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-   -   Kidney function test - anything I should know? (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/diabetes/808184-kidney-function-test-anything-i-should-know.html)

Aomiel 07-17-2013 07:50 AM

Kidney function test - anything I should know?
 
My doc did a kidney function test (just drew bloodwork) to make sure things are ok since I've been an uncontrolled diabetic with BG's over 250 and sometimes has high as slightly over 400 off and on over the last who knows how many years (cuz we don't know when I went from hypo go hyper), plus eating a diet that's supposedly too high in protein for impaired kidneys.

I don't have any 'symptoms' of impaired kidneys but just in case...are these tests more reliable than say cholesterol testing? Is there something I should ask about/be aware of when I get these results back?

Whatever the results, I'm just glad my weight is down and my diabetes has been diet controlled for the last 5 months so at least two less things to worry about.

ravenrose 07-17-2013 11:29 AM

to my knowledge the tests are relatively accurate and not biased like the cholesterol ones are. the creatinine is the one I look at most.

Aomiel 07-18-2013 06:31 AM

Thanks, Ravenrose. :)

rubidoux 07-19-2013 06:14 PM

Have you gotten your results back yet?

I think the eGFR is the more important one. That's the one that will "stage" you and it's actually based on your creatinine result, so it takes it into consideration.

If you're reading the results yourself, there are two eGFR results, one applies if you're black and the other if you're not. The way it was reported on my labs was a "black" value and a "non-black" value, because the lab techs don't know your race, so they just calculate both. Well, I had no idea what that meant. I considered that it might me race but wasn't sure. The "black" number was better for me (probably everyone, I'm thinking) and I was bummed to find out that the other was the one that applied. :(

And, if your numbers are bad, do some reading about it bc diet can effect the test. I think if you're eating a crapload of protein,are dehydrated, or worked out hard the day before (and were tearing down muscle) it will come out worse. It is just an estimate of your actual glomerular filtration rate and for some people it isn't as accurate as for others. I think it is related to the surface area of your body somehow, so if you're a really large or really small person that can throw things off.

Aomiel 07-19-2013 06:55 PM

Jayne,
No I haven't. My doc is out on Fridays so I'm going to call the office onMonday and see if they have the results yet.

rubidoux 07-20-2013 01:00 PM

I'm getting my results on tuesday and I'm mostly not thinking about it, but feel a little sick to my stomach when the thought crosses my mind. I HATE all the tests. Once you have diabetes, it's like you just keep on testing and testing because you know *eventually* you're gonna find something. Gah!

Anyway, I hope that you get good results. Make sure you see what your actual eGFR number is. Most doctors won't tell you that there's any issue at all until the number drops below 60, but a result of 60 is 3rd stage kidney disease out of five stages. So if you're anything below, I'd say an 85 (totally arbitrary, normal is 100 depending on your age), you should do a little reading about how to keep your kidneys healthy. My last three eGFR's were 84, 58, 64 (64 after scrambling to treat my kidneys better for a couple of months) and omg do I ever wish that someone had called my attention to that 84! It says on the labwork that it's within the normal range so I had no idea that it wasn't normal.

Ronnie51 07-20-2013 01:27 PM

Just to add to Jayne's good information, they do not go by the results of just one eGFR test; I believe they look at the results of three separate tests over a period of time before they make a diagnosis of CKD. I've noticed that my eGFR results have improved by drinking a lot more water. I never used to drink water which is bad, bad, bad. Now that I am, my kidney function tests have improved. I hope you get good results!

Aomiel 07-20-2013 03:54 PM

I've always been a water drinker...at least the 64 fl oz a day that the 'experts' have always recommended. I actually found that if I drank less, I'd feel exhausted. My doc said that has probably been beneficial for my kidneys while I've been ignoring my diabetes. :o

rubidoux 07-20-2013 06:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ronnie51 (Post 16523866)
Just to add to Jayne's good information, they do not go by the results of just one eGFR test; I believe they look at the results of three separate tests over a period of time before they make a diagnosis of CKD. I've noticed that my eGFR results have improved by drinking a lot more water. I never used to drink water which is bad, bad, bad. Now that I am, my kidney function tests have improved. I hope you get good results!

I went for years w/o drinking water. :( I had no idea that that was bad for my kidneys. I knew that drinking water was "good for you", but if anyone had ever said to me that it was good for my kidneys I would absolutely have drank more.

Did you have further improvement after your first improved test? Like I said, I went from a 58 to a 64 a couple of months later after increasing water and quitting diet coke. It would be so awesome if it was up even more on tuesday, but I would be quite thrilled if it were even just 64 again.

Ronnie51 07-21-2013 06:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rubidoux (Post 16524136)
I went for years w/o drinking water. :( I had no idea that that was bad for my kidneys. I knew that drinking water was "good for you", but if anyone had ever said to me that it was good for my kidneys I would absolutely have drank more.

Did you have further improvement after your first improved test? Like I said, I went from a 58 to a 64 a couple of months later after increasing water and quitting diet coke. It would be so awesome if it was up even more on tuesday, but I would be quite thrilled if it were even just 64 again.

I've had two blood tests since increasing my water intake and, yes, the second test was even better than the first. There was noticeable improvement in my BUN which had always been high, as well as my creatinine and eGFR. Please let us know how you do.

rubidoux 07-21-2013 10:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ronnie51 (Post 16524591)
I've had two blood tests since increasing my water intake and, yes, the second test was even better than the first. There was noticeable improvement in my BUN which had always been high, as well as my creatinine and eGFR. Please let us know how you do.

Oh good! I was a little afraid that the first test after the bad one was as good as things would get. My fingers are crossed!

Aomiel 07-22-2013 01:46 PM

Called the doctor's office to see about the results...still waiting for a response. She's usually pretty good about returning calls after she finishes for the day, so perhaps she was out. Getting antsy.

rubidoux 07-22-2013 02:07 PM

Oh man! I was just coming to check on you. I'm thinkin' no news is good news. Are you on the east coast? If its only five where you are, there's still time.

I am antsy about mine, too. I hate, hate, hate these d*mned tests. I have been trying to remember how much protein I ate the day before all week. And the yesterday had a freak out moment thinking about the high blood sugars I had after the steroid shots I had to get in my ear. Gah!

Aomiel 07-22-2013 06:16 PM

Yep, on the east coast, but my doctor stops seeing patients at 3 p.m. so she can spend 2 hours following up with her patients. If I go too long between appointments, this woman calls me up! Last time, she called me up and when I answered the phone she said, "Melody, this is Dr. Vedala...are you avoiding me?" :hyst:

Aomiel 07-22-2013 06:19 PM

I feel like I should've crammed for this test. Like how I'm eating might give false readings after reading some of these posts. Oh well. Once I know the results, y'all can help me figure it out and know what to ask her, yes? :D

rubidoux 07-23-2013 11:17 AM

I think there is every reason to believe that you're gonna be fine. If your numbers are good, I think you can totally rely on that bc if you can make them good w your crazy diet, then they're good. If they're less than stellar, you can make them better by changing a few things, especially lowering protein (I think you do already watch protein, but if you're doing a protective kidney diet, you'll probably want to go lower, I'm down to 45 grams, which actually hasn't been too bad). I am sure you'll get great numbers, though.

I'm gonna get my results at 1:30 and it's a group appointment and when you walk in results are projected nice and big on the wall for all to see. I kinda wish I could see them alone first bc if they're terrible I will not be able to handle that. Gah! At our last appointment one of the women cried through the entire three hours! So I guess it won't be the end of the world if I lose my ***t. They have seen it before. It does help that I'm something in the neighborhood of 25 pounds down since last time. :)

Aomiel 07-23-2013 11:47 AM

Just talked to my doc and she said my kidney function tests look *very* good. So, her advice, given my weight loss & maintenance and getting off all meds several months back and still keeping an A1c of 4.9 and stable BG readings through the day was...keep doing what I'm doing. :clap: Wish they had a snoopy dancing emoticon!

Jayne, I'm crossing my fingers that you're getting good news!

rubidoux 07-23-2013 12:42 PM

Awesome! :D if your kidneys are good now and you have a 4.9 a1c, you're golden. I don't think you need to worry about kidneys in the future unless there's a drastic change in your a1c. Yay! :clap:

Ronnie51 07-23-2013 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aomiel (Post 16528026)
Just talked to my doc and she said my kidney function tests look *very* good. So, her advice, given my weight loss & maintenance and getting off all meds several months back and still keeping an A1c of 4.9 and stable BG readings through the day was...keep doing what I'm doing. :clap: Wish they had a snoopy dancing emoticon!

Jayne, I'm crossing my fingers that you're getting good news!

Congratulations, Aomiel, that's great! I'm so impressed with your A1c of 4.9. Jayne, I hope you get equally good news.

Ntombi 07-23-2013 04:15 PM

YAY!


And here you go!

http://www.nhlcyberfamily.org/special/02snoopy.gif

Aomiel 07-23-2013 05:55 PM

Hahahaha! Thanks for the Snoopy!

rubidoux 07-23-2013 08:30 PM

Thanks you guys! I think I did get good news. Sigh... But I am hopping mad. It turns out that the lab that my new doctor uses does not give you a number if your eGFR is above 60. My last two eGFR's were 58 and 64. I would really like to know if this one was 61-65, so basically no change, or if I had actually improved some. I think that I have improved some bc my creatinine for the last three tests was 1.1, 1.0, and today .89. eGFR is related to creatinine and I believe that creatinine and eGFR go down together.

So, I am assuming that this is good news and an improvement over last time.

It really pisses me off though to think about how kidney disease rates are drastically going up, but nobody thinks that the patient should even know about it until their kidney functioning is below 60%. I am pretty sure that I brought that 58 up just by drinking water, stopping diet coke and ibuprofen, and decreasing protein. If I had known that my eGFR was 75 when it was 75 I would have done the same thing then. It is just completely insane to me that the patients who have labs done at this have no heads up whatsoever. As for the old lab I went to, they reported a number no matter what it was, but unless you knew what an eGFR meant, you wouldn't have any idea that you had a problem until it went below 60 bc the reference range just said <60 was abnormal.

Well... ok sorry to rant! All in all it was good for me. My a1c was good (6.6) and my blood lipids were good, happy that my HDL came up from 40 about six months ago to 57!

Aomiel 07-24-2013 07:06 AM

Jayne,
The lab may not have given you a number, but wouldn't their test have given them an actual number? I'd think a phone call to them might get this information?

Glad to hear your results were 'good'...but I understand you want something better than 'good'. I would too.

Ronnie51 07-24-2013 08:19 AM

Jayne, your creatinine really improved a lot, that's great! I'm like you in that I always want details, but if you can't find out your eGFR this time, knowing how much your creatinine went down from last time can hopefully give you some peace of mind, plus it's proof that your lifestyle changes have definitely paid off.

rubidoux 07-24-2013 11:46 AM

I did call the lab. I'm pretty convinced that there is no number, but I am seriously considering writing them a letter and telling them they need to calculate a number for me, not just this time , but for all eternity. lol. I'm pretty sure they can calculate it from what they have.

Ronnie, I am really pleased w the creatinine. I think .89 is fairly respectable, though I am new to this. I am a little worried though that I might have eaten too little protein the day before the test. Sadly I don't remember what I ate. I'm scared it was only like 25 or 30 grams bc, since I've been worried about this I've not felt like eating much protein. Sigh... I don't thi I the eGfr result would address that fear, though.

Ronnie51 07-24-2013 12:53 PM

Creatinine of .89 is EXCELLENT! Would your levels really be affected by how much protein you ate the day before? I thought only the previous 8-12 hours affected your blood results for a fasting test. You have inspired me to get another glass of water. :)

rubidoux 07-24-2013 03:00 PM

Thanks, Ronnie! I hope that's true. I'm gonna just take it at face value and not worry about what I ate.

What is your situation? Are you having kidney issues, too? If so you should come join us on the support thread. :)

Ronnie51 07-24-2013 07:01 PM

Hi Jayne,
I've never been told by my doctor that I have kidney issues, but I've noticed myself that my eGFR is not optimal so I'm watching it on my own. Plus, my Mom was diagnosed with kidney cancer two years ago (in addition to stomach cancer), so that made me even more diligent. I'm very health oriented and I'm always trying to learn what I can about staying healthy. My Mom is doing pretty good now, cancer free, but having some kidney issues.

rubidoux 07-24-2013 09:58 PM

Gosh, your poor mom! I'm happy she's doing well now.

Do you have diabetes? Or know what's causing your eGFR to go down?

Well, I found an online eGFR calculator and was able to get my number and I think it's accurate bc it gave me the same numbers that the lab did for previous rounds. It was 79! I was not expecting a number anywhere near that good. It's really strange, given that everyone says you can't actually improve your kidney functioning. I have seen other people online say they improved a little, but 58 to 79 is a big leap I think.

I'm really pleased, of course. I feel like now I get a chance to work on this before it gets bad.

Ronnie51 07-25-2013 07:16 AM

I'm not so sure you can't improve your kidney function if your numbers aren't optimum due to poor diet or dehydration. As you've noticed and I've noticed, after increasing our water ingestion, our numbers improved. If your numbers are not great on one test, that does not mean you're on a downhill spiral. Plus, these lab tests are not 100% accurate either. I remember many years ago....maybe 15 years....I had a blood test and while my creatinine and BUN were normal, my eGFR was actually below 60. My doctor said to ignore it since the other two numbers were normal. I've never had a level below 60 since then. I think doctors look more at trends rather than individual blood tests. And if your numbers have improved, that is a good trend.

To answer your question, I don't have diabetes, but last year my A1c was 5.9 (pre-diabetes). My doctor wasn't concerned because my fasting glucose was always under 100 (in the mid 90's), but I was because my brother has T2 and so did my maternal grandmother. So, I bought a glucose meter and found that I am very carb sensitive; that's when I started low carbing. My last A1c was 5.5 so it's improved. I only weigh 108 pounds and I've exercised consistently my entire life, so it wasn't due to being overweight and/or inactivity. I believe my issues are genetic and diet related, so changed my diet which has helped. I've learned that diet is (almost) everything when it comes to good health, even if you're genetically predisposed.


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