Category Archives: Kidney Failure

Hello Dr. Spry, my 5 yo daughter has mild hydronephrosis (right kidney) and vomiting episodes where she quickly becomes acidotic. Her urologist ordered a Mag3 test to be completed soon to find out more. The urologist as well as the hematologist weren’t sure if the hydronephrosis could be contributing to my daughter’s unexplained ongoing normochromic/normocytic anemia, so I wanted to reach out to get your thoughts to see if the two could be possibly connected. Her erythropoietin level was at 8 which was lower than expected for a hemoglobin of 9. Thanks.

I do not know of any association between blockage of the kidney (hydronephrosis) and anemia. If the kidney damage was present in both kidneys and there was associated kidney failure, then anemia related to kidney failure could be present. The … Continue reading

Posted in Anemia, Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Hydronephrosis and Hydroureter, Kidney Failure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Pediatric Issues

I am age 50 and creatinine 6.9. What should I do? Although I control my protein intake, renal failure due to diabetes and BP.

I am not able to make a specific diagnosis based on the information that you present. You would appear to have advanced kidney failure. I suggest that you consult with a nephrologist for further care. You may require further testing … Continue reading

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

My 73 y/o father has been diagnosed with end stage kidney failure. His GFR is 12. He has a 4.5cm infrarenal aortic aneurysm but his doctor does not feel it is the cause. He has hypertension, CAD, atrial fibrillation, and a recent stroke. He has no specific symptoms that would indicate failing kidneys. He has made it clear he will not take dialysis. My question: how long can he expect to live?

I am unable to offer a prognosis without performing a complete history and physical examination.  This question would best be asked to a physician who can examine your father and know his complete medical history.  Your father may want to … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, End of Life Issues, GFR, Kidney Failure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Symptoms and Side Effects, Treatments

I’m 74 year old female, 5’2”, 140 lbs. I had my right kidney removed at age 33 due to a supposed birth defect. One artery and one duct too many, apparently buried in the kidney. I urinated blood for a couple of days before the excruciating pain began. Admitted through ER and admitted with probable kidney stones. After X-rays, arteriogram, which told the doctor nothing, it was decided to remove that kidney. I’m now suffering really high blood pressure that hadn’t been controlled by Losortan, Clonidine, Carvedilol orally twice a day, a 0.3mg Clonidine patch 1x a week. Yesterday my blood pressure was 212 over 94 and I took 3 extra Clonidine. BP will lower to 150, but comes back up. I’ve now started today with a calcium-Channel blocker. I am under the care of a cardiologist and a nephrologist. About six months ago, my tests were bad enough to move me to 4th stage. Couple of months later, my numbers had improved and I remain at 3rd CKD. But my BP worries me. Should I insist on a CT Scan of my kidney? Or are the blood tests enough? I’ve had 2 parathyroids removed when my PTH was at 360. I had one removed and my numbers didn’t improve, hence the second removal. My PTH levels are creeping up. Even after the second surgery, the numbers have never been in the normal range. With the Calcium-Channel blocker, I asked pharmacist should I continue to take extra calcium and vitamin D and she said yes. I’m sure you didn’t sign on to read a book. I’d appreciate it if you could give me your thoughts and the benefits of your knowledge. I also suffer from Failed Back Surgery Syndrome and live in pretty terrific pain. I can only stand or walk for about 15 minutes before I have to sit down. As you can see, doc, I’m a mighty mess. If you need to charge me a fee for your input, please send me a bill. Thanks so much in advance for taking the time to read this. Make tomorrow a great day!

The biggest risk to your remaining kidney is your high blood pressure. If your blood pressure remains poorly controlled, then this will injure your remaining kidney and could lead to advance kidney failure and the need for dialysis. You do … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Hypertension/High Blood Pressure, Kidney Failure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrologist

Do I need dialysis for one bad kidney? The other one is working fine.

If you have one normal kidney, you do not require dialysis treatments. Dialysis is used to replace kidney function when advanced kidney failure is present in both kidneys.

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

My friend is in the hospital because of blood infection from dialysis about 2 weeks ago. They have tried more dialysis but his blood pressure drops and at risk for heart failure. He has been in ICU then a “hospice” type situation. Doctors say there is nothing more they can do for him. He is in a developing country without the same advancements as the States. They say his heart can’t handle a flight to the US. Your opinion?

I cannot make such as assessment without examining the patient in question.  A patient with kidney failure and low blood pressure can be very difficult to offer any services.  I suggest that you continue to listen to the physicians who … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Dialysis, Kidney Failure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Nephrologist, Symptoms and Side Effects, Treatments

I have severe headaches from several concussions and a recent accident. Was prescribed Topamax which seems to help. This January I was hospitalized with a sepsis infection which caused kidney failure and was diagnosed with stage 3 kidney disease. Will the topamax cause further damage to the kidneys or is there another medicine that would be better suited? The headaches are unbearable that cause nausea and very draining of energy.

Topamax (topiramate) is a medication that causes changes in kidney function that could lead to an accumulation of acid in the body and also could cause kidney stones.  It does not do so in every person and it is somewhat … Continue reading

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

Hello, I have been recently diagnosed with F.S.G.S. My Doctor is always very positive about everything avoiding straightforward answers (which is common in my side of the world). Protein in the urine has become 1700 mg / l (24 hour test) Creatinine has become 1.4. Both figures are more than few months ago. How can I understand better my FSGS stage? Are these figures indicative and relevant? Is there any particular way to know the progress (I mean deterioration) of my health situation (disease)?

Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) is a scarring disease of the kidney. There are many causes but treatments have not been very effective. The diagnosis is based on findings on a kidney biopsy and there are at least six different classifications … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, FSGS, GFR, Kidney Failure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Proteinuria, Serum Creatinine, Transplantation

Hello Doctor, My brother in law is diagnosed with CKD. His creatinine level is currently 7.6. My query, is dialysis the only option or can this be solved by medication? His age is 52.

The serum creatinine that you provide suggests that your brother-in-law has very advanced kidney failure. I am unable to make any other specific diagnosis based on this laboratory value. For advanced kidney disease, dialysis or kidney transplantation are generally the … Continue reading

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

Even without infection: Can prophylactic antibiotics be helpful in end stage kidney failure? Thank you.

Prophylactic antibiotics are sometimes used to prevent recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI’s). I know of no other reason to use them in End Stage Kidney Disease. I could not foresee of any benefit to using prophylactic antibiotics in ESKD.

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