Diabetics and Hypertensives NEED this information!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I got a shock at my Doctor's office on Tuesday. Out of the blue, I'm told I have Stage 3, Moderate Kidney FAILURE! I'm sorry, but failure to me does not equal = moderate anything! I'm also informed that this is not a new condition; it's been going on for a looooooooooooong time! Huh? I drove home bewildered and stunned. I know a little bit about renal failure because I'm a retired RN. What I remember isn't pleasant, but to be fair, treatments and prognoses have improved.
Once I got to my computer and started googling, I found out something so mind boggling and infuriating, I simply have to share it with you, so maybe you can PREVENT the same outcome.
The test which appeared (for the first time) on my lab work was called GFR. GFR=glomerular filtration rate. My GFR, at 46, is what puts me in the moderate failure group. Here's the thing. The GFR is not a separate blood test. It is an equation taken from very boring, readily available information:
1. Your age
2. Your gender
3. Your race
4. Your creatinine ( a test that is done every single time your doctor orders routine blood work, literally! ALSO, mine is now and always has been "within normal limits". )

Once you plug in those 4 factors, your GFR pops up. You can do it yourself on any one of multiple websites... which is why I am so angry. I'm diabetic. I'm hypertensive. I have high cholesterol. I take medications for all 3 and I get lab work done.. frequently! Why why why why why why didn't my GFR get done 2 years ago.. or 4.. or 7??? Why didn't I know when I had MILD kidney failure? I certainly would have made some changes then!

Here is a link to one of the many websites which will calculate your GFR for you. Call your doctor. Find out what your latest creatinine level is! And then, find out what your GFR is.

My life COMPLETELY changed on Tuesday. I am grateful that I can take steps now and, hopefully, prevent further kidney damage. I would be far, far more grateful if I had been given the chance to start before it got this far.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • APRILMAY1956
    The best advice I ever got when I had kidney failure, is to drink plenty of water. I think this is what prolonged my chronic kidney failure so long, before I went to ESRD. My initial kidney failure was at age 23 and I managed not to go into end stage until age 45. I also limited my protein to 3 oz a day and was consistent with that as well as keeping my bp down. How is your creatinine now? I didn't get my kidney until I was at 5.8. Push your doctor to get you on the process to be put on the kidney transplant list, 'cause it can take 3 years or more to get a cadaver kidney. God bless you./ am
    4035 days ago
  • NULIFE2007
    I have an appointment with my Doctor April 2nd. I am in stage 3 and asked him what should I do to keep at that stage and he said to just eat protein and dairy in moderation. You sound like me I've had numerous blood tests throughout my lifetime and wasn't told I had kidney failure until (stage 3) until 2 years ago. Your information will help a lot of people-too bad doctors don't share this with us.
    4047 days ago
    WOW!! What a shocker that must have been for you. This has not been a good month for you girlfriend. So sorry so much crap is happening to you. We are here if you need to vent, scream, cry or whatever!! Hang in there. Things have to be looking up for you. Thanks for the info. Big hug. Pat
    4051 days ago
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