Category Archives: Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease

I have been diagnosed with CKD Level 2.0. That has been consistent for about a year now after my CKD level rose to over 3.0 in 2015 during serious back surgery. I live in Mexico in both one of the wealthiest and one of the poorest states down here – one state with highly reputable health care facilities and one state with, at best, questionable care. My nephrologists give me confusing advice. I am 76 years old and am, otherwise, in decent health but with heart arrhythmia quite a bit of which required hospitalization and electric shock treatment in 2015 which seems to have been successful so far. I am an alcholic and love to ingest a lot of straight booze. At 76, I’ll soon be checking out one way or the other. Actually, I’m surprised I am still here and feeling pretty fine overall. I am taking medication prescribed by one nephrologist in Guadalajara but disdained by another nephrologist in the same city. At my age and personal inclination, a kidney transplant is out of the question. May I continue to ingest copious amounts of alcoholic beverages in order to live to 85 or stop this ugly habit and check out earlier?

Excessive alcohol intake is not a good answer to any medical problem.  I am unable to make a specific diagnosis based on the information that you present.  I suggest that you consult with a trusted physician and follow his or … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Diet/Nutrition, GFR, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Symptoms and Side Effects, Treatments

Recently diagnosed with CKD stage 3B. Also rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis recently. Is methotrexate safe for me to take?

The dose of Methotrexate must be monitored and sometimes reduced for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).  I suggest that you review your concerns with your Rheumatologist and your primary care physician (PCP).  

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Medication and Kidney Disease, Symptoms and Side Effects

My son has kidney failure since age 27. He received the gift of life of a kidney transplant two months after starting dialysis. The transplant lasted 3 years and had to be removed as it became infected. He has been on dialysis for the past 5 years and has a difficult time finding a match as he is highly sensitized because of his previous transplant and he had two blood transfusions. His doctor now says he needs a parathyroid surgery due to chronic depression of calcium levels. He is extremely anemia and has terrible pain in his feet that he is unable to walk. My question is whether the surgery will help with anemic and foot pain. No one knows why he developed kidney failure as no one in our family has kidney disease. Blood type O+. Thank you for your assistance.

Parathyroid surgery for dialysis patients has been reported to improve anemia and pain in the extremities (peripheral neuropathy).  It is impossible to anticipate if the surgery will help each and every dialysis patient.  I am unable to provide a prognosis … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Failure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Symptoms and Side Effects, Transplantation

I have a family history of Polycystic kidney disorder seen only in males in my father’s side. I am the only daughter to my parents. I had taken a dip test as part of tests for checking my kidney function. Dip test showed microscopic particles of blood in my urine along with a high amount of protein. I have not yet received the results for other tests. Does this indicate anything?

Blood in the urine (hematuria) and protein in the urine (proteinuria) can certainly be seen in patients with polycystic kidney disease (PCKD), however, both hematuria and proteinuria are seen in many other diseases of the kidney and urinary tract.  I … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Diet/Nutrition, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Polycystic Kidney Disease, Symptoms and Side Effects, Treatments

My twin sister and I have to to get a MRI or a CT scan to check our aorta every year or two. My sister had a MRI with contrast a year ago and the following day her right leg swelled up and it has continued and is now getting worse around her knee. I had a CT with contrast done a few weeks ago and I had bad pain in my back on the left side. Are we having issues with our kidneys. My sister has gone to emergency room but they don’ t seem to be looking at the kidney. And this all started after the MRI.

I am unable to diagnose any form of kidney disease based on the information that you present.  Magnetic resonance Imaging (MRI) contrast is not known to be toxic to the kidneys, although contrast used for computerized tomography (CT) scanning can … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Medication and Kidney Disease, Medication and Kidney Function, Symptoms and Side Effects, Treatments

I’m very concerned for my husband. He’s a veteran, 40 years old, he was diagnosed with PKD in 2005 while in service with a few cysts on both kidneys, liver and pancreas with no other symptoms (pain, hematuria, limitations). In 12 years, it quickly progressed to stage 3, his liver is in very bad shape with cysts inside and out. His kidneys are 3x the normal size and littered with kidney stones up to 10mm. His ureters are covered inside and out with cysts. Our doctor has told us he will likely not live to see 60. We also just found out that the VA should not have prescribed him ibuprofen for his pain, 800 mg every 6 hrs everyday for 3 years. My question, is the ibuprofen at fault for causing his PKD to progress this fast or can PKD get this bad this quickly?

The long term use of ibuprofen has been associated with more rapid progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD).  Short term use (several weeks) is usually reversible and kidney function should return to baseline if the ibuprofen is stopped.  Your husband … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Symptoms and Side Effects, Treatments

I have been working with a nutritionist and one of the latest supplements recommended is Cal-Amo which is Ammonium Chloride; Betaine hydro hloride; Calcium Chloride; Calcium Lactate; Magnesium citrate; Calcium stearate. I am a stage 3 Kidney disease person, aged 78 female. Is this a safe product for me at this time ?

I have no experience with a supplement called Cal-Amo.  I am not aware of any research that has been done on this supplement in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).  Of the compounds that you mention in Cal-Amo, I would … Continue reading

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

Hello Dr. Spry, My CKD has progressed to ACR = 23,42 mg/mmol, eGFR-EPI = 40 (mL/p/1.73m2), p-urate = 559 umol/L (230 – 480), p-standard bicarbonate 21 mmol/L (22-27). Should I be concerned about a high risk of further progression and therefore 1) Should I ask for referral to a nephrologist? 2) Should I ask for the high urate to be treated? 3) Should I ask for bicarbonate therapy to be started?

I am not able to recommend medical therapy unless I am able to perform a complete history and physical examination.  I generally recommend referral to a nephrologist when the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) is less than 30 milliliters per … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Diet/Nutrition, GFR, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Symptoms and Side Effects, Treatments

Hello Doctor, My husband had a liver transplant 5 years ago. He is not in Stage 5 CDK, due to the anti-rejection drugs. He is relatively healthy, has high BP, leg swelling, extremely tired and urinates frequently. He is seeing a Kidney Doctor at UCSD and recent blood work showed his GFR is 15-20. My question is what is it that I look for? My husband had a really difficult time with transplant and had to have at least 6 surgeries and he is just downright done with Doctors. My fear is that he will NOT do dialysis or kidney transplant (even if he is a candidate. I would like to give him information so he can think about options. Do you have any information or any kind of books, suggestions?

Your husband should consider all aspects of his care.  The amount of effort that has been put forward to give him a new liver and a new life is extraordinary.  Kidney disease is an unfortunate complication of that process.  I … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, GFR, Kidney Failure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Transplantation, Treatments

Hey, I am currently seeing a Nephrologist in my home town and I am due for a follow up appointment on August 24th. I have been tested 4 times in the past year due to high levels of Creatinine. I am a 42 Year Old Male, 6’1, 185lbs and Caucasian. My Creatinine has been tested as 1.22, 1.25, 1.11, 1.34, 1.19. I take a 5mg Lisinopril and 10mg Celexa and exercise 3 days per week. On the two tests were I scored a 1.11 and 1.19, I reduced my protein intake from 125 grams down to around, 50-75. My GFR is running in the 50’s and 60’s depending on how the Creatinine is ranging. My doctor says that I am in Stage 3 CKD. I wonder though, I have had 3 Urinalyses over the time frame but my tests always show Negative for Albuminuria and Proteinura. I have now completly overhauled my diet to manage Sodium, Protein, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Should I seek a second opinion? AM I really in stage 3 and does it matter that my urinalyses keep coming back negative? What would your advice be?

The creatinine results that you describe are within the range of variation for the laboratory testing.  The creatinine tests can vary between 0.1 and 0.15 up and down and this is just the normal variation in the accuracy of the … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, GFR, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Serum Creatinine, Symptoms and Side Effects, Treatments