Saturday, June 19, 2010

Update and reflections

Lab results

My latest creatinine tests show no change at 2.1mg/dL. This level has remained constant since about january.

An ultrasound scan revealed:
  1. Three of my four kidney stones have disappeared (without specific treatment). This is a relief as it's something less to worry about. My first nephrologist had prescribed what I felt was an aggresive course of 3 different drugs to try and clear the stones, and I decided against taking them (I stopped consulting that nephrologist). The remaining stone is 6mm and apparently it's position is favorable for "passing" (although I wasn't aware of passing the others, one of which was about 8mm).
  2. There is now good definition corticomedullary differentiation (previous it was poor). I'm not sure of the significance of this but it's supposedly a good sign.
  3. My kidneys are now smaller than previously: 8.2cm and 9.1cm (compared to 9.9 and 10.6cm previously, and "normal" kidney size of around 10 to 12cm). The ultrasound doctor mentioned that the kidneys were no longer inflamed and 'back to normal', so maybe lack of inflamation is the reason for the smaller size.
  4. The kidneys still show "moderate to severe chronic inflamatory changes".
When I started this blog I was hoping to be able to document the spontaneous recovery of my kidneys by drawing on the healing power of the universe or something. While this hasn't happened (perhaps because I couldn't get into any kind of meditation), I have at least halted the progress of the disease and in the field of chronic kidney disease this is considered a victory.

Based on all the test results, the suggestion is that at some point in my life something was causing damage to my kidneys and now it no longer is. Exactly what that "something" was is what caused it to go away is very hard to tell. Maybe not too important as I think the same cure probably applies to various causes:

The "Cure" (based on the personal, non medical, experience of one person)
  1. Become healthy. The basics of health are the same for everyone (exercise, eat in moderation, don't be overweight, don't smoke or drink in excess) but I strongly believe that different people have very different needs (and this explains why there is so much conflicting advice out there). Try and listen to your own body and figure out what's right for you. I found that juice-fasting for a week was a great way to "reset" my body's food cravings and to figure out what my body really needs. Just for reference, my diet is quite simple and consists principally of: Avocados, White Rice, Tuna Fish, Amaranto, Raisins, Almonds, Pecans, Bananas, Beans, Peas, Mushrooms, Corn Tortillas, Potatoes, White Fish, Shrimps, Grape Juice, Pineapple Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Eggs, Seaweed, Lettuce. I specifically avoid meat and gluten, and moderate my consumption of milk products, refined sugar and salt.
  2. Get plenty of sleep. I discovered my blood pressure becomes elevated if I don't get a good nights sleep. I recommend sleeping as much as your body needs. In my case about 8 hours a night.
  3. Enjoy life! I believe that genuinely happy people are naturally healthy as they instinctively make the right choices for their bodies. Worrying about the future doesn't help you today and today may be your last...
In my particular case, I have a suspicion that an intolerance to either gluten or wheat could be responsible for my kidney damage. The reason I suspect this is that:
  • I discovered that removing bread from my diet resolved long time problem I've had with "balls of gas" in my intestines. These actually felt like hard lumps in my belly. This suggests that my intestines at least are affected by gluten and it isn't a complete stretch to imagine that the problem is an auto-immune one where the body's own response to detecting gluten (or some other component of wheat) in the blood causes damage to its own organs.
  • The gas problem first occurred at the same time that high levels of protein were first detected in my urine.
It is a bit annoying not knowing for sure if wheat is the problem, as I LOVE the taste of bread but I love my children more so I'm going to play it save and avoid it as much as possible.

The future
Short of achieving regeneration of my kidneys (something medical science believes to be impossible) I don't think there's too much more I can do for them, so my experiments will probably reduce (and with them, the amount of blood tests and blog updates).


  1. Glad to know that you have a plan of "attack" for keeping things in check. My protein levels went up last month so my meds went up. Sucks mostly because it's always when I "feel" a bit like things are getting better is usually when I go and find out that I was way off...

    Continued good thoughts for you!

  2. I enjoy your blog. I too have CKD. I too am finding that your three bullet points are the key to success in managing day to day life. I'm a firm believer in using the universe to heal and re-grow glomeruli...this is yet to happen for me, but I am still a believer. Wishing you the best.

  3. Well done man. This is good news on all fronts. See ya on FB.
    Good luck to the other folks posting...stay positive guys.

  4. Hi, great to read your blog and your experience. I have CKD and I am also trying to control it as much as I can through what i can control, like diet. Good luck with it and i hope the good results continue for you.

  5. HI,
    Have you explored Yoga and Accupuncture.I have read in couple of articles over internet that it works and you never know it might work for you as well.

  6. Hi, I have just discovered your blog and find it great reading. I will have to come an read more indepth later. I am being tested for kidney problems at the moment, I have alot of protein, repeat uti's. I'm glad you have posted about diet, its helps alot to read this information from a personal perspective rather than website, please keep posting great stuff and hope what ur doin is working for you.

  7. The Renal Association is involved in many joint activities, and liaises with many other relevant groups. Some of the organisations with which we share formal committees are: - renal exam course