I have polycystic kidney disease and have recently begun dialysis. Once I completed the first treatment I went home and soon after began feeling tremors and vibrations all over my body. It lasted until one in the morning. After the following treatment, and after every subsequent treatment, it has lasted from 4-6 hours. No one has been able to tell me why this is occurring and whether or not it will eventually stop. Will this have any effect on my muscles or tissues if prolonged, and can you tell me why this is occurring? I’m a white female, age 77.

I am unable to make a specific diagnosis based on the information that you provide. During your dialysis treatment, the machine may be cooling you to some extent and this could be causing you to shiver. I find it unusual that this would last several hours. Infection and fever could cause some of these symptoms, but having it go on for a long time would seem unusual as well. I suggest that you consult with your nephrologist, who is supervising your dialysis.

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

I am a healthy 46 year old woman. I am seriously considering donating a kidney to a local person in need. I have been through almost all of the testing and we are practically set to go with the transplant but I am nervous. I know I can’t dwell on what-ifs but is there any reason medically why I shouldn’t go through with this? I am very active. I don’t want that to stop. The recipient is at 10% kidney function. Is this a desperate situation for him?

I am unable to give you an opinion without performing a complete history and physical examination. You and your physician are the best persons to help make this decision. I suggest that you visit our web site regarding donating and receiving a kidney transplant. The site is called “The Big Ask – The Big Give”. You can visit our web site at: https://www.kidney.org/transplantation/livingdonors

To speak with someone on living donation and there experiences, you can contact the PEERS mentoring program Monday-Friday 9am-5pm ET, (855) 653-7337 or you can visit our web site at: https://www.kidney.org/patients/peers.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, organ donation, Transplantation

I am healthy active 82 yo female with recurrent UTI’s and drug allergies. 18 months with rebounding monthly infections. My mother had kidney problems. Urologist’s have not been able to control this. Do I deserve a nephrology workup? Wits end here looking for answers.

As a nephrologist, I have no special expertise in urinary tract infections. A urologist and an infectious disease expert may be more appropriate to consult regarding recurring bladder infections.  If one is available, a urogynecologist would also be an expert to consult regarding recurrent infection.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Urinary Tract Infection/Pyelonephritis

I am a PKD stage 3 patient and my GFR is 37. Could you please suggest the best medication for my BP? I am taking Lotrel at this moment and I feel tired. Thank You.

I am not able to recommend medical therapy without performing a complete history and physical examination.  Lotrel (Benazepril and Amlodipine) is a common combination medication used for blood pressure control.  I suggest you review your concerns with your primary care physician (PCP).  The goal is to get your blood pressure to less than 130/80.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Hypertension/High Blood Pressure, Kidney-Related Health Questions

I’m a 38 y/o male. I recently had some labs done and some numbers were a little concerning. I got the labs through my wellness physician and I have not seen these results on other labs. Urinalysis: Protein- 30, Bacteria- Rare, Mucus- present. CMP: Co2-30, Creatinine-1.32. The little bit of research I have done points toward UTI or kidney disease? Not a familial thing as none of my parents/grandparents/family have had it. Not a weekly drinker maybe once or twice a month. Big water drinker 3 liters a day. Am I just being paranoid? Or should I run it past my primary and see if I need to move on this. They are just outside of the ranges. Any advice would help. Thank you.

I am not able to interpret these laboratory results without knowing the lab that performed the testing, the normal’s for that lab and the techniques they used in measurement. I cannot make a specific diagnosis based on these results. I would suggest that you have the laboratory testing interpreted by your primary care physician (PCP) and if these results don’t make any sense, they may need to be repeated in a conventional clinical laboratory.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing

I am having severe problems after having dialysis treatment. Is there any suggestion to help how bad I feel after treatment?

I am not able to make a specific diagnosis based on the information that you present. Fatigue is very common after dialysis. This is especially true after in-center hemodialysis where recovery times as long as 6-8 hours have been reported. Patients who exercise while on dialysis seem to have less fatigue after dialysis. You might inquire about performing exercise while on dialysis. The other option is to consider home dialysis treatments. Patients who dialyze at home report less fatigue after dialysis sessions.

I suggest you discuss your concerns with your nephrologist who is supervising your dialysis treatments.

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

Hi, I have had some blood tests and urine tests done to check as I have been a steroid user in the past but not done anything for 18 months. I am currently in Thailand and paid to have the tests done here however with the language barrier, its hard to understand what they mean. I have had my results back and it states my GFR is 77 and my creatinine blood 1.22, creatinine urine 433 mg/dl, microalbumin (urine) is 7.9. There are some other results but they seem to be in normal range. These are the ones that they flagged up. I am a 33 year old male and don’t smoke or drink and keep in shape but I am worried now that the steroid use could have caused damage. Can you help with these results?

A normal estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is greater than 60 milliliters per minute per 1.73 meters squared. The value that you quote is in the range of normal. Your urine is rather concentrated with a urine creatinine of 433 milligrams per deciliter, but the urine micro-albumin result is normal.  I am not able to make any specific diagnosis based on the information that you present.

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

I’m a 50 year old female with high blood pressure. My creatinine 1.47, BUN 18, GFR 38, urine creatinine 204, urine microalbumin 9.3, microalbumin/creatinine 4.6mg/g. Two weeks prior to this lab work my creatinine was 1.04, GFR 56. Can these results be related to dehydration?

Dehydration would cause this abrupt change in your kidney function testing. I suggest that you consult with your physician for interpretation of these laboratory reports. Retesting after hydration might be considered.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing

Good evening: I’m a white male, age 64 Blood Tests 4/24/2018 Creatine 1.2, EGFR 61, Potassium 4.0, Blood Tests 5/15/2018 Creatine 1.49 EGFR 49, Potassium 5.8 Could there be something wrong with the testing? I’m not from Nebraska, but a Husker fan and have a daughter who graduated from Lincoln. Thank you.

I am not able to make a specific diagnosis based on the information that you present. It appears that there has been an abrupt change in your kidney function testing. It certainly could be a laboratory error, but I do suggest follow up with your physician. The elevated potassium with the increased creatinine would cause some concern for some type of acute kidney injury.

We welcome Husker fans from all parts of the world.

Posted in Acute Kidney Injury, Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Serum Creatinine

What effect does caffeine have on CKD? How much coffee and tea is acceptable? I have Stage 3-4 kidney disease caused by many (25 yr) years of taking lithium. I am 66 yr old white woman.

Caffeine is a mild diuretic but it is unclear if it has any effect on chronic kidney disease (CKD).  Most studies of coffee and tea drinkers have been inconclusive about any effects of caffeine on CKD. Hence, I usually advocate for all things in moderation. I am not sure I can come up with a specific amount but I suggest moderation.

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