After finding cancer on one of my kidneys, that was removed one year ago, all test have come back good. I would like to know what can I take for colds, muscle pain,runny nose, that can be bought over the counter? I figure this answer may help others also. Thank you.

Thank you for your question.  It is a  very topical question right now.  I have written an article that is on the web site that deals with exactly the question that you ask.  Please find the article posted at:

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

I have a GFR rating of 70. I started taking 400 mg of Magnesium Glycinate twice a day along with my blood pressure medicine. Could this have a negative impact on my Kidney function?

In patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD), with estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFR’s) of less than 30 milliliters per minute per 1.73 meters squared, magnesium supplements can be a problem.  With near normal eGFR, such as you describe, magnesium should not be a problem.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, GFR, Herbal Supplements in Kidney Disease/Failure

Can men lived with one kidney? If yes, how?

Many people live with one kidney.  A single kidney has sufficient kidney function to live a normal life.

For general information about living with one kidney you may find helpful please click here.

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

Are the following spices are OK to use with 3rd stage kidney failure? cumin, curcumin, turmeric, coriander, cardamon, cayenne, paprika, oregano, mint and black pepper.

I know of no ill effects that these spices should have on someone with chronic kidney disease (CKD) Stage 3.  These spices could be used in a balanced diet.  I am an advocate for the DASH diet in patients with Stage 3 CKD.  You can review the DASH diet at:

Posted in Ask the Doctor

CKD staged 5 and no dialysis. Please help us.

You must work with the physicians in your country.  I cannot make a diagnosis based on the information that you provide, but if you have Stage 5 chronic kidney disease (CKD), then you must seek consultation with your doctor.

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

I am 75 year old male with stage 3 kidney disease (eGFR=39, Creatinine=1.7.) My latest lab results show hemoglobin=12.2, Hematocrit=37.2, RBC=4.2 Do the 12.2 and 37.2 indicate anemia from my stage 3 kidney disease?

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a cause of anemia.  You must be tested for other causes including iron deficiency anemia, vitamin B12 deficiency and folic acid deficiency.  If other causes of anemia are excluded, then your anemia could be from your CKD.  Anemia typically begins at an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of less than 50 milliliters per minute per 1.73 meters squared.

Posted in Anemia, Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions

I have a kidney disease caused by Lithium prescribed for bipolar. I was on Lithium 5 years too long and blood tests which should have been every 6 months was performed once in 7 years with the same doctor. I am trapped into seeing doctors for bipolar medicine, but the nephrologist I have seen does not have me on any medication nor is concerned. Do I have to go to a doctor every 6 months and pay $200+for blood tests every six months? I have no symptoms of progression as described by the Mayo Clinic.

Lithium induced kidney disease often progresses without any symptoms.  While it may not be necessary for you to see a nephrologist, I would recommend that you have blood and urine testing every 6 months to monitor your chronic kidney disease (CKD).  This testing could be done by your primary care physician (PCP).  Progression of the CKD to Stage 4, may require that you be followed by a nephrologist.

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

Years ago, the NKF hosted a screening for kidney disease and I was told my microalbumin was elevated as well as protein. I have regular checkups and my doctor never says anything but labs look good but I see my GFR showing >60. My mom died an ESRD pt. I am 62 and can you recommend where to go for further testing? I do not want kidney failure but I know I have risks.

An estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) greater than 60 milliliters per minute per 1.73 meters squared is a normal eGFR.  If your blood pressure is well controlled and your urine protein is now normal, you may be treated properly.  I suggest that you specifically ask your physician about protein testing in the urine in light of the positive screening test for microalbumin that was reported to you by the National Kidney Foundation KEEP screening.  Your physician should be able to tell you if the urine protein has now resolved with proper treatment.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Microalbuminuria, Proteinuria, Risk factors

Recently, I have done with my renal function lab test and results are showing that my BUN level is 22 and creat level is 0.91. BUN/Creat ratio written as NOT APPLICABLE. Could you please let me know if you see any issues with my BUN/Creat levels?.

The results that you report are normal.  If your blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and your creatinine are normal, then there is no reason to perform a BUN to creatinine ratio and it becomes “Not applicable”.


Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Laboratory Testing

As a child I always experienced sharp pains in my sides on needing to urinate. That continued most of my life. As an adult I started to feel a full ache in my kidney area that would come and go. However , this past year the dull ache has been ever present. I have been for tests, like blood and urine many times and they always come back as absolutely fine. I can’t make sense of this ever present ache though and feel I need an answer. Please could you provide some insight.

Pain is not a common symptom of kidney disease.  Pain can be associated with kidney stones, infection or blockage of the kidney.  If your testing is normal for both blood and urine, then it is unlikely that kidney disease is causing pain.  I suggest that you discuss your concerns with your primary care physician.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Symptoms and Side Effects