My creatine and eGFR are in the mild impairment range. I have read numerous articles about how baking soda and apple cider vinegar can prevent and possibly reverse kidney damage. Is there any harm in trying these products to see if they can help me from further kidney damage? I’ve already given up soda and I’m working on lowering my sodium level which is high. Thank you.

Baking soda is used to treat acid accumulation in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and is used to maintain the bicarbonate level in the blood at or above 22 milliequivalent per liter (mEq/L). I do not know of any use for apple cider vinegar. You should consult with your physician about using these medications to make sure they do not cause problems for you.

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Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions

My son, 31 years old, has been diagnosed with membranous nephropathy in June. He had PE which he still has some clots. The doctors have him on an auto immune suppression drug and a steroid, which lowers his immune system and has had bouts with cellulitis in the last 5 weeks. Right now he is in the hospital with cellulitis. They have taken him off his diuretic and one of the antibiotics because of the damage it is doing to the kidneys. I’m at a loss. Do you have any insight about this and what can be done for him?

Membranous nephropathy (membranous glomerulonephritis) is a kidney disease that causes significant losses of protein into the urine (proteinuria) that leads to nephrotic syndrome. The nephrotic syndrome leads to fluid retention in the body with prominent swelling that results in swollen legs. This fluid retention and swelling often leads to cellulitis (infection in the skin) because of all the fluid present leads to breaks in the skin that then lead to infection. The cellulitis and pulmonary embolism (PE) that you mention are common to membranous nephropathy. Membranous nephropathy can also be very difficult to treat. The goal of treatment is to reduce protein loss by the kidneys.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrotic Syndrome, Proteinuria

I have Stage 3 moderate kidney disease Egfr in mid 40’s. No change in last 5 years. No protein in urine. Blood good for last 5 years. Occasionally, I wake up with leg cramps in right leg. Cramps in thigh very painful. In calf or ankle not too bad. Quinine recommended by some. Is quinine bad for kidneys?

Quinine does not have any ill effects on kidneys, but Quinine used for cramps was removed from the market by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Quinine is available for use in malaria, but no longer available for use in leg cramps because of a risk for a certain type of anemia called hemolytic anemia. Some quinine is available over-the-counter for use, but I would discuss this with your physician before using this drug.

Posted in Anemia, Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions

Hello Doctor, The problem I am mentioning here is for my father. He is 62 years old and has both high blood pressure and diabetics. For the past couple of years, he is noticing foamy and bubbly urine and reached out to many hospitals in Hyderabad, India and went through many tests. All the tests showed he had protein loss, however all the doctors asked him to ignore it. For last 1 year, we are seeing increase of protein in his urine and he went to 24 hours urine examination test and results are shockingly high. Can you please help me with how to move forward with this? Test results : Urinary Protein show as 3780 Creatinine shows as 1148 Urine volume 2800 Protien / Creatinine ratio 3.29 Thank you!

The problem you are describing is one of protein in the urine (proteinuria) that is known as nephrotic syndrome. In most cases, the only way to make a specific diagnosis is to perform a kidney biopsy. There are many causes of nephrotic syndrome in adults and the only way to be sure of the diagnosis is to perform a kidney biopsy. Once a specific diagnosis is made, then treatment can be recommended.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney Biopsy, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrotic Syndrome, Proteinuria

Hi, I’m a 63 y/o female with no significant medical problems. On Atenolol for a supraventricular arrhythmia (many years) and Simvastatin mainly as a preventative(years). For the past 2 years, I have had a few routine urine tests (w/no particular symptoms), the initial ones showed a small amount of hemoglobin, the last 3, moderate amounts. No RBCs. My CBC is normal and do not have other issues other than age related (minor aches, skin changes) after the initial UA my GP referred me to Urology, cystoscopy was negative, in the process, a caruncle was found in the urethra, had a course of estrogen, did not reduce the size of it, not bleeding from it, occasionally feel a bit of irritation in contact with clothing. My GP and Urologist do not think I need further F/U when asked about the cause of the presence of hemoglobin. My last UA was yesterday, again with moderate hemoglobin, no RBCs, no other abnormal findings. Not sure of the significance of this persistent hemoglobin showing in the urine w/o Sx (other than the caruncle). Any feed back would be greatly appreciated.

I do not identify any kidney disease from the information that you present. I suspect that this is a urological problem and not related to the kidney. If you have been evaluated by a urologist, I’m not sure there is anything else I would suggest. I am a nephrologist and not a urologist. Hence, I would recommend that you continue routine followup with your primary care physician (PCP).

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrologist, Urological Issues

My father had a kidney problem with his creatinine being 6 with Bp and diabetes. We have a consulting doctor, he had suggested an injection Darba for four weeks. How useful would it be?

I am not familiar with a drug known as “Darba”. It could be Darbepoietin injection which is used to treat anemia in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). I am unable to comment on this particular drug for treatment of CKD.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions

Does drinking distilled versus tap or spring water help slow kidney disease progression?

I do not know of any information that different forms of water have any effect on kidney function.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions

I have 1 kidney and it functions at about 50%, I have acid reflux. Is there any medication that I can take for this condition that won’t harm my remaining kidney?

Antacid liquid or tablets can be used for acid reflux on an as needed basis. For prevention and longer term use, use of such over-the-counter agents such as Pepcid, Zantac and Axid can be used and do not seem to have ill effects on kidney function. If your symptoms persist, then you should see your primary care physician (PCP) and have further studies to determine if you need stronger medication.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Medication and Kidney Function, Nephrectomy / One kidney

While testing to be a living kidney donor my ultrasound showed I have PKD. I was testing to give my mom a kidney because she has PKD. I just had my blood work and urine work done and the results showed no sign of loss of kidney function or any other abnormalities. My question is how often do I need to have my blood tested and when should I make an appointment with a nephrologist?

I recommend that you have annual testing of blood and urine for your kidney disease. You should also have blood pressure checks regularly and treat any elevated high blood pressure. Your blood pressure should be less than 130/80. Your primary care physician (PCP) should be able to monitor this. If he or she feels that you need consultation with a nephrologist, then referral by your PCP may be appropriate.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Hypertension/High Blood Pressure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrologist

I’ve shrunk my kidneys by breathing in solvents by accident, not on purpose. Is there anything I can do?

I am not able to determine the type of solvents that you have been exposed to or the type of kidney damage that you have experienced. I suggest that you consult with a nephrologist for a complete history and physical examination.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrologist