My creatinine levels have been around 1.1 - 1.2 for a few years - and were even as high as 1.4 once about 8 years ago - and my last two GFRs were 50 and 45. My primary doctor completely brushed it off and actually seemed annoyed when I pressed him to explain why. He said GFR was just a calculated amount and didn't mean anything, and that 1.2 wasn't high for a person my age (63).
But I keep seeing that people with numbers just like mine have been told they have kidney disease, so I can't stop worrying about it. I'm wondering if I should take myself to a nephrologist or try another internist. I'm interested in people's opinions about this.
I'm suffering from pretty bad fatigue which is probably due to an autoimmune condition, but I know it could be a sign of kidney disease as well.
Creatinine and EGFR levels like yours do not cause symptoms, but an autoimmune disorder can affect your kidney function, particularly if it is lupus. Do you know what kind of autoimmune disease you have? If your levels have been stable for 8 years, there is no need for alarm, but I think it would be wise to pin down the nature of the autoimmune disease, and see a nephrologist for a consultation at least. Levels like this can occur as a result of certain BP meds, so that could cause elevation of creatinine and lowering of GFR, or diabetes and high BP can affect the kidneys.
Ladybud, thank you for responding. I have Sjogren's Syndrome. I know it can affect the kidneys, but only rarely. I am otherwise healthy and don't have high BP. I take Plaquenil and Wellbutrin only.
What I'm wondering is, are there things I should be doing, like having any further tests? changing my diet? avoiding any medications? routine monitoring? Do I actually have kidney disease or not? Everything I've read about GFR so far indicates that I do, but it sounds like there isn't anything I should or can be doing about it. It's confusing.
I can suggest a few things fornyou. Since you have Sjogren's, I would ask your Dr to check an antibody level: anti-dsDNA, which is an antibody found in autoimmune diseases that correlates with kidney disease. I would also have your creatinine monitored, perhaps every 6 months, and avoid drugs that are toxic to the kidneys. Keep your weight down, to avoid developing high BP or diabetes, and avoid dehydration, which can lead to kidney stones and worsening kidney function. The EGFR will fluctuate a fair amount, but the creatinine won't as much and is only concerning if it seems to be trending upward. A thorough microscopic urine exam by a nephrologist during a one time consult would also be advisable to look for crystals and casts. These are not picked up on dipstick urine exams. The nephrologist can then advise you further. These creatinine levels are very minimally elevated, so I wouldn't worry about them, just be prudent in protecting your kidneys and monitoring.
Just FYI, I am in the exact same place with my kidneys, EGFR and creatinine the same as yours. Mine has been stable for about 3 years, probably related to my lupus. So you have company (lots), but I am thankful it isn't trending upward or causing any symptoms. I hope yours stays stable, and after 8 years of not changing, probably will. Best wishes to you.