hi tonia. i agree with what you said. i have been trying since december 2012 to slow stage 3 my GFR keeps going down 47 in dec, 41 in april and 39 june nobody seems to know what i am doing wrong.any ideas? thanks. pam
The variation you have seen in GFR could be attributed soley to your level of hydration at the time of the blood draw used to determine your GFR. I had similar experiences also with my creatinine levels and when I discussed the situation with my nephrologist, he confessed that hydration, which literally loads the blood with fluid and dilutes it, will produce improved GFR and creatinine numbers. You may game your labs with this practice for the short term but what is more important are the trends over time in your kidney function test results, e.g. over the span of 6 months has your GFR moved from 50 to 45 or from 50 to 40 or a lower number.
The trend can help you predict when and if you will reach Stage V ESRD, generally GFR's below 12 or 15, and how much time you have before you will have to start dialysis or obtain a kidney transplant.
Realize that kidney function does not always decline on a linear (straight line) basis. It can flatten out and stay at the same level for in indeterminate period before it starts declining again. Depending on the cause of your loss of kidney function, there may be opportunities for dietary or life style changes that will slow the progressive loss of kidney function. Monthly monitoring of kidney function only makes sense whe your GFR hits the low to mid 20's.
My GFR fluctuates between 47 and 55. Creatinine level fluctuates between 1.2-1.4. Currently I diet mainly. Losarten gave me terrible muscle cramps, so I'm off this medication. I only take HCTZ for my Blood Pressure. Unfortunately my BP is starting to rise.
How about you Pam, are you on meds only or diet as well.
Prior to any scheduled creatinine test, you should attempt to "standardize" the testing conditions if you want to avoid creatinine fluctuations that are not necessarily related to the health of your kidneys.
Avoid eating any meat or fish from vertebrates for a day or so prior to the blood draw. The creatinine contents of the cooked muscles can raise your serum creatinine levels. Purportedly the muscle on invertebrates (shrimp, scallops, etc.) is relatively creatine and hence creatinine free once cooked, but testing on myself suggests this isn't so. Eggs, milk products, and legumes should be your main protein sources during your "meat fast". Needless to say, avoid creatine supplements which would be converted to creatinine by your muscles before the blood test if you are on a body building program.
Avoid intense exercise prior to the blood draw for a few days. This would include both strength training and intense aerobic exercises. Lighter exercises such as walking at a brisk pace shouldn't significantly affect serum creatinine levels if you have been doing them regularly as part of a routine program.
Try to maintain a consistent hydration weight prior to the blood draws. Although excessive hydration differences such as plus or minus several kilos of water weight can affect creatinine levels very slightly, you will see much larger variations in albumin, BUN levels, and electrolytes than creatinine if the hydration levels aren't consistently maintained immediately prior to the test draw.
These pre-testing procedures are not gaming the test, but are similar to blood tests that require fasting for 24-hours before testing in order to standardize the results. You would be looking for trends over time between test results that have the same pre-test preparation conditions.
I know a little bit about creatinine testing. I've had about 30/year over the last 4-5 years.
1.2 is not a high creatinine level. It falls within the normal levels. People often times forget, A persons body size has a direct effect on the levels. My creatinine levels were stable at 1.5 and my dr. expressed that it was higher than normal cause of my bodybuilding.
When I was diagnosed almost 22 years ago, my GFR was 52 but I had horrible protein problems. I have been in stage 4 for the last 8 years. My creatinine goes up and down. Best about 1.8, worst about 2.8. My GFR will range from 18 to 24 and bounces around in there quite a bit. The nephrologist that I go to is merely controlling "issues" at this point as they crop up. As an example, I take a ton of Vitamin D because mine is always low. I must adhere to a strict low potassium diet although this is a recent (5 years) development. One thing I have learned about this disease is that we are all different, from the type of disease we have to the ways we are treated. Reading about your type of disease is a good thing, but my recommendation is not to overdo it. This website is a great source of information as is the National Institute of Health. I found that for myself, reading too much information led to conflicting information which freaked me out. My neph said to ask him the questions that I had. As to why GFR fluctuates? I was told that it is a delicate balance of ALL your lab numbers. My nephrologist gets a little excited when mine dips to 18 but considers me stable at anything from 22-27. Find a doc you trust and then ask millions of questions until you feel satisfied that you have the information you need.