Good morning! I was just told last week that I have "mild" kidney disease and not to worry. The doc told me there is nothing I can do other than keep my blood sugar under control even though she said it already is at A1c 6.2. I have low blood pressure also. I do have anemia at 109 which I've been battling for the last couple of years and which doesn't seem to be responding to iron supplements. I'm a bit oonfused by my test results because I have a low GFR at 57 but there is no protein (albumin) in my urine. What does this mean? what stage am I at? anyone know? thanks for reading! Happy to be here :)
My own personal opinion (but I'm a cynic) is that the 'stages' don't really mean all that much. They don't tell you anything about what specifically is going on or how fast the progression of things may or may not be.
In my earlier stages, I was anemic, but had almost no protein in my urine. Even when I was close to dialysis (spent roughly 10 years in the 'stage' of ESRD - end stage renal disease which comes after stage 5) I had relatively small amounts of protein in my urine.
What you will want to keep track of over time is your creatinine (it will go up and down, so don't read too much into any one individual lab result) and your electrolytes (this will dictate what you can and can't eat/drink).
The good news is that especially with modern knowledge and drugs, it can take decades before you need dialysis. In some cases (no guarantees) the progression may even stop.
Are you on an insulin pump? It really helped me cut down on extreme highs and the lows. In the meantime, try to be as healthy as you can. That means cutting back on salt/processed foods, keeping hydrated, watch your bg and bp, and cutting back on animal protein. All these things will help cut back on the pressure on your kidneys.
And here's more good news. Nothing is ever going to be as bad or scary as you think it's going to be. I spent over 25 years pre-dialysis (and was terrified). I spent 1 year on hemo because I had to (PD didn't work) and I'm now over 15 years post transplant. A lot of the things I've been through were not a lot of fun, but I could do them all again if I had to. I even went to Disneyworld while on dialysis shortly before my transplant.
Since I've been through the bulk of the process, feel free to ask any questions.
Thank you Mrs. Cora for your reasuring words! you are an inspiration! I am not so worried now. Well, still enough to want to make some lifestyle changes. I have been reading a book called The China Study which highly recommends a vegetarian diet with low protein to maintain and improve health based on very persuave and in depth research in the past 50 years. I have been vegetarian in the past for more than 5 years so I think I'll try to go back to it. The studies done and cited in this book all show a lowering of blood cholesterol with vegetarianism and especially veganish. I'm told my cholesterol is too high for a diabetic. The doc says heart problems, high blood pressure and blood glucose and kidney disease all go hand in hand so I aim to improve what I can. The doc wants to put me on a statin which I refused. She got all concerned and almost angry but the reading I've done shows that statins are not that effective in women and there are so many side effects. I will ask the doc to repeat the blood work she had me do this month in three or four months to track my progress. I am on Metformin for my diabetes which seems to be working well. I'm hoping once I start eating more plant based foods I can lower the dose. A couple of years ago I had my A1c down to 5.3 so no reason why I can't bring it down to that again. What I'm trying to say is that I want to do everything I can to get healthier. Should I have my potassium and phosphorous levels checked now? or is that only done in the later stages of the disease? The doc is checking my B12 and folate now to see if they could be the cause of the anemia.
Any other suggestion?
Thanks again so much for your reply!
Forgot to ask, I am taking a multivitamin, magnesium, calcium and iron supplements. Are there vitamins I should avoid? I have trouble eating enough because of gastroparesis so I feel some supplementation is almost a necessity.
Also, should I be on medication for the "mild" kidney disease? My son is taking something because he has some protein in his urine and the doctor says the med will help the kidneys somehow.
It’s always best to talk to your physician and nephrologist about any supplements, sometimes you can do more damage by supplementing your diet. Years ago I got “in trouble “ for taking vitamin D because it increased my calcium and it was too high. The only medications I ever took from stage 3-5 were to keep my blood pressure low. Anemia can be common with kidney disease as your kidneys produce a hormone that assists with the production of red blood cells. For now it’s best if you can successfully increase your blood count by diet and iron supplements. Eventually your nephrologist May prescribe EPO injections. I did EPO injections for 3 months prior to my transplant.