I have recently had results after two consecutive blood tests that indicate stage 3A kidney disease. I am a 65 year old female. I have been prescribed 40 mg daily of omeprazole just in the past few months for acid reflux, gastritis and an ulcer and am concerned that this has something to do with the change in my kidney function. My results were within normal range the last time I was tested.

Omeprazole and other proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) have been associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Most of these associations have been with long term (more than one year) use of these PPI’s. I am unable to make a specific diagnosis as to the cause of your kidney disease. I suggest that you share your concerns with your primary care physician (PCP).

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

I am 71 years old, one kidney (nephrectomy at 36 due to cancer), eGFR bounces between 26-34, Type II diabetic with A1C of 5.8. I have extremely painful leg cramps at night. Can I take magnesium to decrease the cramps without causing kidney damage?

Magnesium is a supplement that should be safe to take and often will relieve some common leg cramps. Magnesium does not cause kidney damage, but if you take too much magnesium, your legs and muscles can become very weak.

I suggest that you review this supplement with your physician to make sure it will not interfere with any other medication you may be taking.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Diabetes, Diet/Nutrition, Herbal Supplements in Kidney Disease/Failure, Kidney-Related Health Questions

I have a 9mm stone lodged in my left ureter. Causing me to feel fatigued, nausea, pain in my flank, rash on my ribs, burning urination, and slight headaches. At times I feel a slight throbbing right under the ribs on my higher back. A) I am scheduled for a urologist appointment in 17 days… B) My health insurance coverage kicks in in 15 days… C) I was advised by a Chronic Kidney Stone patient to take up to 50k IU of Vitamin D3 to break the stones. Should I? Is there any validity to that? D) Should I run to the ER? Thanks.

I do not know of any information about vitamin D supplementation causing stones to break or dislodge. I would not recommend this. If you are vitamin D deficient, then vitamin D supplementation could be necessary to prevent future kidney stones, but would not help in the situation that you describe.

The decision to go to the emergency room (ER) should be based on your level of discomfort and pain. I suggest you drink lots of water. If the pain is intolerable, a visit to the ER would be appropriate.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Diet/Nutrition, Herbal Supplements in Kidney Disease/Failure, Kidney Stones, Kidney-Related Health Questions

Dear sir, urine complete test report pH 7. What is a normal pH in urine?

The urine pH is dependent on dietary factors and the function of the kidney. It changes dependent on what foods or liquids have been taken recently. In most situations, the urine pH is between 5.0 and 6.5 but if the diet has recently included dairy products or vegetables, this can increase the pH to 7.0. It is uncommon for the pH to be above 7.0.

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

Is kidney biopsy needed if the creatinine levels didn’t go above 1.5x? Normal urine test, normal ultrasound, no symptoms?

A kidney biopsy is indicated when there is kidney disease present that cannot be explained by the usual diagnostic criteria. A kidney biopsy provides a specific diagnosis of kidney disease so the specific treatment can be recommended. I suggest that you discuss your concerns with the nephrologist who is recommending the kidney biopsy.

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

My father in law is 79 years old. He has CHF, kidney failure, he is a diabetic and now we find he has bladder cancer. What is the risk factors for him? With his health being so bad, I do not think the outcome is so good. I do not think he would make it through the treatment. Whats your advice?

I am a nephrologist and do not treat bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is usually treated by a urologist. A urologist is a surgeon and deals with the urinary tract. Bladder cancer treatment is not particularly stressful. I suggest you consult with a urologist.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrologist, Urological Issues

Dear Dr. I have proteinuria, chronic (immune origin) mild IgA, not aggressive yet, blood pressure medication 4 mg Atacand reduced the proteins but they are still high up to 240, normal is less than 20 ratio. Question: what is the best supplement can I take to make my kidneys live longer? I stopped smoking one year ago, and practice jogging daily. I also have ulcerative colitis since 2004. I am almost 60, male and believe in curcumine and cranberry to help my kidneys but do not know which supplements or other supplements to select. Please guide me?

I am not aware of any supplements that will further decrease the protein in your urine (proteinuria). If your blood pressure is well controlled and you are otherwise leading a healthy lifestyle, I do not think there is any other treatment indicated. The reduction in proteinuria is the desired effect of the Atacand and you should continue to use this medication.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Diet/Nutrition, Hypertension/High Blood Pressure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Proteinuria

I recently changed labs for my yearly physical. For the past 10 years my Creatinine has been 1.06-1.08. All other labs, urine and blood pressure are normal. This year the new lab has a creatinine range cutting off at 1.05. Again, all other blood tests, urine and blood pressure are normal. This is the only outlier. According this new lab I may have early kidney disease? My only meds are thyroid replacement and bioidentical HRT. Thank you.

I am not familiar with this laboratory cut-off.  I do not believe this qualifies as chronic kidney disease (CKD). I suggest that you discuss this with your physician.

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

My question is how to cure renal disease? Patient age is 57 but not passing urine. Needing some advice.

I am unable to make any specific diagnosis based on the information that you present. Treatment of kidney disease must be based on a knowledge of the specific kidney disease. I cannot make treatment recommendations without performing a complete history and physical examination.

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

I lost my left kidney to cancer. I am in good health 8 years later. I want to know if I can take oral Minoxidil and/or Spironolactone for hair loss. It was recommended by the dermatologist but they advised to find out if it would be safe with one kidney. I appreciate your time to help me with this. Thank you.

Oral minoxidil is a very potent blood pressure lowering drug. It is generally used topically for hair loss. It is effective treatment for hair loss when taken orally but causes low blood pressure. When used topically, it does not lower blood pressure. Oral use of Minoxidil may not be a good idea with one kidney.

Spironolactone is a diuretic that can be used to treat hair loss. Since you have one kidney, you should be monitored for an increase blood potassium level, if you decide to take Spironolactone. Your primary care physician (PCP) should be monitoring this carefully.

I also suggest that you discuss these drugs with your PCP in order to make sure they do not interfere with other treatments you may be taking.

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Hypertension/High Blood Pressure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrectomy / One kidney