i was told about 6 months ago (right after back surgery) that I was in stage 3 CKD. I'm just wondering can I get better--I've given up Excedrin, NSAIDs, and Alcohol (well never drank anyway because I'm on Opiates and Celexa). WILL I GET OUT OF STAGE 3? I'm 61 and scared of kidney failure!!!! I have Immitrex pills but I swear Excedrin worked better for migraines. And University of California, San Diego medical has NO DOCTORS that Botox for headaches!!

I just started a week ago. It's hard but I know I'm dealing with rebound headaches and my arthritis will just have to hurt me. The Norco helps a bit.

Thanks for your answer(s).
Patti in San Diego

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Hi Patti,

If you are in stage 3 CKD, you should avoid any medications that are classed as NSAIDs (non-steriodal antiinflammatory drugs) as they tend to increase blood pressure which is not a good thing in CKD, as the kidney's are very sensitive to pressure changes (high or low) and this class of drugs are also know to cause bleeding in the stomach if used for long periods. There are other medications to manage migraines and arthritic pain: depending on what type of arthritis you have: some have joint injection with steriod and anesthetic, or other injections that help with lubrication of the joint but are often not covered & are only good for intermittent treatments. Celexa can be used for neuropathic pain as well as depression. 

I don't think you can change your state of CKD, but it can be stable for many years (ie. not progress to end stage) if you are managing your risk factors like: managing BP, blood sugars if you are diabetic, reducing sodium intake, ensuring your wt is in normal range, eating healthy low sodium diet, staying away from NSAIDs as much as possible and not smoking. Another thing to consider is to manage stress as constant levels of stress makes the body secrete various hormones meant to maintain your body, which can cause effects that are not ideal for the kidneys ( again talking about blood flow to kidneys).

Rebound headaches are common when trying to change and manage chronic pain for migraines, arthritis, etc. especially if you are using narcotics. You should talk to your family Dr. about pain management, maybe a pain management clinic?? Also for migraines: hopefully someone has discussed identifying your "triggers" and then trying to avoid or minimize them: can be stress, can be related to female hormone fluctuations, caffeine, smoking, stress, anxiety, depression.

Follow up with your medical/nursing/dietician/social worker, specialists, etc. All we can do is do our best to negotiate this hand we are dealt. Stay positive and remember to keep reaching out and talking/asking questions and for help!


Thank you Loretta. I have been educating myself on kidney function. I have modified my diet and going to tell my pharmacist I have CKD so they can flag my many medications. I stopped Excedrin and NSAIDS right away. Since I modified my diet my swelling has gone away. I've also stopped about 5 prescribed meds. I'm not sure if my low back pain is kidney related and my energy level is terrible.

I started back on my exercise program (had back surgery in December), hoping increasing exercise will help everything. I have low blood pressure due to the beta blocker I take for atrial fibrillation. I also frequently have low thyroid since I had my thyroid gland was radiated and the meds don't keep my levels steady even though I follow exact dosing instructions. I think generic meds aren't precise. Low BP and hypothyroid are also hard on the kidneys.

This new health problem is very discouraging but I think this is the one I'm taking most serious.

Thanks agsin,


Hi again Patti,

So it sounds like you have a few things that are impacting your quality of life. I hear you about the lack of energy for sure! Exercise is a good thing done "low & slow" for the CKD and your AF/use of beta-blocker. I was told when exercising to focus on duration vs increasing cardiac effort or using larger wts. Our bodies can't handle the acid build up from the exercise too well if you "go hard"...LOL. Not like we really can. 

Keep going, you're doing well with your changes so far! 

Take care.




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