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Alternative Explanations for Low GFR, Elevated Creatinine

Posted by @suelfin in Kidney & Bladder, Sep 3, 2012

I am a 57 year old woman,seemingly in great condition. I have been getting slightly elevated creatinine levels (1 - 1.2) and very low eGFR numbers (52- 59).I work out regularly, including strength training, and believe I must have higher muscle mass and lower BMI than than the average 57 year old woman. I'm wondering if this could account for these labs which indicate I have stage 3 kidney disease. I feel fine, which I know isn't unusual with kidney disease.

Also, I found an alternate GFR calculator from the mayo clinic, which supposedly is more accurate with healthy individuals. Using this formula, my GFR comes out significantly above 60.

Does anyone have any experience with these issues?

Tags: kidney conditions, sports medicine


Posted by @mouser, Sep 10, 2012

Muscle mass and BMI have nothing to do with kidney disease


Posted by @mouser, Sep 10, 2012

A nephrologist would be able to provide you with a better answer about the why


Posted by @oldstile, Mar 19, 2013

I have a friend who is in a similar condition to what you described. Her and her doctor still haven't come up with definitive cause or treatment plan/diet. I'm curious if you had any luck with your doctor.

BettyJeanne likes this

Posted by @lastdaze04, Jul 18, 2014

I am not a Dr. but just a thought. Intense workouts will raise your creatinine level significantly. My suggestion is not to work out for a week and flush with water and go easy on the meat and protein supplements (if you use them) and eat way more fruits and vegetables, then go for a new GFR test. If this brings you a better number on your GFR you will then know that your work outs may be too intense as creatinine is a waste product of your muscles, the more you work out the more creatinine you will have and the kidneys have a hard time getting rid of the creatinine This is just a thought, if you have all ready done this please disregard. If you haven't done this before and it works, please post as you have peaked my curiosity.

xena and BettyJeanne like this

Posted by @kimhill1972, Jun 23, 2015

I am a 42 year old female who donated my kidney to my brother 7 years ago. Since the surgery my eGFR always runs low, sometimes it has even dropped to the 40s. My creatinine always runs just a little high. I am told my numbers show that I am in 3rd stage kidney disease but doctors say we shouldn't worry as long as my numbers stay consistent. I have also recently found out my auto immune titer rate has jumped from 1:40 to 1:640 within one year. I have been passed around to specialist after specialist and no one has been able to figure out which ana disease I may have and if its related to the kidney failure. I believe it is. I tested negative for RA lab work and told by rheumatoid specialist I do not have RA but now my doctor is wanting to refer to another RA specialist. I have gained 18 pounds within one month and have not changed my eating habits so not sure why weight gain. Thyroid has been checked since every woman in my family is either hypo or hyperthyroid. One test barely registered on the tsh test but was within normal range month later. I have had thyroid nuclear tests that was ok. I have mild degenerate disc and mild scoliosis of the spine. My career involved lots of movement and lifting as I am a Paramedic trying to save the lifes of others. 3 years ago a disc went out in my back while sitting in class and has been causing me pain for 3 years straight with no relief. My legs go numb occassionally while I am walking. I am told I am most likely going through menopause on top of all this due to my massive hot flashes but cold hands and cold feet as long as I can remember. I have small white spots on parts of my face and arms that doctor said is just sun damage and pigmentation change. I have feeling that all this is tied together and I am beyond frustrated that no one can give me answers so that maybe if there is some meds or cure I should be on it. Only issue is that most of the meds that will help are steroids of some kind and with only one kidney apparently not doing so good, most will not prescribe it to me. I am told by most specialists I am a rare unknown symptomatic case and my doctor even suggested I contact the Mayo Clinic. I live in Missouri so its not a quick trip for me but at this point I would really like some answers and relief. Anyone that may any answers to help me would be appreciated. I am beyond discouraged. Thanks.
K Hill


Posted by @LaurenSpiceland, Jun 24, 2015

Kim, I'm so sorry to hear about all the trouble you’ve been experiencing. We’d like to help. If you’d like to make an appointment, please call 866-249-1648. Or, if you’d like to speak with one of our kidney transplant physicians, please send a brief description of what you’d like to discuss, your name and phone number to


Posted by @kimhill1972, Jun 28, 2015

I wish there was something that someone could do or maybe give me answers. I don't live close by to your faciliites and have always have complete faith that if anyone could give me some kind of info, it would be appreciated. Thanks.

Kim Hill, living donor

Edited: 03/09/2016 @ 1:32pm


Posted by @colleenyoung, Wed, Mar 9 at 1:36pm CDT

Hi @kimhill1972,
It's been a while since you posted to Connect. I was wondering if you were any closer to finding answers to your questions. I also wanted to connect you with @mlemieux who recently started a discussion about living with one kidney. He explains here


Posted by @dongee, Sun, Jun 26 at 4:14pm CDT

Acupuncture can help treat low GFR. .Many seniors have stage 3 kidney disease which never advances to stage 4.


Posted by @gulzar, Mon, Jun 27 at 11:03pm CDT

I had my Creatinine high and GFR low I used Asparagus dietary supplemnt for a month it helped me with urine flow and Creatinine with GFR.

Ali Skahan likes this

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