Author Archives: National Kidney Foundation

I have sarcoidosis and in 1986 I found out that I had massive stag-horn kidney stones. They had entirely covered both kidneys. I had surgery and had the remainder of them crushed. The kidney infections that I had set up kidney poisoning. I was under a kidney specialist for at least ten years. The urologist told me to not drink milk or eat cheese and to stay away from any milk products and vitamin d because the kidney stone analysis showed that the stones formed were full of calcium. Now my primary care doctor has prescribed 50,000 units of vitamin D because my blood test showed that my level was low. I am afraid that if I take that much vitamin D that I will have major kidney problems. I already have low functioning kidneys and have had that all my life. I am 63 and was told that I was more likely born with kidney stones and low functioning kidneys and sarcoidosis contributes to kidney issues. As early as the age of 3, when I would run I could hear stones hitting together and sounded like when you hit two rocks together. Should I take that much or any vitamin D?

Back in the 1980’s, it was common to recommend low dairy diets and low calcium diets. We now know that is bad advice. It leads to a greater risk of osteoporosis and Vitamin D deficiency. Sarcoidosis is a disease of … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Diet/Nutrition, Kidney Stones, Kidney-Related Health Questions | Comments Off on I have sarcoidosis and in 1986 I found out that I had massive stag-horn kidney stones. They had entirely covered both kidneys. I had surgery and had the remainder of them crushed. The kidney infections that I had set up kidney poisoning. I was under a kidney specialist for at least ten years. The urologist told me to not drink milk or eat cheese and to stay away from any milk products and vitamin d because the kidney stone analysis showed that the stones formed were full of calcium. Now my primary care doctor has prescribed 50,000 units of vitamin D because my blood test showed that my level was low. I am afraid that if I take that much vitamin D that I will have major kidney problems. I already have low functioning kidneys and have had that all my life. I am 63 and was told that I was more likely born with kidney stones and low functioning kidneys and sarcoidosis contributes to kidney issues. As early as the age of 3, when I would run I could hear stones hitting together and sounded like when you hit two rocks together. Should I take that much or any vitamin D?

Dear Dr., I read most of the questions answered by you. I am writing this mail with great expectation. I am a person with a single kidney since birth. I am checking my creatinine. Since last three years, it is between 2 to 3.25. Sometimes I experience body weakness. My blood pressure is high reading diastolic pressure 90 to 100 and systolic pressure 140 to 180. My latest creatinine value is 2.7 mg/dl with sodium and potassium in normal range. My nephrologist said I am in stage 4 chronic kidney disease. My hemoglobin is 11.5. I am following a renal diet with 1.5 liter fluid intake. I want to know if I am really in stage 4 or is it because of my single kidney?  

I suggest that you go to our web site and use our glomerular filtration rate (GFR) calculator to determine your estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).  You can enter your vital data into our equation that can be found at:  https://www.kidney.org/professionals/kdoqi/gfr_calculator … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, GFR, Hypertension/High Blood Pressure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrectomy / One kidney | Comments Off on Dear Dr., I read most of the questions answered by you. I am writing this mail with great expectation. I am a person with a single kidney since birth. I am checking my creatinine. Since last three years, it is between 2 to 3.25. Sometimes I experience body weakness. My blood pressure is high reading diastolic pressure 90 to 100 and systolic pressure 140 to 180. My latest creatinine value is 2.7 mg/dl with sodium and potassium in normal range. My nephrologist said I am in stage 4 chronic kidney disease. My hemoglobin is 11.5. I am following a renal diet with 1.5 liter fluid intake. I want to know if I am really in stage 4 or is it because of my single kidney?  

Hello Dr Spry, hope you are well. So I am in my stage 3 kidney disease and GFR is 36. Ever since my kidney function withdrew, I started to have bad body odor and bad sweat. I can’t stop it or change it. Why is this happening and what can I do to stop it? It’s a big issue for me. Thank you.  

I am unable to link body odor and excessive sweating to Stage 3 chronic kidney disease (CKD) with an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of 36 milliliters per minute per 1.73 meters squared. I do not have any experience with … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, GFR, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Symptoms and Side Effects | Comments Off on Hello Dr Spry, hope you are well. So I am in my stage 3 kidney disease and GFR is 36. Ever since my kidney function withdrew, I started to have bad body odor and bad sweat. I can’t stop it or change it. Why is this happening and what can I do to stop it? It’s a big issue for me. Thank you.  

I am a 38 year old male who was recently diagnosed with one functioning kidney from an unrelated CT scan. My right kidney had extensive cortical atrophy and is much smaller than my left kidney. My left kidney demonstrates compensatory hypertrophy. The right kidney renal artery is very small and near the kidney becomes apparently stenotic compared to the left. My blood work is normal and I do not have any unusual protein amounts in my urine. My blood pressure is normal and my cholesterol is within normal limits. My nephrologist believes I probably injured my kidney earlier in life. I am concerned that the stenotic artery indicates atherosclerosis. Does this sound like the likely cause of this injury and if so who should I see for follow up tests to discern if I have this condition and treatment for it? Regards.  

Atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis is a chronic degenerative change in blood vessels that is the result of plaque build up, calcium deposition and damage to the blood vessel wall that occurs over many years. At age 38, this would be a … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Hypertension/High Blood Pressure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrologist | Comments Off on I am a 38 year old male who was recently diagnosed with one functioning kidney from an unrelated CT scan. My right kidney had extensive cortical atrophy and is much smaller than my left kidney. My left kidney demonstrates compensatory hypertrophy. The right kidney renal artery is very small and near the kidney becomes apparently stenotic compared to the left. My blood work is normal and I do not have any unusual protein amounts in my urine. My blood pressure is normal and my cholesterol is within normal limits. My nephrologist believes I probably injured my kidney earlier in life. I am concerned that the stenotic artery indicates atherosclerosis. Does this sound like the likely cause of this injury and if so who should I see for follow up tests to discern if I have this condition and treatment for it? Regards.  

Do I need to see a nephrologist for possibility of early stage 3 kidney function? I am a 70 year old female with diabetes fairly well controlled but not on medication. Overweight. Last GFR 57 and ranges between 58 and 63. Frequent urinating. Urine creatinine 1.8. Maternal grandmother passed away of kidney failure years ago before there was dialysis. I want to be on top of things and will be seeing a renal dietician. My Doctor does not want to refer. I watched my hubby sadly suffer and pass away from the affects of dialysis. Thank you so much for your help!  

I am not able to make a specific diagnosis based on the information that you present. I suggest that you have urine testing for blood, protein and infection to complete your screening examination for chronic kidney disease (CKD). This could … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions | Comments Off on Do I need to see a nephrologist for possibility of early stage 3 kidney function? I am a 70 year old female with diabetes fairly well controlled but not on medication. Overweight. Last GFR 57 and ranges between 58 and 63. Frequent urinating. Urine creatinine 1.8. Maternal grandmother passed away of kidney failure years ago before there was dialysis. I want to be on top of things and will be seeing a renal dietician. My Doctor does not want to refer. I watched my hubby sadly suffer and pass away from the affects of dialysis. Thank you so much for your help!  

I keep getting these red marks on my arms that look like a bunch of broken capillaries whenever I barely bump my arms on things. They go away after a few days but it will happen again with another bump. Is this a product of bad kidneys, age (almost 60) or low iron (I’m anemic) or combo of all?

There are many causes of increased skin bruisability. Aging alone is responsible for loss of skin integrity. Kidney disease can be associated with loss of protein leading to thinning of the skin. Any use of blood thinners can lead to … Continue reading

Posted in Anemia, Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Medication and Kidney Disease, Medication and Kidney Function, Symptoms and Side Effects | Comments Off on I keep getting these red marks on my arms that look like a bunch of broken capillaries whenever I barely bump my arms on things. They go away after a few days but it will happen again with another bump. Is this a product of bad kidneys, age (almost 60) or low iron (I’m anemic) or combo of all?

I have been scheduled for an injection in my lower back to help alleviate the pain caused by spinal stenosis. Apparently they use a local dye to determine where to place the steroid. You have spoken often of the danger of using contrast dye in those who have kidney disease. However, I was wondering if that would apply to this situation where a relatively small amount would be used?  

The amount of contrast used for spinal localization is generally less than 10 milliliters and this should not pose any problems for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). This dye is not placed into a vessel or the spinal fluid … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions | Comments Off on I have been scheduled for an injection in my lower back to help alleviate the pain caused by spinal stenosis. Apparently they use a local dye to determine where to place the steroid. You have spoken often of the danger of using contrast dye in those who have kidney disease. However, I was wondering if that would apply to this situation where a relatively small amount would be used?  

Good morning, Doctor. My dad is suffering from kidney failure. We live in different states and we (my brother and I) are reliant on family members that are not necessarily the most reliable in terms of providing accurate information. My brother and I were visiting him over the weekend and found a much different dad than we had seen in June of this year. He is 87 years old, he has been putting off dialysis for a year, his GFR is at 12 (as of Sunday), it has been as low as 11 and back up to 15 and then back down to 12 on Sunday. He has his blood drawn every six weeks to evaluate. He is only now just beginning the process to start the dialysis process, and after seeing him this weekend it would seem we may be too late. He was almost in two different worlds, one the dad we know and love, the other a confused, tired and sick man. He was mostly in the latter situation for the entirety of the weekend. I have emailed his doctor and hope for a response, other than this I feel at the mercy of the internet for information on kidney disease. I know all cases are different, I feel that we are fighting a losing battle at this point, but have no way of knowing for sure. My brain tells me that based on the information I have gotten from Dr. Google, we should have been doing what we’re doing now, a year ago. I can’t see him lasting another month let alone 6-9 months to get his port installed. Any info would be helpful, and thank you for reading this.

Dialysis in the very elderly is always a challenging situation. The first thing to determine is what is your father’s wishes and did he ever express them to you and others? Did he express them to his primary care physician (PCP) … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Dialysis, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrologist | Comments Off on Good morning, Doctor. My dad is suffering from kidney failure. We live in different states and we (my brother and I) are reliant on family members that are not necessarily the most reliable in terms of providing accurate information. My brother and I were visiting him over the weekend and found a much different dad than we had seen in June of this year. He is 87 years old, he has been putting off dialysis for a year, his GFR is at 12 (as of Sunday), it has been as low as 11 and back up to 15 and then back down to 12 on Sunday. He has his blood drawn every six weeks to evaluate. He is only now just beginning the process to start the dialysis process, and after seeing him this weekend it would seem we may be too late. He was almost in two different worlds, one the dad we know and love, the other a confused, tired and sick man. He was mostly in the latter situation for the entirety of the weekend. I have emailed his doctor and hope for a response, other than this I feel at the mercy of the internet for information on kidney disease. I know all cases are different, I feel that we are fighting a losing battle at this point, but have no way of knowing for sure. My brain tells me that based on the information I have gotten from Dr. Google, we should have been doing what we’re doing now, a year ago. I can’t see him lasting another month let alone 6-9 months to get his port installed. Any info would be helpful, and thank you for reading this.

Dear Dr. Spry, for IGA nephropathy fish oil is recommended. Given so many brands and levels of pollutants, can you suggest one that is better and that you recommend to your patients? Also will the plant based (algae) Omega 3 have equally good impact? Can my son have that instead? He is stage 2 (kidney function 79 percent) but has mild proteinuria. He is also taking Losartan for proteinuria though he has normal BP. Many thanks.  

The use of fish oil for treatment of IgA nephropathy is predominantly based on the results of a single study at the Mayo Clinic: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10446945/ The drug that was used was omega-3-acid ethyl esters similar to the prescription drug known … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, IgA Nephropathy/IgA Dominant Glomerulonephritis, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Medication and Kidney Disease, Medication and Kidney Function | Comments Off on Dear Dr. Spry, for IGA nephropathy fish oil is recommended. Given so many brands and levels of pollutants, can you suggest one that is better and that you recommend to your patients? Also will the plant based (algae) Omega 3 have equally good impact? Can my son have that instead? He is stage 2 (kidney function 79 percent) but has mild proteinuria. He is also taking Losartan for proteinuria though he has normal BP. Many thanks.  

Dr.Spry, I have stage 4 CKD. I used to have very foamy urine. But a couple of days ago, I found out my urine turned yellow and looked normal. Then yesterday it got foamy again. This morning, the foam got less and urine started to turn yellow again. I am currently staying in a quarantine hotel and can’t get a urine test. But I am worried about the change. Can you explain to me why it happened and is it a good or bad sign? If it’s turning bad, do I need to go to the emergency room? Thanks a lot.

I do not know of any significance to urine that is intermittently foamy. It could mean that you are intermittently spilling protein in your urine or it could be a normal finding. If you are having no other symptoms at the … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Nephrologist | Comments Off on Dr.Spry, I have stage 4 CKD. I used to have very foamy urine. But a couple of days ago, I found out my urine turned yellow and looked normal. Then yesterday it got foamy again. This morning, the foam got less and urine started to turn yellow again. I am currently staying in a quarantine hotel and can’t get a urine test. But I am worried about the change. Can you explain to me why it happened and is it a good or bad sign? If it’s turning bad, do I need to go to the emergency room? Thanks a lot.