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.

@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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@bwardccrn

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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@bwardccm I use Topricin products, also! They have a fibromyalgia cream, and a pain relief cream that I like. I also have topical CBD. Hot shower first thing most mornings, aimed at my lower back.

Yes, I see a nephrologist. I have a rare kidney disease, and my eGFR is about 25% at this point. I follow a pretty strict renal diet. If you search for messages from @kamama94, she has downloaded smart recipes and food charts for us with kidney issues. The big things to watch out for are high potassium, high sodium foods. Keeping to a diet as natural as possible is good. There is lots of great information and experiences within the pages of Mayo Connect, and all it costs is your time for sitting to read! Another great website, is rsnhope.org.
Ginger

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Hello All,

I've just retired from the Military and am 43. My entire career's been marked with good health and have never been told i'm high on anything during blood work. I've been out about three months and went for my introductory exam at the local VA Clinic. After some blood work the nurse called me and told me I had low kidney function with the Creatinine range being .7-1.3 for the test, mine was 1.4. With a number so close to the range I asked via the messaging system if this was something to worry about and if I have kidney Disease. The nurse told me yes I have Kidney Disease but that the doctor wasn't too worried about it and it would be reviewed at my next annual blood draw. I have GERD as well and have had to take a proton pump inhibitor for the last couple years.

Glad the doctor's not worried, because i'm terrified. Was terrified literally all weekend due to how I was told on the phone my numbers were not within norms and to "have a nice day" by the nurse. After talking with my uncle i've discovered that my grandmother died from heart attack while on a Kidney Dialysis machine at age 53. This didn't improve my mental health any.

My wife, who's also a nurse looked at my bloodwork numbers and said she's surprised they even talked to me about it they were so close outside of ranges.

What did I come here for? I don't know. Did an internet search to educate myself a little bit about this disease and didn't seem to find many rays of sunshine. Guess I just wanted to put my thoughts to the internet, even for just expression.

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@thecorporatespy

Hello All,

I've just retired from the Military and am 43. My entire career's been marked with good health and have never been told i'm high on anything during blood work. I've been out about three months and went for my introductory exam at the local VA Clinic. After some blood work the nurse called me and told me I had low kidney function with the Creatinine range being .7-1.3 for the test, mine was 1.4. With a number so close to the range I asked via the messaging system if this was something to worry about and if I have kidney Disease. The nurse told me yes I have Kidney Disease but that the doctor wasn't too worried about it and it would be reviewed at my next annual blood draw. I have GERD as well and have had to take a proton pump inhibitor for the last couple years.

Glad the doctor's not worried, because i'm terrified. Was terrified literally all weekend due to how I was told on the phone my numbers were not within norms and to "have a nice day" by the nurse. After talking with my uncle i've discovered that my grandmother died from heart attack while on a Kidney Dialysis machine at age 53. This didn't improve my mental health any.

My wife, who's also a nurse looked at my bloodwork numbers and said she's surprised they even talked to me about it they were so close outside of ranges.

What did I come here for? I don't know. Did an internet search to educate myself a little bit about this disease and didn't seem to find many rays of sunshine. Guess I just wanted to put my thoughts to the internet, even for just expression.

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@thecorporatespy Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, first of all! You have come to the right place to talk about kidney issues, whether they be severe or mild. With your blood work did you get your eGFR level? That shows you kidney function level. Remember that anytime you have blood work done, you may have varying numbers due to hydration levels and even the machines that are used. So the next time your numbers may be a little bit different thing, and that's not necessarily bad. It's good to come here and vent. I myself am in stage 4 kidney disease and at 22% function.
Sorry if there are any typos here. I saw your post and am answering from my cell phone because I can sense your sense of panic right now. You say your wife is a nurse and she says there is nothing to worry about. Then believe her! Please come back and let us know if there are any questions you might have. Will you do that for me?
Ginger

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@thecorporatespy

Hello All,

I've just retired from the Military and am 43. My entire career's been marked with good health and have never been told i'm high on anything during blood work. I've been out about three months and went for my introductory exam at the local VA Clinic. After some blood work the nurse called me and told me I had low kidney function with the Creatinine range being .7-1.3 for the test, mine was 1.4. With a number so close to the range I asked via the messaging system if this was something to worry about and if I have kidney Disease. The nurse told me yes I have Kidney Disease but that the doctor wasn't too worried about it and it would be reviewed at my next annual blood draw. I have GERD as well and have had to take a proton pump inhibitor for the last couple years.

Glad the doctor's not worried, because i'm terrified. Was terrified literally all weekend due to how I was told on the phone my numbers were not within norms and to "have a nice day" by the nurse. After talking with my uncle i've discovered that my grandmother died from heart attack while on a Kidney Dialysis machine at age 53. This didn't improve my mental health any.

My wife, who's also a nurse looked at my bloodwork numbers and said she's surprised they even talked to me about it they were so close outside of ranges.

What did I come here for? I don't know. Did an internet search to educate myself a little bit about this disease and didn't seem to find many rays of sunshine. Guess I just wanted to put my thoughts to the internet, even for just expression.

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TheCorporateSpy (intriguing username), welcome. Not long ago @macarl and @vivianwaters each wrote a message very similar to yours. For that reason, I moved your message to this existing discussion called "Low kidney function: What does it mean? Should I be worried?"

I recommend that you read through the past posts to see the exchanges, information shared and support offered by @bwardccrn @jolinda @veteran1950 @predictable @rosemarya @gingerw and others. You've come to the right place to get support, info and perspective.

What did you doctor say the next steps are?

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Was you BUN normal and other kidney function tests? Do you hydrate and drink cranberry juice?

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@gingerw

@thecorporatespy Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, first of all! You have come to the right place to talk about kidney issues, whether they be severe or mild. With your blood work did you get your eGFR level? That shows you kidney function level. Remember that anytime you have blood work done, you may have varying numbers due to hydration levels and even the machines that are used. So the next time your numbers may be a little bit different thing, and that's not necessarily bad. It's good to come here and vent. I myself am in stage 4 kidney disease and at 22% function.
Sorry if there are any typos here. I saw your post and am answering from my cell phone because I can sense your sense of panic right now. You say your wife is a nurse and she says there is nothing to worry about. Then believe her! Please come back and let us know if there are any questions you might have. Will you do that for me?
Ginger

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I just found my EGFR on it. It is 55.5. Albumin is within the acceptable range of the test. So i'm not sure why that's so low.

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@thecorporatespy

I just found my EGFR on it. It is 55.5. Albumin is within the acceptable range of the test. So i'm not sure why that's so low.

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Just a quick reply @thecorporatespy. I thought you'd be interested in my eGFR, which reads in the 36-40 range every lab test for the past several years. Stage 3 chronic kidney disease (CKD) is my diagnosis, and a nephrologist is one of my favorite and most consulted physicians at Kaiser Permanente. One other thing: Did your medical team mention the kidney implications of proton pump inhibitors? Martin

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@predictable

Just a quick reply @thecorporatespy. I thought you'd be interested in my eGFR, which reads in the 36-40 range every lab test for the past several years. Stage 3 chronic kidney disease (CKD) is my diagnosis, and a nephrologist is one of my favorite and most consulted physicians at Kaiser Permanente. One other thing: Did your medical team mention the kidney implications of proton pump inhibitors? Martin

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No, as a matter of fact my doctor basically told me, "See you next year." No words that I should make an appointment to consult her at her office. Nothing.

I've made an appointment to see her to discus my labs and current medications for Friday. Like I said, the phone call as terrifying both in it's implications, and it's less than emergent tone.

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