Friday, February 23, 2018

2018 test results - slight degradation

I made my yearly trip to the laboratory to analyze my blood and urine. The results are in the last column of the following spreadsheet:

My blood creatinine is at 2.3mg/dL which apparently isn't a clinically significant increase over the average 2.0mg/dL I've had since diagnosis in 2009, however combined with some other factors, explained below, I feel it does represent a slight decline in my kidney function and a sign I should make more of an effort to look after myself. This level of creatinine gives an estimated GFR (kidney filtration rate) of 33mL/min/1.73m2. Normal filtration is over 100. Filtration of less than 15 requires dialysis. Hoping I never get to that point.

Over the last few years I've noticed poor circulation in my legs, with red spots appearing on my lower legs and larger stains around the ankles (see photo).

I'm not sure how related this is to the kidney disease but for a while I used to sleep with my legs raised and it seemed to help. For the last few months however:
a) I've been doing less exercise as my bicycle (previously my main form of transportation) was stolen from my home and I was reluctant to buy another in case it suffered the same fate.
b) I kind of forgot about sleeping with my legs raised.
c) My blood pressure has tended to be elevated.

The reduced excercise has added a lump of fat on my belly and then a week ago I started feeling a strong pain inside one of my lower legs which seemed to fit the symptoms of some sort of blood clot. Ultrasounds have confirmed probable "deep vein thrombosis" and a specialist has put me on a (expensive) blood thinning drug for two weeks and given me some very stylish knee length compression socks to wear.

I've taken all this as yet another wake-up call to focus more on my health and making an effort to eat only healthy food and get lots of exercise and sleep. Regarding diet, I've been eating wheat over the last year or so, thinking that perhaps it wasn't particularly problematic. However given my worsening kidney function, I'm going to try eliminating it again for six months and see if any improvement is registered. I'll also be watching my consumption of salty foods, like cheese, which I've gradually been eating more of than previously. Stay tuned...

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Blood test results 2017

My serum creatinine is at 2.2mg/dL (normal would be máximum 1.3mg/dL), which is the highest  since may 2009 when it was 2.4mg/dL. While this could be considered a disimprovement, it could also just be a temporary blip. I did eat a whole fish a few days before the test, so that could have elevated my blood creatinine level. Here's hoping that we're not observing degradation...

The rest of the results were fairly stable and normal or close to normal, with the exception of Uric Acid at 8.9mg/dL (normal 7.2mg/dL) but this has been up and down since diagnosis in 2009, ranging from 4.7 to 9.2mg/dL.

Full lab test history:

Blood pressure, with treatment, has been around 125/75 during the last year.

So, all in all, things seem to be stable and I'll continue with the same regime:
  • Losartan 50mg / day for blood pressure. Without treatment I would probably be around 130/90.
  • No meat. Occasional fish and seafood (maybe once or twice a month).
  • Occasional eggs, cheese and yogurt (around once a week).
  • Lots of fruit.
  • Fair amount of vegetables, rice, maize (corn), potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, avocado, coconut, nuts.
  • Fair amount of cacao, mostly in Kicao bars (I work for this company).
  • Very little wheat or pure milk (not sure if this is relevant to kidney fucntion or not but it seems to have helped my intestines).
Wishing you all the best with your journey.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Blog Nephrologist Dr. Veeraish Chauhan

Came across the interesting blog of the nephrologist Dr. Veeraish Chauhan today while trying to find evidence supporting nettle seed extract for kidney regeneration. He also investigated nettle LEAF treatment and could find no evidence for it, though some of his readers swear it seemed to reduce their creatinine levels. In any case it's a very interesting source of information for anyone struggling with kidney disease as it comes directly from someone with medical training engaged in treating people day in day out:

Friday, September 23, 2016

Stinging Nettle Seed Extract

Here's an interesting, supposedly unbiased, article that suggests that Nettle Seed Extract (urtica dioica) may help restore kidney function. The author claims to have used it successfully in two patients.

The extract he used was the following:

Has anyone tried this? Sounds like it would be worth a shot...

Friday, April 29, 2016

Another video from Dr Greger comparing animal protein to vegetable protein on kidney health:

Monday, March 21, 2016

An interesting video suggesting a plant-based diet may be beneficial in the treatment of kidney disease:

I have had a basically vegetarian diet since childhood and unfortunately it didn't stop me developing kidney disease but it may well be a factor in maintaining a steady level of kidney function loss since diagnosis 7 years ago.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Acid load damages kidneys?

The following video explains how animal proteins increase acid load compared to plant proteins and this seems to be damaging to kidneys. Interesting. The message, as always, is "eat more fruit and vegetables"!