Low kidney function: What does it mean? Should I be worried?

Posted by macarl @macarl, Oct 28, 2016

My doctor just informed me I have diminished kidney function. This was a complete surprise to me because I'm not aware of any symptoms. I had an ultrasound and the results were normal but my doctor still wants me to see a specialist. This is all making me feel very anxious. Has anyone else gone through similar circumstances? What can I expect at my appointment with the specialist? I'm 61 years old and have had a very, very stressful, anxiety-filled year. I am seeing a psychiatrist and a counselor at this time to deal with rhe issues.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Kidney & Bladder Support Group.

@ryman

My GFR was tested because I was having a CT scan with dye. It came back as 50 and should have been at least 60. They went ahead with the dye and my doctor hasn’t mentioned this. Should I be concerned? Thank you.

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@ryman Seeing a lower than expected eGFR for your kidneys can be quite a surprise, and possibly more stress-producing than the CT scan.

Take into account the trend of the eGFR values over a course of time, not just a single reading. What have you been seeing? There are many factors that can affect a single reading, from your hydration level, overall well-being that day, and medications you are taking. You said your doctor has not addressed this with you. Do you plan to ask about this value the next time you see him/her?
Ginger

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@vivianwaters

Today I found out that my kidney function is low. The dr told me that there wasn’t anything to be concerned about. Is this true?

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My GFR was tested because I was having a CT scan with dye. It came back as 50 and should have been at least 60. They went ahead with the dye and my doctor hasn’t mentioned this. Should I be concerned? Thank you.

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@ryman

My GFR was tested because I was having a CT scan with dye. It came back as 50 and should have been at least 60. They went ahead with the dye and my doctor hasn’t mentioned this. Should I be concerned? Thank you.

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Hi @ryman, I moved your message to this recent discussion that @vivianwaters started just a few days ago on the same topic: Low kidney function.

You may also be interested to review this related discussion that you started in 2017.
– Possible low kidney function https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/possible-low-kidney-function/

Ryman, what, if anything, has changed in your kidney function and daily living since you first posted?

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@ryman

My GFR was tested because I was having a CT scan with dye. It came back as 50 and should have been at least 60. They went ahead with the dye and my doctor hasn’t mentioned this. Should I be concerned? Thank you.

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Hello @ryman
I can understand your concern about a change in your GFR. If your doctor has not talked with you about it you can certainly call the office and ask about it. You can also request a repeat of the test to see if it is still low.

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@ryman

My GFR was tested because I was having a CT scan with dye. It came back as 50 and should have been at least 60. They went ahead with the dye and my doctor hasn’t mentioned this. Should I be concerned? Thank you.

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Hello @ryman,

I hope you are doing well. Has your doctor helped you to understand the reason for the change in your GFR?

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Does taking Eliquest affect your kidney functions. Mine got worse after starting to take it

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@gettys4

Does taking Eliquest affect your kidney functions. Mine got worse after starting to take it

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@floyd81 Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You mentioned that your kidney function got worse after starting Eliquis. Has your doctor indicated you will be taking this for a long time, or is it short duration? Do you have pre-existing kidney issues, and if so, what was your kidney function before? It is imperative that your doctor be aware of all supplements you take [both over-the-counter and prescription] when prescribing a new medication. In addition, if you have changed your diet or activity level, those should be taken into consideration. At the very least, ask your doctor about the change you noticed, and get a professional opinion for the differences you are seeing.

Usually, the idea is to watch kidney function as a trend, rather than relying on a single test result. Your hydration level, activity level, how you are feeling that day, can all affect the lab results for any given set of bloodwork. How are you feeling today?
Ginger

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@vivianwaters

Today I found out that my kidney function is low. The dr told me that there wasn’t anything to be concerned about. Is this true?

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I also have been told My GFR is low but the cause is probably the Prescription NSAIDs I have been taking for many years. Do not have a hypertension problem I have stopped them. Any body had a similar issue and was there improvement after? I have become more conscientious about hydrating better. Thanks

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@bwardccrn

I also have been told My GFR is low but the cause is probably the Prescription NSAIDs I have been taking for many years. Do not have a hypertension problem I have stopped them. Any body had a similar issue and was there improvement after? I have become more conscientious about hydrating better. Thanks

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@bwardccrn Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect! Taking NSAIDs can indeed cause kidney or liver damage. I used to take aspirin or naproxen [Alleve] but stopped when told my kidneys were suffering for it. I switched to acetaminophine [sp?], but because I have a kidney disease, I severely limit myself taking them now. At any rate, I have been advised to take no more than 3 grams of it a day, due to liver or kidney concerns. Yes, my eGFR improved after stopping the bad stuff. You may want to take the time to explore other ways to relive the pain/discomfort you are experiencing. May I ask what you take the NSAIDS for? Hydration is always good, and I applaud you for that! What is your eGFR at this point?
Ginger

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@vivianwaters

Today I found out that my kidney function is low. The dr told me that there wasn’t anything to be concerned about. Is this true?

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Ginger. Thanks for replying. I had been on prescription Mobic 7.5 mg but would occasionally take 15 mg for increased pain for decades because of scoliosis and degenerative arthritic back problems. I have switched to actominophen
1000 mg twice (2 grams) a day and use a homeopathic topical called topricin, alternating with cbd patches Heat especially in the morning for stiffness and stretching. That all keeps pain under control I have not taken the NSAIDs for about 6 months
My last 2 GFRs were 49 and 42. I have physical scheduled beginning of April and will have repeat labs. Hoping the GFR will
improve. My other kidney labs were ok creatinine a little high 1.1
No other issues like retaining fluid
Happy to hear your GFR improved after stopping the NSAIDs. How soon after stopping did it improve?
How are lab values now? Have you had to see a nephrologist?
Barbara

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