GF4 = 54

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Age 42. Over weight.

Received email from doctor stating my GFR is 54 and referring me to kidney Doctor. Additionally doctor stated I have moderate buildup of plaque in arteries.

Now I'm in hurry up and wait mode. As kidney Doctor may not be able to see me until april next year.

Question? What do I do to mitigate kidneys getting worse? How long can I live with gfr at 54? What are odds of progression?

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6 Replies

  • Posted


    I'm glad you're going to get in to see a nephrologist. In the meantime you'll want to follow a low sodium and low fat diet. It's also important to exercise regularly--even walking a couple miles a day is good.

    How is your blood pressure? Your glucose?

    Your nephrologist will begin by determining the cause for your decreased renal function. He or she will also run labs to check your electrolyte levels and for protein in your urine.

    An eGFR of 54 is actually not too bad. My nephrologist has said that people who donate a kidney generally have an eGFR of 55 or so. Thy are able to live with renal function in that range without difficulty.

    The goal will be to learn what's happening with your kidneys. It may be possible to improve your renal function some. If not, with appropriate treatment, your nephrologist may be able to stabilize your renal function or at least slow the progression.

    Do not do anything other than a low sodium and low fat diet before seeing your nephrologist unless your primary care physician has prescribed medication or other dietary changes. I don't take vitamins without asking my nephrologist. It can be dangerous to make dietary changes or take vitamins--they can actually cause electrolyte imbalances and so forth.

    It's good that your primary care physician caught this and has referred you to a specialist. You'll be able to do some things to preserve your remaining function.


    • Posted

      Definitely good news regarding your glucose levels and your blood pressure. Those are the two most common causes of renal problems.

      I agree with hope4cure that you may want to go back to primary care to get some specific suggestions for things you can do as you wait for your first nephrologist appointment. 

      My eGFR was about where yours is when I was first referred to my nephrologist. At that time my potassium was often elevated and I was experiencing some difficulty with my blood pressure. My renal function stayed in that same range for about two years.

      I then had a severe gall bladder attack. My primary care physician put me through a lot of testing when that happened. I should have gone to the emergency room but didn't. It was four weeks before they removed my gall bladder and a lot of gall stones--3 of which were huge (3 inches in diameter).

      Anyway, I've never been in so much pain in my life. I also couldn't eat or drink anything without vomiting. I lost a lot of weight during that time and became severely dehydrated. (I have switched primary care physicians sincesmile The dehydration likely triggered the severe decline in my renal function.

      Immediately following the gall bladder attack my creatinine went from 1.15 (upper end of normal range) to 3.2 (Stage low IIIB or high Stage IV). My nephrologist was able to promote some return of function (creatinine 1.78, Stage IIIA) over the first 6 months he treated me. He was then able to stabilize them with that much function. 

      I began following a low potassium diet, began taking a potassium binder medication, and began treatment for severe anemia (an iron supplement and EPS injections as needed).

    • Posted

      Sorry, I clicked post before I finishedsmile

      My kidneys remained stable with creatinine close to 1.8 for about 3 years. In Nov of 2016 I got sick with a bad chest cold. It worsened into walking pneumonia. By the time I recovered my renal function had deteriorated again. My creatinine was 5.

    • Posted

      My creatinine had plummeted to 4.6. I had deteriorated to Stage V, renal failure.

      That was a year ago. Again my nephrologist has been able to facilitate some rebound in function. My most recent renal panel showed creatinine at 3.2 which has pulled me back into very low Stage IV or very high Stage V.

      I'm hoping manning to try PD dialysis when the time comes. However, with a change in my treatment plan last August my blood pressure is no longer running very low and suddenly plummeting. It is now in the normal range without meds or a diuretic. I'm still following a low potassium diet and taking a potassium binder. I continue to take an iron supplement and EPO injections as needed--just about once a month.

      You might be surprised to find that I'm actually feeling quite well and functioning quite well. So, with an effective treatment plan you can very likely at least slow the progression of your renal deterioration--depending on what's causing it to begin withsmile You can certainly feel and function quite well. 

      So, it's important to do exactly what your doctors tell you. But at this point you're likely still feeling well and so forth. It's definitely scary but I can honestly say that you can live with CKD and have a good life.


  • Posted

    Very sorry to hear about this. My hubby has been fighting kidney failure for over 10 years. 10 years ago he was told he will have to have dialysis 3 times a week if he could not control this thru diet, exercise and meds. He has been doing well as his numbers have leveled off. He had seen a dietician who put him on kidney friendly foods. He also stayed totally away from kidney failure type foods, medications, and supplements. Started out slow with stationary recumbant bike to loose weight.

    He had three stents put in his three major arteries ( both thighs and stomach) which were blocked & helped with circulation 8 years ago. He wears compression socks and gloves sleeps with feet above hips and on CPap oxygen machine for snoring which in his case caused his heart to skip beats during sleep. 

    He also is type11 diabetic, clean eating no boxed foods or sugars simple carbs and no eating out and drinking 8-10 glasses of water daily was the biggest help.

    Can Make an appt. with your primary physician or ask for a appt with a dietician. All the above suggestions that my huby did was all under a doctor supervision. 

    Others on this forum will post  evaluations thru their experiences, health and medications. There is a large scope of effective measures taken for individual needs depending on the levels of kidney function.

    Peace & Healing 🙏🏽



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