Kidney function labs question

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I am a 54 yr. old female type 1 diabetic and my gfr went from a 97 to a 69 in a matter of 5 months and also my other kidney function labs were affected. My question is if it dropped that much in 5 months, what do the next 5 months hold? Thank you.

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  • Posted

    Sometimes GRF can fluctuate depending on the hydration status of your body on the day of the test, and other factors, such as creatinine level. 

    You may want to get this restested. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Amy,

    If your question is how much longer (time) until you start dialysis:  the only way to anticipate is to plot your GFR results on a graph and then draw a best-fit line through the plots and extend it out into the future.  That is your best indicator.  BUT...  I would focus on trying to slow or stop the loss.  You should talk to your nephrologist to review your medications etc. to see if anything need be changed.  In the meantime, the usual advice applies:  limit your salt and protein intake, keep fit, etc. and do what you can to keep your blood pressure under control.

    Re:  blood pressure medication:  I'm not sure if you're taking anything for that but I will give a shout out to Candesartan as something you might try.  For some people (turns out I was one of those people), it can reduce protein leakage (blood in the urine) which can help to slow down loss of function.  Again, something to talk to your nephrologist about.

    If your question is what symptoms are upcoming, and when:  that's tough to say as everybody is different.  Around 30% or so, you will probably start to notice a rise in leg cramps overnight.  You will also start to think about limiting foods that are high in potassium (eg. potatos, tomatos, bananas, oranges...)  After that, the rest of the symptoms usually start kicking in in earnest around the mid-teens, at which time you will also start limiting foods that are high in phosphates (eg. milk-based products).  There are many possible symptoms that kick in, I could list them if you want, but I'm not sure if you're looking for that level of detail.  Dialysis typically starts around 12% or lower depending on how you're doing with the symptoms; some people manage better down to a lower GFR, others not.

    Again, everybody experiences things differently and at different points in the process.  I would try and focus on reducing or stopping the loss of function if at all possible.  Also, as Rocky31676 pointed out, GFR fluctutates from day to day (and lab to lab) so a) take it as a "rough indicator" only, and b) best to get your blood tests done at the same lab.

    I hope that helps and I wish you the best!

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  • Posted

    Difficult to say, Amy, as it really depends on the cause of the sudden drop.  I assume your diabetes has been well controlled as, if not, that can hammer the kidneys, as can undiagnosed therefore untreated high blood pressure.  Also, medications such as NSAIDS (Ibuprofen for instance) can reduce kidney function, as can some infections - silent urine infections included.  You need to have those tests repeated and further investigations carried out just to rule out a defininitive cause, meanwhile with careful, repeat monitoring along the way.  I do hope this is just a blip and that things improve or at least your eGFR stabilises at 69 in which case you will have little to worry about.
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  • Posted

    A GFR of 69 is actually still a good reading for a person in the 50 bracket. Most Nephrologists will not take a GFR seriously unless it drops to 30 or below as there is simply no treatment until the disease progresses to stage 3/4, at which point they will treat BP, anaemia and other associated problems. I would express your concerns with your GP and ask for a referral but with a GFR above 60 a Nephrologist will discharge you.
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    • Posted

      Yes, I've done some Google research and have seen that at 69 I should have no worries. My concern is how much it dropped in only 5 months. From 97 to 69. Do most ppl experience such a sudden drop?

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    • Posted

      Mine can vary from anywhere between 50/65, i think it can depend on what you've eaten and how hydrated you are. I would certainly request a further blood test from your GP.

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