Daily Archives: September 8, 2016

Hello,can you please tell me if a CT-scan in my sinus, pharynx, larynx e.t.c can affect negatively in any way my glomerulonephritis? (34 years old woman, stage two kidney disease with normal kidney function and blood pressure).

A Computerized Tomogram (CT) scan of your sinuses, head and neck, if done without any contrast, should not have any effect on your kidney function or glomerulonephritis associated with your kidneys. For more information on CKD click here: For more … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Hypertension/High Blood Pressure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Medication and Kidney Function

My GFR was 63 in January, 2016 and bloodwork done in the last 2 weeks show my GFR has dropped to 56 (I am a 56 yr old white female). My father’s GFR is now 15( he will be starting peritoneal dialysis in the next few months). My family doctor is recommending we do labs again in 6-9 months, but given my dad’s history, I am feeling like I should see his kidney specialist. I have been extremely exhausted all summer and my frequency in urination has increased. Am I worrying for nothing?

In order to make a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD) you need an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) to be less than 60 milliliters per minute per 1.73 meters squared for greater than 3 months.  I do recommend that … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, GFR, Kidney Failure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Treatments

I just posted the question regarding what to do regarding the 24-hour urine protein of 530 mg’s (along with an undiagnosed, long-standing autoimmune disease). I should have also added that I am a 55-year old male and my kidney filtration rate was just checked and is entirely normal. For several months at least I have had very minor facial and ankle swelling in the morning as well as extreme thirst. I also notice some slight foaming of my urine at times. I just had a 24-hour urine protein test that came back at 530 mg’s. As a bit of background: I have had symptoms (Raynaud’s, heart arrhythmias, etc.) of scleroderma or a related autoimmune disease for years but no underlying diagnosis yet as I have no skin involvement and all antibody tests are always negative. At any rate, from a kidney perspective, what would you recommend for me or what is my next step? I take Nifedipine for heart issues and my blood pressure is fairly low (typical 95/55 to 110/60) so wouldn’t it be difficult for me to take an ACE inhibitor in addition?

I am unable to provide a specific diagnosis based on the information that you present.  Scleroderma and protein in the urine (proteinuria) are both treated with ACE-inhibitors or ARB agents.  I cannot recommend treatment without performing a complete history and … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, GFR, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Medication and Kidney Disease, Nephrologist, Treatments

When a nurse says the gfr is trending down, does it usually continue to go in this direction? I’m wondering how much approximate time my brother has left before he is on dialysis which he says he will not do. His GFR is 22, creatinine 2.2, and bun 45. He is a type 2 diabetic and very overweight. He’s only 55 years old but will not do dialysis so I’m wondering what the rate of decline may be? He does not always follow the kidney diet as much as I beg him too. Just need to know what is ahead? His GFR has dropped 12 points in the last 10 months or so. I am also taking care of my sick and elderly mom. I’m looking for approximations. I know everybody is different. Just trying to manage their lives as best as I can for the time they have left?

Natural aging results in a loss of kidney function of about 1% per year.  In patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) from diabetes, this loss can range from 1% to 10% or more per year.  There is really no way … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Diabetes, Dialysis, End of Life Issues, GFR, Hypertension/High Blood Pressure, Kidney Failure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Symptoms and Side Effects, Treatments

I was told that I am currently at stage-4 from my Dr. per my last blood work results (eGFR-14, BUN-68, & Creatine-4.52). I am getting a fistula done in the next week. I was also told that I was not a good candidate for a kidney unless it was from a live donor due to the fact that I have a mechanical aortic heart valve and am on warfarin. It would need to be a controlled surgery (as they put it). In the mean time, my 24-year old daughter just recently told me that she wanted to give me one of her kidneys. I appreciate & love that my daughter wants to give me another chance to live a healthy life but I don’t want to jeopardize hers. Will she be able to have children in the future and live a normal life?

If your daughter is otherwise healthy and donates a kidney to you, she should be able to live an otherwise normal life.  Studies have suggested that there may be a slight increase in the incidence of high blood pressure and … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Nephrectomy / One kidney, Transplantation

I have some magnesium supplements. I am taking twice per week the triple recommended dosage, which would be roughly 1000 milligrams Will this cause kidney stones / failure?

If your kidney function is normal, then magnesium supplementation may not be a problem.  If you have chronic kidney disease (CKD), then magnesium supplementation may lead to toxic levels of magnesium in the blood.  Hence, I would recommend monitoring magnesium … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney Failure, Kidney Stones, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Medication and Kidney Disease, Medication and Kidney Function

Do both Urologists and Nephrologists treat Hydronephrosis? And secondly, which type of doctor might be best suited to finding the origin of the hydronephrosis? The cause of hydronephrosis isn’t always clear. I read that there are many different conditions that can cause hydro and sometimes physicians have to play a little bit of detective work. For example, it could be a symptom of a pelvic tumor, sometimes it’s caused by a UPJ condition or crossing vessels.

Hydronephrosis is a blockage or obstruction of the urinary tract and is evaluated and treated by a urologist.  A nephrologist would refer a hydronephrosis to a urologist for evaluation.  

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Hydronephrosis and Hydroureter, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Treatments

My wife – stage 5 early but serious. Artery to kidney is severely blocked. She is not candidate for transplant or even stent. Dialysis recommended. How does clean blood get through the blockage? If not stentable, how does the diverted blood get out to the machine and back into an artery? Does it bypass kidney all together? Will arterial walls take regular and continuous use even though sclerosed nearly everywhere?

Dialysis is performed using a fistula that is created usually in an upper extremity.  A fistula is a surgical connection between an artery and a vein that enlarges and becomes large enough to place two needles.  Dialysis can also be … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, AV Fistula, Dialysis, GFR, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Treatments

I have been told by two experienced specialists that I should be seeing a Nephrologist. My GFRs have been under 60 for well over 5 years although it is up some now at 58. The only two times I have had urine test to determine if albumin is in the urine showed such. The last was 3.7mg/DL in 8/16 and the previous one was 9.1 in 1/15. All of my cholesterol numbers are off, especially triglycerides. I take medications for that and diet. It still doesn’t bring the totals to normal limits. Serum creatinine is WNL but occasionally strays out of range. I keep reading about the ACR but I don’t think its ever been done for me. My SED rates are always off indicating in general inflammation, I believe. My overall health is poor and I have over 20 diagnoses, most are chronic and severe. I believe that I may well have an autoimmune disease but my doctors really don’t want to thoroughly check this. I bullied my way into getting another Rheumatologist to look at me, hopefully soon. I don’t know if I have an autoimmune disease but I sure have a lot of symptoms indicating it. If it isn’t autoimmune it is certainly neurological. I have diagnoses including Fibromyalgia, Chronic Severe Pain, Chronic Fatigue, severe lung disease, thyroid disease, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, some form of neuromuscular disorder, and on and on. I have been told by at least 3 doctors that I have CKD – stage 3A which I understand is moderate. But given all the other issues, shouldn’t I be seeing a Nephrologist if only to attempt to find an underlying cause or determine if my kidneys are causing many of problems or are they the result of other issues. My doctors don’t seem to care. I have never had an ultrasound to check my kidneys. I would think even a GP would have done that. I am sick of having to become my own doctor because my doctors don’t seem to want to be bothered. They say — ‘let’s treat the symptoms and forget about the underlying causes.’ Of course treating the symptoms may well be masking underlying causes that might have treatments that could be implemented. I have no goals to set records for longevity (I am 64) but I would like a crack at having some quality of life. Health care here in northern Indiana is awful. Can you give me your opinion and some advice?

I do not identify a chronic kidney disease (CKD) based on the information that you present.  You have at least three risk factors for CKD including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, so it is certainly possible that one … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Diabetes, GFR, Hypertension/High Blood Pressure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Nephrologist, Symptoms and Side Effects