Just diagnosed Stage 3 CKD: Should I be referred to a nephrologist?

Posted by pmsfarmer @pmsfarmer, Tue, May 21 10:26pm

My Dr. sort of blew this off, but I am concerned about living awhile past 69, my current age. Any suggestions appreciated. He didn’t feel a referral to a nephrologist was necessary.

Liked by cehunt57

I have a wonderful Nephrologist and he’s not with The Mayo Clinic. The only reason I didn’t seek out a doctor at The Mayo is bcuz Dr Robert Cohen once saved my life and the Clinic embeds their doctors in the local hospitals. That’s where Dr Cohen saw me when I was brought in unresponsive in July 2009. He saw my family coming in the ER, the paramedics frantically working on me and Dr Cohen said she’s my patient, bring her to me. He saved my life!!! Dr Robert Cohen and he’s with The Southwest Kidney Institute and they’re in every part of the valley.

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@pmsfarmer, I've read and my docs also have told me you can live quite awhile in stage 3. They also told me that as we near 70 our kidney function naturally declines as part of aging and what would be abnormal for a young person isn't necessarily bad for someone 70+. When I was first diagnosed I was in stage 4 but moved up to stage three with proper diet and good medical management. Occasionally I drop back to stage 4 temporarily, depending mostly on what's going on with meds for other health conditions, but for the most part have been pretty stable for two years. Two different nephrologists have told me they don't usually start considering dialysis until a patient's filtration rate drops below 20 and stays there. As long as your primary care doctor monitors your lab work to check your kidney function, he may feel you don't need to go to a specialist yet. However, as patients, we are ALWAYS entitled to a second opinion. Or a third. Etc. Most docs don't object if you ask for a referral to a specialist "just" for a 2nd opinion. Quite frankly, although my own neph is considered to be one of the best, I have much better rapport with my very knowledgeable primary and would just as soon he managed my CKD but he feels a neph is more appropriate so I'm doing as he asks. Hope this helps and welcome to this discussion! There's good info here and lots of support.

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@laylabug

I have a wonderful Nephrologist and he’s not with The Mayo Clinic. The only reason I didn’t seek out a doctor at The Mayo is bcuz Dr Robert Cohen once saved my life and the Clinic embeds their doctors in the local hospitals. That’s where Dr Cohen saw me when I was brought in unresponsive in July 2009. He saw my family coming in the ER, the paramedics frantically working on me and Dr Cohen said she’s my patient, bring her to me. He saved my life!!! Dr Robert Cohen and he’s with The Southwest Kidney Institute and they’re in every part of the valley.

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@laylabug, welcome to this discussion. Sounds like your neph is quite a guy. Glad he saved your life.

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@pmsfarmer Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. We're glad you're here! Great to hear you are looking after yourself, and willing to be proactive in your own health. I can only tell you my story; I'm not a medical professional. I was diagnosed with kidney disease approximately 15 years ago, and have maintained a stage 3 for the last 7 years by virtue of lifestyle and diet. The cause of my kidney disease is a very rare autoimmune condition. It would be good if your doctor can tell you the cause of your kidney disease; the two main causes are high blood pressure and diabetes. As @kamama94 mentioned, you can learn to live with your kidney disease and to slow the progression of it. I would certainly go for a second opinion with a nephrologist, so you can get all of the information possible there is a lot here on the Mayo Clinic website. Also go to http://www.rsnhope.org for a lot of information. The founder of that organization is a four-time kidney transplant recipient who has dealt with kidney disease since the age of three. I am involved with her patient lead support groups. Please come back and let us know how you are doing, and how we can help you.
Ginger

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