Monthly Archives: April 2019

My wife is 71 and her GFR is 30. Can she take Benefiber? She has constipation problems. says don’t use if you have kidney disease, Davita says it is safe; your Ask the Doctor Blog talks about stage 3 but not stage 4.

Benefiber is a wheat dextrin fiber and is safe for patients with any form of kidney disease. There is no need to modify the dose of Benefiber in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

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

Dear Sir, This is a brother of a kidney dialysis patient writing you that, my younger brother who is 18 years old went for a defense job interview and he run out one mile in 7 minutes after he reached the final line, he fell in the soil without any instant injury. Then he returned at home and took his lunch but suddenly he began vomiting and felt pain and unwell, very weakly. We took him to a hospital and first doctors put pain killing and fever injection and medicine which increased his creatinine a lot and after he felt worse; we took tests and his creatinine test results comes 4.6 mg and SGPT (ALT) 33.5 ul. We took him to another hospital where his creatinine increased again at 7.9 mg. Then we took him to another hospital where doctors checked his creatinine; increased to 9.8. Then they began dialysis. Already two dialysis has been given one at morning and another one at night. His creatinine is now at 7 mg, but still it is not below the normal. So what should we do now? I look to your kind help about my younger brother’s kidney situation. Yours sincerely.

This appears to be acute kidney injury and possibly associated with muscle injury. I am unable to make any other specific diagnosis based on the information that you present. It is possible that your brother will recover his kidney function … Continue reading

Posted in Acute Kidney Injury, Ask the Doctor, Diet/Nutrition, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrologist

Good morning, I am reaching out to you today because I have several concerns regarding my father who has recently begun his dialysis treatment. My father is a very hard working man. He’s had medical problems such as diabetes for as long as I can remember. Towards the end of last year, my dad would go to his usual doctor appointments and it wasn’t until November 2018 when we found out that they had informed him in October 2018 that he was a possible candidate of needing dialysis. He understood it that he possibly was going to need treatment not that he had to begin treatment. He was hospitalized because he began to be worse and worse each day, constant vomiting, not being able to eat, feeling weak, headaches, not keeping anything down, etc. Once he was hospitalized in December of 2018 was when he began his first treatment of dialysis. You could see the change in his face when he began treatment started to go, sort of say, back to his old self. He came across some problems in regards to not being able to do his treatment because he had high blood pressure but slowly he got the hang of it and was released from the hospital and began treatment at a center close to home. We changed his diet right away because the doctor has informed us that we really needed to watch what he ate and what he was drinking. My father was always really good of taking care of himself in regards to drinking the sufficient amount of water a day, eating vegetables, snacks between meals, and so on, mainly because he has diabetes so that required a a particular type of diet. Like any other person starting such a life changing treatment, it understandable that my father doesn’t feel 100 percent great after every dialysis treatment but if he’s still not feeling well at all is there a possibility that maybe he was evaluated not incorrectly but something else could be wrong with him? My main concern is that I’m worried that his dialysis treatment is making my father feel worse and I honestly don’t know what route I can take to find a better answer of what’s going on with him. What is something you suggest that he/we should do in pinning down what’s wrong with my father and get an accurate result?

I am unable to provide a specific diagnosis based on the information that you present. I would suggest that you and your father discuss your concerns with the nephrologist who is caring for your father at the present time. There … Continue reading

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

What is the difference between bubbles in urine and foam in urine? Please explain in some detail! Thanks a bunch.

I would consider bubbles and foam as the same thing. Foam might be considered smaller bubbles and more organized bubbles. Bubbles and foam may be seen in normal urine and is often seen in the toilet bowel before flush. When … Continue reading

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

Will a donor be allowed to donate a kidney to a patient if they get a tattoo 4 weeks before surgery?

Each transplant center has local rules about who they will and who they will not permit to donate a kidney. There are no nationwide guidelines that are followed by all transplant centers. I would have some concern about the possibility … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Living Donation, Transplantation

My boyfriend just had some blood work done that showed concerning results. He has been referred to a nephrologist, but his appointment isn’t for a month. His symptoms are getting worse by the day: low left back and stomach pain, nausea, loss of appetite, and even his color seems off. He has been dizzy and lightheaded at times. I am concerned that we are losing too much time waiting a month, especially when they are not running any additional tests before that appointment. Is this normal? I would expect they would at least run an ultrasound before that time. I am worried sick, but I don’t know what I can do. He’s a 40 year old white male, who is 6’1″ and weighs about 210 lbs. Up until this time, was relatively healthy, aside from allergies and acid reflux. The results below were in the red range: Creatinine 1.4 GFR – Non African-American 55.7 RDW-SD 34.4 I know your responses have to be limited, and may not be treatment specific. But if you could offer insight into the waiting and if testing generally happens before an initial consult when there’s clearly something going on, I would really appreciate it. Thank you!

I am unable to  give you a specific diagnosis for your boy friend, based on the information that you provide. It appears that his serum creatinine is elevated and his estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is below 60 milliliters per … Continue reading

Posted in Acute Kidney Injury, Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, GFR, Kidney Stones, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Serum Creatinine

My patient had a bike accident 17 days ago. He had a severe injury in his left leg not to mention lost a lot of blood. He then developed an acute kidney failure. My patient is having a high creatinine level of around 9.0. His creatinine level is not decreasing to significant level though 9 to 10 dialysis are given. His urine level is not satisfactory. He also developed pneumonia and now on life support for 2 days. Any explanation on why the creatinine is still not decreasing? He is 36 years old, doesn’t have blood pressure, diabetes or other health issues. Thanks in advance.

In my experience, acute kidney injury does not have a predictable speed of recovery. In most cases, three factors seem to help predict recovery. Your patient is young, which is in his favor for recovery. The other two factors are … Continue reading

Posted in Acute Kidney Injury, Ask the Doctor, Diet/Nutrition, Kidney Biopsy, Kidney-Related Health Questions

I want to know if there is any chance of regaining kidney health after it’s complete failure?

Once there is complete kidney failure from chronic kidney disease (CKD), the kidney cannot grow new glomeruli (kidney filters) and hence, this cannot be reversed. If, however, there is acute kidney failure, then the kidney knows how to repair this … Continue reading

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

Hi Dr. The last 3 sodium levels have been a bit low. The last serum on Feb 2 was 129. Had random urine sodium was 29 and osmolality was only 228. My Doctor thought I had primary polydipsia as I drink tons of water since having partial left nephrectomy 14yrs ago for stage 1 renal cancer. My kidney tests are all normal. I get re-tested on May 1. Doctor said to limit fluids and take in lots of salt. I’m 61. Why all of a sudden would this happen when for years I’ve been drinking tons of water??? All that’s changed is that I’m very sedentary. Sorry for long question! Thank u.

I am unable to make a specific diagnosis based on the information that you present. A low serum sodium (hyponatremia) can be the result of a number of different problems including the use of thiazide diuretics, water intoxication, hypothyroidism, Addison’s … Continue reading

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

I’m a diabetic patient for the last 5 years. Diabetes under control, but there is microalbumin in my urine. Creatinine in the blood is normal. I met a doctor. He said I want to control my diabetes and blood pressure. He didn’t give any medicine. Is there any medicine for proteinuria?

Blood pressure control, diabetes control and healthy diet are the most important treatments for treating albumin in the urine (albuminuria or proteinuria). The blood pressure medications that we use should be either an ACE-inhibitor or an ARB agent. There are … Continue reading

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