GFR dropp 19 points 63 to 44 in less than a year

Posted by jeffh @jeffh, Jan 13 1:19pm

I was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma last year and had radiation treatment in December and it went well. My cancer is stage 1 and treatable. In my labs in May 2022, I had a GFR of 63. I had labs Jan 3 this year and GFR are at 44! A 19 point drop in one year! I have a referral starting yesterday to see a Nephrologist. No appt yet. What in the world could cause such a huge drop? Anybody? I'm freaking out.

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As I read more online, it is possible that I had an asymptomatic case of covid that could have weakened my kidneys. Don't know how possible, but somewhat.

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Could it be the radiation treatment?

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@jeffh

As I read more online, it is possible that I had an asymptomatic case of covid that could have weakened my kidneys. Don't know how possible, but somewhat.

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@keffh ~ I'm so sorry you are dealing with kidney damage now. You might check into a radiation/kidney damage possibility.

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@dks

@keffh ~ I'm so sorry you are dealing with kidney damage now. You might check into a radiation/kidney damage possibility.

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Thank you dks. After I posted, I found another of my labs from Oct at the oncologist and my gfr was 7.2. Amazing! So the main thing I had done was radiation. But it was near my right eye. This is why I have to see a specialist asap.

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@sammyloue

Could it be the radiation treatment?

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The doctors say no because the radiation was on my eye socket. 🙁

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@jeffh
Many of us here on this forum suffer from CKD as a chronic condition such as diabetes or any other illness that may be or has been long term, and consequently our kidney disease in many cases cannot be reversed, but can be manageable for a term. There are also others who may have had an injury or episode that results in an acute kidney impairment which perhaps can be reversed. At any event, there is a tendency to go online and seek answers from many sources, none of whom is your doctor and freak out to try to figure out why the sudden change. Many of us are vulnerable to immediate answers, but a nephrologist or NP or PA can be the best solution. I could go to 3 different labs in one day, and have 3 different eGFR results. In addition to eGFR, there is a Cystatin C lab test that also informs us of our current kidney condition. As you may know, kidney disease is long term and as such we follow the trend of our lab results, and respond accordingly with our doc or team of docs.

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Over the last 3 years, I have been diagnosed CKD from past damage unknowingly caused by a drug for pain. I also have a blood condition called MGUS. The condition is precancerous cells are trying to progress into actual cancer, most likely Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. So my Oncologist/ Hematologist team kept a close watch of my kidneys and my GFR numbers. Back in 2019, my number was always over 60 but as time passed, it began to drop, into the mid 50’s. Since my MGUS was being tested every 3 months, the number bounced up and down. By 2020, my GFR was bouncing down into the low 50’s or upper 40’s. It always seemed like when it hit a low number, the next test it bounced up high, like mid 50’s.

But then, the next test the number dropped lower than the last time, into the mid 40’s. By 2021, the bottom was getting scary because much lower numbers meant possible dialysis. All thru 2021, it dropped to 40, then 39, then 38. Then in 2022, it hit 36 and I began to panic. It seems my precancerous cells were mutating and causing all kinds of problems. They were eating the Myelin coating off my pain nerves in both legs, killing them. I was sent to two different neurologist only to be told the mutated cells were attacking both arms and hands, killing the nerves controlling them. May 2022, my team got a surprise, my GFR jumped up to 52, the following month 53 and November 2022, up to 55.

I told you all that to show that even with numbers as low as mine indicating kidney damage was increasing. But the human body can repair itself if given enough time. It seems as my mutating cells stopped destroying my nerves, my kidneys had a chance to begin the healing process. My outlook is not good tho, as they now are eating all the fat in my body for energy instead. I learned some valuable information, watch how much potassium or phosphorus you eat, it damages the kidneys. I also googled what foods or liquids are good for the kidneys. It’s because of that, I gave my kidneys a fighting chance to heal and you should do the same. So I hope my story gives you some success. Me, I’m dying and doubt I’ll see another Christmas. Good luck. @becky1024

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@collegeprof

@jeffh
Many of us here on this forum suffer from CKD as a chronic condition such as diabetes or any other illness that may be or has been long term, and consequently our kidney disease in many cases cannot be reversed, but can be manageable for a term. There are also others who may have had an injury or episode that results in an acute kidney impairment which perhaps can be reversed. At any event, there is a tendency to go online and seek answers from many sources, none of whom is your doctor and freak out to try to figure out why the sudden change. Many of us are vulnerable to immediate answers, but a nephrologist or NP or PA can be the best solution. I could go to 3 different labs in one day, and have 3 different eGFR results. In addition to eGFR, there is a Cystatin C lab test that also informs us of our current kidney condition. As you may know, kidney disease is long term and as such we follow the trend of our lab results, and respond accordingly with our doc or team of docs.

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Hi collegeprof.

I'm trying to get my mind off of it and just wait until the NP takes a deeper look. Oct. a eGFR of 71 and 3 months later 44? Something seems amiss. I have to just take it on regardless and try to get on with other things. Thank you for your comment.

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Is your NP a part of nephrology or another department? You provided limited information, and I can certainly understand why you wanted immediate answers. Your new lab test is a red flag and pursuing a nephrology expert is the right course. I personally had a change of medication that precipated into a significant drop of my eGFR, and fortunately got a handle on it. Kudos to you for following up so quickly. You may wish to see your PCP and follow up on another lab test while awaiting to see nephrology.

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@jeffh

Hi collegeprof.

I'm trying to get my mind off of it and just wait until the NP takes a deeper look. Oct. a eGFR of 71 and 3 months later 44? Something seems amiss. I have to just take it on regardless and try to get on with other things. Thank you for your comment.

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@jeffh Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. It is so easy to get caught up in the "what ifs" and "how did this happen", going down the rabbit hole of Dr. Google and not always getting accurate information.

As @collegeprof mentioned, we should look at trends in our lab reports, not just a single result. There can be variables to take into consideration. Were you perhaps not feeling well that day of the labwork? Were you dehydrated? Do you have other health issues that you live with? Was it the same lab to process your bloodwork, were the machines themselves the same? You can see, it could be a combination of all these things! I know it is not easy to be patient, and wait for your NP to give you more insight, is it?

Continue to eat healthy for your situation, get moderate exercise, keep your stress levels at bay best you can. What will you do this weekend to distract yourself? What further questions or concerns can I help you with?
Ginger

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