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  • New to this. Is GFR 48 ever normal? 1st post

    Hi, I'm a 61 year old female who is on a lot of medicines for my heart. I noticed that on my lab work that my GFR was 54 in October and now 48. I thought that was odd since my creatinine was only 1.2. I called my Cardiologist to ask if that was something for me to be concerned about. His message was that "it was fine and nothing to worry about".

    Am I on the wrong track to want to investigate this further? I just need some feedback here. I know there is a wealth of experience on this board to tap. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Re: New to this. Is GFR 48 ever normal? 1st post

    Ok, I am not a doctor but at your age (and I am not exactly young myself) you will probably never need dialysis or a transplant and should enjoy your life. Try this GFR calculator, It ask for a few more pieces of info-than some others. http://www.medcalc.com/gfr.html. I punched in your limited info and a GFR of 73 came up

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    • #3
      Re: New to this. Is GFR 48 ever normal? 1st post

      Originally posted by Gary123 View Post
      Ok, I am not a doctor but at your age (and I am not exactly young myself) you will probably never need dialysis or a transplant and should enjoy your life. Try this GFR calculator, It ask for a few more pieces of info-than some others. http://www.medcalc.com/gfr.html. I punched in your limited info and a GFR of 73 came up
      Thanks, Gary. That method of calculating GFR does bring me up to 54 which is much better but your other comments were even more helpful. I think my main concern really comes down to the effect of decreased renal function would have on all my cardiac meds. Maybe it will never come to that point. Thanks ever so much.

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      • #4
        Re: New to this. Is GFR 48 ever normal? 1st post

        bettyv910,
        A slight variation in your creatinine and/or GFR can be caused by something aa simple as not drinking enough water that day. I'm 64, and woud LOVE to be at a GFR of 54. Mine went from 90 down to 27 suddenly after major surgery and now seems to be stable at 35 or so.
        Janice

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        • #5
          Re: New to this. Is GFR 48 ever normal? 1st post

          Originally posted by janicejanice View Post
          bettyv910,
          A slight variation in your creatinine and/or GFR can be caused by something aa simple as not drinking enough water that day. I'm 64, and woud LOVE to be at a GFR of 54. Mine went from 90 down to 27 suddenly after major surgery and now seems to be stable at 35 or so.
          Janice
          I'm sorry you had that experience. That must have been a real period of adjustment for you. Looking at my older labs, my GFR has actually been on a gradual decline since 2004 when it was 94. I don't know what scale was used to calibrate any of my GFR's since the results differ. On one I'm 48 and another, 54. I think I'll go with the 54. I had major surgery (heart valve replacement) in 2003. I don't know if there is any connection. I know the surgery was long ( 71/2 h) and I was on bypass for over 4 hours. I rather think that if that was the cause of the drop then it probably would have dropped more rapidly. I'm in unfamiliar territory here so that is just a guess. When you refer to "suddenly" was it over hours, days, weeks, or longer? Thank you Janice for responding to my post.

          I know most of you would like to see your GFR as high as mine. I'm just trying to avoid, if possible, arriving to the place that I would be thinking the same thing as mine. I do have a difficult time keeping my electrolytes in balance and avoiding real problems with my heart rhythm. I'm thinking of just having a renal panel rechecked in about 3 months and see if it is stable. I don't want to borrow trouble if there isn't any.

          I came to this board because I have long known that to get strait answers on medical issues the best place to go is where the people living with it day in and day out are located. Thanks for sharing with me.

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          • #6
            Re: New to this. Is GFR 48 ever normal? 1st post

            Hi - my GFR is around 45. One of my GPs thinks this is worrying but last time I went for a test I saw a different GP who said that this was probably normal and that the methods for calculating GFR are flawed. She thinks that using GFR results in people being classed as ill when they are not. I have no idea if she's right or wrong. She's not a kidney specialist. I don't think I'll worry any more unless it starts to drop. I am 47.

            I think in your case you need to keep an eye on it. Your GFR may be stable and you'll have nothing to worry about. Have an annual test (at least annual) to ensure it doesn't drop too quickly. I think it also depends on whether you are getting any protein in your urine. If not, then you probably don't need to worry too much. If you are, then you need to hassle your doctors.
            Good luck.
            Nel

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            • #7
              Re: New to this. Is GFR 48 ever normal? 1st post

              I think it also depends upon other factors such as having protien in your urine.

              CKD Stage 3, No high blood pressure, No diabetes

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              • #8
                Re: New to this. Is GFR 48 ever normal? 1st post

                It seems like GFRs are not the greatest indicator of kidney disease function or kidney disease stage, my creatinine is 1.8 and my neph says my kidney funciton is about 75pct. I am not at a 100 and I am aware I have decreased kidney function. But you have to take your build. or muscle mass, dehydration, BUN, your weight, race . I am not overweight and have mimimal body fat thus the higher function I guess, all these things have to be considered when you get your gfr or creatine numbers. Remember a muscular person usually has a higher creatinine level and that is normal. Also in my case the numbers seem to go back and forth.

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                • #9
                  Re: New to this. Is GFR 48 ever normal? 1st post

                  Forgot this factoid when I replied: my niece (healthy as a horse) who is 60 just had lab work done by the doc we both see. Her GFR came back in the high 50s and the doc was not concerned. In fact, she said that was her normal and not unexpected. Guess my point is that there's a lot more to the diagnosis than just the GFR. My last GFR was 37 and my creatinine was 1.5 (that was up from 1.3, but my nurse friends tell me that such a small fluctuation could be reflective of how much water I drank in the previous 24 hours). My neph didn't contact me after getting that result, and he ALWAYS does if there's anything significant.


                  As for the exactitude of my "sudden" kidney failure, it's really a guess. I had both knees replaced (7 months in between). My GFR in the pre-op labs for the second surgery was 90. I had a tough recovery, feeling exhausted all the time (which I mistakenly attributed to having had two major surgeries in one year), depressed (but I have had recurrent major depression for most of my adult life), and noticing that food just didn't taste "right." So I just stumbled along (literally) through the PT process. Four months after the second surgery I was due for a visit with my primary doctor, a sharp internist. She always has labs done before the visit, which I love. Had the labs early in the a.m. and she called me at 9:30 that night. Her first words to me were "I'm very worried about you" (just what you want to hear, right?). Next morning we re-did all the labs to rule out an error, but no such luck. My GFR was 27, my creatinine was 1.6, and my potassium was 5.0. Fortunately I only had to take one dose of the calexilate (sp, I know) to bring my potassium down to 4.8, where it has stayed pretty stable. My neph reviewed all the drugs used during and after my surgery but didn't think any of them should have caused the problem. So my official diagnosis is "interstitial nephritis of unknown origin." The inside of a kidney resembles a raspberry, made up of all these little blobs (glomules, they're called). Each glomule contains about a billion (just kidding) blood vessels, and this is where the filtering and purification takes place. There are little tubes running all around between the glomules, and when they become inflammed, you have interstitial nephritis. The inflammation squeezes the glomules and hampers the filtration process. After 3 months on a low-potassium and low-phosphorus diet, my GFR actually came up to 35 and my creatine has been as low as 1.1 !! Hope this answers your question.
                  Stay in touch,
                  Janice

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                  • #10
                    Re: New to this. Is GFR 48 ever normal? 1st post

                    Thanks for all the help. It gets confusing doesn't it! I know docs aren't real thrilled about their patients researching on the internet since there is just so much out there and it is hard to sort out the pertinent from the useless. I think I'll just lay this down unless something else comes up. I've always considered my renal system as my best functioning system. That is probably why I got a little shaken up by the results. I wish the best for all of you and may stop in from time to time to see how you are all doing. Thanks again for being there.

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                    • #11
                      Re: New to this. Is GFR 48 ever normal? 1st post

                      GFR naturally goes down with age. So many people do not know this. So if you are in an older age bracket, the doctors seem to just think "well this is normal and nothing to worry about" and seem to ignore it. But it is still a good time to take it seriously and adjust diet in ways of limiting salt intake, watching how much fast foods and fast preparation meals / ready to eat meals you eat due to the higher than normal phosphate and salt content in those. Plus watching sugar intake as well. Plus making sure you are drinking enough to help your kidneys out as dehydration will bring up Creatinine which will lower your GFR.

                      Hope this helps somewhat.
                      Angie
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