine levels (creatinine level is used in the calculation of GFR) can cause the GFR to appear higher or lower than it actually is. Decreased blood flow to the kidneys, being very overweight, or a vegetarian, a body-builder type with a lot of muscle mass or a person whose muscles are wasting are some of the other things that may affect the GFR test results.

Carbonated drinks can contribute to chronic dehydration and are bad for you. The BEST thing we can do for ourselves (regardless of the GFR level) is to cut back on our salt consumption.

Do not eat a lot of protein the night before your next test.


Quote:
With a reading of 58, is there any chance that I could have a much higher reading when I go back in a months time?
Only your doctor can tell you this. I have been told that kidney function fluctuates and have seen that happen with mine. It can go up and improve quite a bit!!! That is why it is so important to try to eat healthier, less salty foods. It is good for the kidneys, the heart and other organs. Reducing our sodium consumption to recommended daily amounts allows us to have better blood pressure control and to remain healthier.
Good luck!

flowergirl

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 05-21-2011 at 09:58 PM.

 
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:41 PM   #3
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Re: Blood test reveals low GFR :(

It is possible that your number will be higher with proper hydration and dietary changes. Keep in mind that "normal" gfr is anything over 60, not 90. So you are not off the mark by much.

Best of luck with the follow up blood work. Keep us posted.
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:04 AM   #4
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Re: Blood test reveals low GFR :(

I am in the UK and the scale is different. GFR of 58 over here is stage 3 CKD. Its like Fahrenheit and Celsius.

Last edited by Jon12345; 05-23-2011 at 04:46 AM.

 
Old 05-23-2011, 06:14 AM   #5
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Re: Blood test reveals low GFR :(

I'm in Canada. Btw, the eGFR is the same in Canada, the US, and the UK. It is the creatinine that is different. Some labs measure differently, but in general, you are not that far off the mark. What is your creatinine? That is a better indicator as the GFR is an estimate and not that accurate.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:07 AM   #6
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Re: Blood test reveals low GFR :(

I am not sure what my Creatinine is. I have read that 90+ is normal for GFR in the UK, with 59 or below putting you into stage 3 CKD. Also, my doctor says that my GFR level is stage 3.

When you say not far off the mark, what do you mean?

Is there eGFR and GFR?

Oh, and I've heard you know your stuff around this place.

Last edited by Jon12345; 05-23-2011 at 08:14 AM.

 
Old 05-23-2011, 09:10 AM   #7
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Re: Blood test reveals low GFR :(

The GFR (glomerular filtration rate) is always estimated. It is more accurate for men than for women, but it is still an estimation. It's not the best thing to base treatment on or even diagnosis although it is a part of the entire process.

Keep in mind, that even if you are at stage 3, you may remain stable for a long time. Especially if you maintain proper bp control and limit salt and animal protein intake.

Thanks for the compliment.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:55 AM   #8
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Re: Blood test reveals low GFR :(

I have low blood pressure, but I do love my salt.

Does that mean I can never put salt on my food or have curry or chinese food?

What I found strange was that I suddenly got thirsty. I spoke to a friend who has children with polycystic kidney disease. She said that her son drinks about 20 pints of water per day! :S

By remaining stable, do you mean that my GFR would just decline at a normal pace, like maybe 0.5 GFR per year?

Last edited by Jon12345; 05-23-2011 at 09:56 AM.

 
Old 05-23-2011, 10:09 AM   #9
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Re: Blood test reveals low GFR :(

I wouldn't cut out favorite foods or eating out once in a while, but I would cut back on the shaker.

By remaining stable, it is possible for the results to stay the same for an extended period of time. Especially with the introduction of things like ACE inhibitor drugs that have been shown in some cases to even reverse kidney disease. Has your doc placed you on this med? It is considered the gold standard.

BTW, are you seeing a family doc or a nephrologist? It is a good idea to see a neph if at all possible as they will know all the latest tricks to keep your kidney as healthy as long as possible.
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:34 AM   #10
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Re: Blood test reveals low GFR :(

I am seeing my family doc. Its free in the UK.

At this stage, I haven't got a diagnosis. All we know is that my GFR is low and its the equivalent to stage 3 CKD. He hasn't as yet diagnosed CKD since it requires 3 months at low GFR.

He told me to not have curry, chinese and to stop using the salt shaker. Oh, and no carbonated drinks either. All my fave things!!

I've stuck to that so far and have also become more aware of how much sodium is in certain stuff.

They will take my blood test again in 2.5 weeks and see the results.

I was told to not eat meat 24 hours before the test and also to be nicely hydrated. But that still doesn't explain why I am suddenly feeling very thirsty.

 
Old 05-23-2011, 10:47 AM   #11
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Re: Blood test reveals low GFR :(

Sorry, I don't know why you would feel so thirsty. Maybe it is because things are adjusting due to the lower salt.

Keep us posted on your follow up labs and feel free to ask questions.
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:22 AM   #12
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Re: Blood test reveals low GFR :(

My thirst is not to do with my diet change. I felt thirsty and so went to the docs with suspected diabetes. I hadn't even heard of the word "renal" before at that stage! Then they did blood tests and found a low GFR.

 
Old 05-24-2011, 05:30 AM   #13
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Re: Blood test reveals low GFR :(

While I'm only guessing, it could be that your kidneys are working harder because of some minor damage and consequently your are thirstier due to the increased filtration. That's only a guess though.
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:48 PM   #14
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Re: Blood test reveals low GFR :(

Got my test results back yesterday. They were 1 month on to see if a low salt diet had any effect. Before, my GFR was 58, putting me at stage 3 CKD. This time, it was 61. No protein found in urine with dipstick, so they are doing a more accurate test via a lab this time. Doc said if no protein in urine then I would not be classified as having CKD.

Got appointment in 6 weeks to have an ultrasound on my kidneys. Scared on what they might find.

 
Old 06-17-2011, 02:32 PM   #15
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Re: Blood test reveals low GFR :(

The odds are they won't find anything and you'll get a clean bill of health. Best of luck and keep us posted.
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