Category Archives: Symptoms and Side Effects

Symptoms and Side Effects

Have had swollen ankles, lower legs, and abdomen for almost 2 years now. I do have HBP but has been maintained. GFR is 60 with creatine 0.9. Both fluctuate. Lowest GFR 59. No 24 hr urine test done. I have hyperlipidemia and hypoalbuminemia (3) with elevated ESR 54mm. I am age 49 female white. History of kidney problems with right kidney backing up with urine. Was drained 2 times as an adult. I’m on mesalamine for Crohn’s disease. The swelling I have in my abdomen is on right side. PCP doesn’t seemed alarmed and doesn’t think kidney related. Do you feel I should seek a second opinion with a nephrologist? I appreciate your input.

I suggest that you have urine testing for blood, protein and infection.  If your urine test is normal, then I doubt that your swelling is related to your kidneys.  I am unable to make any other specific diagnosis based on … Continue reading

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

I noticed when you get questions about vitamin D deficiency you do not seem to mention going out in the sun 10 or 15 minutes several days per week, every week as a way to increase Vitamin D. Is there a reason you don’t mention that way ? Is sunlight harmful to the kidneys ?

You are correct that 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight exposure is enough for most individuals to get normal levels of vitamin D.  However, in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), despite sun exposure, they have low levels of vitamin … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Medication and Kidney Function, Symptoms and Side Effects, Treatments

My kidney failed during pyeloplasty surgery. I found the surgery report and it mentions that my artery was severed twice and my renal veins were cut twice. I was given 3.7 units of blood during the surgery. This was done using robotic surgery and none of this was ever told to me. My gfr prior the surgery was 54 it is now 28. Can you help me with what might have caused this failure? Thank you,

I am a nephrologist and I have no surgical expertise.  In this situation, the only one who can answer your question is the urologist who performed your surgery.  A urologist is a surgeon.  You will need to discuss your surgery … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Symptoms and Side Effects, Urological Issues

I am a recovering anorexic (current BMI is 17.6). I have good BP (102/60) and am not a diabetes risk. I recently went to my local urgent care for blood in my urine (seperate bright red blood, about the same amount as if I was spotting–urine was not brown, pink or red). The Doctor, after testing my urine, believes that I passed a small kidney stone and had lacerations in my urethra. The bleeding lasted less than 12 hours. However, I looked at my urine test results and they noted that there was small amount of ketones, proteins and leukocytes in my urine. Could this be test results associated with the blood? (IE: it was in my blood, so those results showed up in a urine test–since there was blood in my urine?) I don’t smoke. But I drink socially (about 10 drinks a week). I am recovering from chronic laxative abuse (about 8months of chronic laxative use) with my therapist and PC. Should I be concerned about kidney damage? or are those results fairly typical?

If you were having blood in your urine that was enough to cause the urine to be red, then all the other testing on the urine is related to blood.  The blood must first clear from the urine and then … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Symptoms and Side Effects

Is working out affecting the creatinine level? Using gym supplements will do any harm? My creatinine last year was 1.37, this year 1.56 and this is was the highest. I have tested after a month later it’s between 1.31 to 1.48. No blood and protein in urine. Ultrasound is good, nothing abnormal. Do you have any suggestions to do more investigation? I’m 25 years, eGFR is 76.

The supplement “creatine” can cause an elevation in the serum creatinine.  This supplement is commonly used as a gym supplement.  In some cases, I have measured a 24 hour urine collection for creatinine clearance to determine if kidney function is … Continue reading

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

I have suspected Loin Pain Hematuria Syndrome. My pain went from occasional to severe/life altering 3 years ago after taking Miralax for about 8 months due to another health issue. This is when I started to realize certain medications had a direct affect to my pain. When I stopped using Miralax the pain improved but never went back to what it was pre-miralax. I had frequent flareups that would last from a few days up to 8 weeks, the pain would get so bad I could hardly get up to brush my teeth. I stumbled across your post that said “It is important to avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) such as Motrin, Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, Naproxen and Toradol. These drugs will often make the pain worse.” After reading this, I stopped taking all NSAIDS. My flareups and general pain have greatly decreased. I KNOW not taking NSAIDS has made a huge difference. But interestingly, I have yet to find this advice anywhere else? I was wondering what the reasoning behind this is? And what other medications might cause increased pain? I just finished 3 days of Diflucan (fluconazole) and am now in my first flareup in several months. I’m wondering if there could be a connection? Thank you.

We do not know the cause of Loin Pain Hematuria syndrome.  It is thought that the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) cause worse bleeding from the kidney and in that manner cause more pain.  Blood thinners may also cause worsening of … Continue reading

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

My husband has Wegener’s granulomatosis with renal involvement. He was hospitalized in mid May with acute renal failure and was given high doses of prednisone and is on 30mg of prednisone to this day. He was also given 2 infusions of Rituxan which has brought the disease under control and prevented any further damage to his kidneys. He was at 8% kidney function in the hospital, and he is now at 18%. We are following the renal diet very carefully. In your experience how long does it take for the kidneys to heal to get to a higher level of kidney function? We are worried that it may stay at that level. His blood pressure, pottasium and other blood work is now normal. Thank you.

Wegener’s granulomatosis is also known as Polyangitis with Granulomatosis.  This disease is a vasculitis of the kidney and it may take a year or longer to see recovery.  I have generally noticed that kidney function may not return to normal … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, GFR, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Symptoms and Side Effects

My EGFR is currently 44 and my most recent visit with PC she decided to put me on Atorvastatin Calcium 5mg every night. I know that is not much but when I read about the medication it says it can cause kidney disease so this really worries me. I would like to know your thoughts. Also, I have low Vitamin D levels at 24 on last test and I am unable to take a supplement as I have a horrible side effect of diarrhea when I take it. Is this a Kidney disease side effect or is it just me? I have tried several different tablet forms and same result with all. She said 24 is not very low but when it was at 27 my neurologist was not too happy and said I needed supplements. I have been asking my PC for the Vitamin D shots but I keep getting refused because it isnt “low enough”. I have to take a sublingual B6 and B12 supplement to keep my B12 where it should be. PLEASE OFFER ME ANY ADVICE YOU CAN!

The normal for vitamin D levels is greater than 30 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml).   Your level is a very mild deficiency.  If you can take calcium with vitamin D that is an over the counter preparation, this could be … Continue reading

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

My 26 year old son is on the transplant list. He was born with Hirschsprung’s Disease and as a result of multiple surgeries he was left with no large intestines and a latex allergy. For a year he has been at end stage renal failure but managed to stay off dialysis with a very strict vegan diet. Looking at the side effects of his meds post transplant, I am wondering how much water he can drink to avoid GI issues. Although he’s always been an athlete, he has chronic dehydration due to his body’s inability to absorb fluids. I believe this is what caused his kidney problems in the first place. His BP is also off the charts requiring medication. The doctors he has spoken to don’t seem to factor his medical history into their diagnosis or treatment. Are you aware of any studies that discuss fluid intake in people with no large intestines?

The requirement for fluid intake can be assessed by having your son weigh himself every day and then drink sufficient fluids to maintain his body weight.  This is what I do with patients who have high fluid requirements and have … Continue reading

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

I’m a 47 year old white female. I donated a kidney to my sister in Dec > 2017 and have not had any problems. No chronic diseases, 0 meds, 0 > alcohol/tob. Been feeling off for a few weeks, with slight urgency, > then 3 days ago woke up with worsening urgency and frequency, nausea > and vomited once. I’m an FNP so ran a UA expecting leuks or maybe a > little blood, but leuks and nitr. Neg, small bili., trace blood and > ketones, 1+ prot., sg >1.030, ph 5.5. My PCP was full so had a > colleague prescribe Macrobid. Now on day 4 urgency and frequency much > better after day 1, but can’t get rid of the nausea. I would say it > was just the Macrobid if the nausea hadn’t started before taking. Just > worried only having 1 kidney. Hoping all the above is just a nasty > bladder infection, but with no leuks. Can the other positives on my > UA be caused by infection? Haven’t had a bladder or any kind of > infection in over 20 years. Drink good amount of water. This just came > out of nowhere and the UA has me freaked out. Is the nausea Macrobid > or infection? Does the UA reflect infection or kidney issue?

I am unable to make a specific diagnosis based on the information that you present.  I can only suggest that you be seen and have a complete examination.  It is often said that “people who treat themselves often have a … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Living Donation, Medication and Kidney Function, Symptoms and Side Effects, Treatments