Kidney function

Posted by jodyschmidt @jodyschmidt, Sep 22 10:54pm

My gFR was slowly declining. I’ve had hypertension for about 25 years. In the past 9 months the blood pressure getting worse and gFR was 55 last November, 48 in March, 44 in September, and last week it was 42. Today it dropped to 19. I’m only 53, 138#0, 5’4. My potassium is low and I’m seeing nephrologist next week. Tips, suggestions, advice?
Jody

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I have been checked out for low GFR, now 51. I've been to the kidney Dr for an ultrasound etc and all looks good except for the GFR. BP is low, I am "fluffy." For kidney disease, they also look at Creatnine and mine is fine at 1.15. No diabetes. They looked at my kidney size and they are fine. I have MCTD, an autoimmune disease, but these are fairly recent findings. I stopped all NSAIDs and halved my prescription of Plaquenil without a change. All they could come up with was to drink more water through the day.

REPLY

There are 2 concepts that you may wish to remember, acute and chronic. Acute kidney disease involves typically an injury, and many times can be relieved or even perhaps return back to normalcy. Unfortunately, chronic kidney disease cannot, but can be controlled to some extent over time with fluids, diet, and exercise and avoidance of large amounts of salt, phosphorus, and potassium. Chronic kidney disease or CKD is typically the result of long term diabetes, hypertension, and some others. Water is your friend as you want to avoid dehydration. When examined fully, try to set up a team of doctors and medical advocates such as a nephrologist, PCP, dietitian, and others. Pay close attention to this forum as there will be others trying to help, especially our terrific mentors.

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Husband has been at Stage 3 for at least 3 years. Ended up in hospital a week ago and blood test showed GFR 42 while in ER (BP had dropped to 73/38 and HR 53). They started pumping fluids into him and antibiotic for UTI. By the time they shipped him off to SNF for therapy 4 days later his GFR was reading 67! No idea what it is now.
But seems so strange. Doctors didn't say anything and still listed him as Stage 3 when they released him.

Has anyone else had this happen? Any ideas of what might have caused the sudden dramatic rise in GFR?
Thank you.

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@collegeprof

There are 2 concepts that you may wish to remember, acute and chronic. Acute kidney disease involves typically an injury, and many times can be relieved or even perhaps return back to normalcy. Unfortunately, chronic kidney disease cannot, but can be controlled to some extent over time with fluids, diet, and exercise and avoidance of large amounts of salt, phosphorus, and potassium. Chronic kidney disease or CKD is typically the result of long term diabetes, hypertension, and some others. Water is your friend as you want to avoid dehydration. When examined fully, try to set up a team of doctors and medical advocates such as a nephrologist, PCP, dietitian, and others. Pay close attention to this forum as there will be others trying to help, especially our terrific mentors.

Jump to this post

@collegeprof You are absolutely right in your response! Kidney function and daily life are closely tied together.

@jodyschmidt First, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Seeing a dramatic change in numbers is concerning for anyone, to be sure! I hope you read the response from @collegeprof and the education there. There are a few other factors that can result in differing values than you normally see. Your level of hydration at the time of testing [dehydration is not a good thing!], your immediate diet and what you have eaten, time of day, even the different testing machines used to process your blood samples can all play a part.

High blood pressure and diabetes appear to be the leading causes of chronic kidney disease. Controlling those health issues can go a long way to keeping your body healthy, but it can be a constant battle. Doctors seem to gloss over those concerns. My chronic kidney issues are from a rare autoimmune disorder. There are also genetic or lifestyle factors that can play into it.

When you go to the nephrologist next week, you may hear a lot of new words. If you have a second set of ears [friend, spouse, partner, family member] to go with you, please do so. Ask questions, take notes. If something is unclear, ask to have it repeated. Write out any questions you have ahead of time. All of this will be a new experience, so take a deep breath. You got this! And, remember, we will be here to answer questions as we can. We are not medical professionals, but we do have experience to share, and support to offer.
Ginger

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@billchitwood

Husband has been at Stage 3 for at least 3 years. Ended up in hospital a week ago and blood test showed GFR 42 while in ER (BP had dropped to 73/38 and HR 53). They started pumping fluids into him and antibiotic for UTI. By the time they shipped him off to SNF for therapy 4 days later his GFR was reading 67! No idea what it is now.
But seems so strange. Doctors didn't say anything and still listed him as Stage 3 when they released him.

Has anyone else had this happen? Any ideas of what might have caused the sudden dramatic rise in GFR?
Thank you.

Jump to this post

@billchitwood Dehydration will often allow a eGFR to drop dramatically. "Pumping fluids in" as you said, will get the kidneys functioning at a higher level, giving better numbers. Also, if his blood pressure stabilized, his kidney values might change for the better. And let's not forget the difference in the testing machines. It doesn't take much.
Ginger

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@gingerw

@collegeprof You are absolutely right in your response! Kidney function and daily life are closely tied together.

@jodyschmidt First, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Seeing a dramatic change in numbers is concerning for anyone, to be sure! I hope you read the response from @collegeprof and the education there. There are a few other factors that can result in differing values than you normally see. Your level of hydration at the time of testing [dehydration is not a good thing!], your immediate diet and what you have eaten, time of day, even the different testing machines used to process your blood samples can all play a part.

High blood pressure and diabetes appear to be the leading causes of chronic kidney disease. Controlling those health issues can go a long way to keeping your body healthy, but it can be a constant battle. Doctors seem to gloss over those concerns. My chronic kidney issues are from a rare autoimmune disorder. There are also genetic or lifestyle factors that can play into it.

When you go to the nephrologist next week, you may hear a lot of new words. If you have a second set of ears [friend, spouse, partner, family member] to go with you, please do so. Ask questions, take notes. If something is unclear, ask to have it repeated. Write out any questions you have ahead of time. All of this will be a new experience, so take a deep breath. You got this! And, remember, we will be here to answer questions as we can. We are not medical professionals, but we do have experience to share, and support to offer.
Ginger

Jump to this post

Hi @gingerw
I am new this month to the forum. Kidney involvement due to autoimmune disease. IGA Vasculitis Henoch Schonlein Purpura and IGA Nethropothy.
Any others dealing with kidney involvement as a result of an auto immune response?

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@marye2

I have been checked out for low GFR, now 51. I've been to the kidney Dr for an ultrasound etc and all looks good except for the GFR. BP is low, I am "fluffy." For kidney disease, they also look at Creatnine and mine is fine at 1.15. No diabetes. They looked at my kidney size and they are fine. I have MCTD, an autoimmune disease, but these are fairly recent findings. I stopped all NSAIDs and halved my prescription of Plaquenil without a change. All they could come up with was to drink more water through the day.

Jump to this post

Drink 64 ounces of water a day. Since they did not tell you how much. I carry on my walker an insulated tumbler that holds 20 ounces; I see that I drink at least 3 tumblers. Have you checked your cereals and veggies – some are good, some are bad. Low BP is good or at least better than high. Check for phospheros (sp) and potassium – I know it is hard, maybe one article on internet says one thing and another, can't trust all those articles. If I post something on here that is wrong Ginger should tell me, OK? 51 is stage 3a – I have been in 3a for 20 years or more and I will be 95 next month.

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Thank you! I need to attend to the water issue. Was thinking that I had it in hand, but my planning is faulty. I am glad you are doing so well!

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@marye2

I have been checked out for low GFR, now 51. I've been to the kidney Dr for an ultrasound etc and all looks good except for the GFR. BP is low, I am "fluffy." For kidney disease, they also look at Creatnine and mine is fine at 1.15. No diabetes. They looked at my kidney size and they are fine. I have MCTD, an autoimmune disease, but these are fairly recent findings. I stopped all NSAIDs and halved my prescription of Plaquenil without a change. All they could come up with was to drink more water through the day.

Jump to this post

I had a severe UTI for @4-5 months. It seems to have FINALLY cleared up now .
But when they ran the urine test , my GFR was 53.
Not diabetic or any other underlying diseases – except obesity.
I finally feel better and have appt late October with Urologist. BUT I have been drinking lots of water and my urine has stopped being so cloudy and have so many bubbles on top.
I would be interested to know if ur GFR comes up after drinking lots of water.
I am continuing drinking proper amount of water and hoping I continue to improve too.
I am from the South and it is difficult to keep hydrated in the severe heat.

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Thanks for comments. I am an Arizona native and just not great at drinking water–but urine is usually clear. My husband (diabetic) has bubbly, sour smelling urine. I think I just have to make it happen!

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@sammyloue

Drink 64 ounces of water a day. Since they did not tell you how much. I carry on my walker an insulated tumbler that holds 20 ounces; I see that I drink at least 3 tumblers. Have you checked your cereals and veggies – some are good, some are bad. Low BP is good or at least better than high. Check for phospheros (sp) and potassium – I know it is hard, maybe one article on internet says one thing and another, can't trust all those articles. If I post something on here that is wrong Ginger should tell me, OK? 51 is stage 3a – I have been in 3a for 20 years or more and I will be 95 next month.

Jump to this post

What does GFR stand for? Does it refer to percentage level of kidney function?

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glomerular filtration rate. Gives stages of CKD. Look at your blood test results.

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