Monday, October 25, 2010

Test results - the complete history

I finally had the brainwave of putting all my test results into a spreadsheet to make it easier to view changes over time.

You can view them here if you so desire:

The progress points are:
  • Serum Creatinine back to same level of 18 months ago.
  • Proteinuria (protein in urine) way down.
  • Increased Serum Hemoglobin (reduction of anemia)
  • Blood pressure reduced.
The "lack of progress" points are:
  • Serum Creatinine and Creatinine Clearance unchanged (i.e. no improvement in kidney function)
  • Uric Acid high (being controlled by Alopurinol)

After experimenting with many different things, I believe the main factors responsible for the progress are:

Healthy, balanced diet
I ate pretty healthily before but I've improved some areas and feel like I could improve some more. After researching and experimenting, my personal advice is to eat whatever foods you feel like in their natural form. This means avoiding anything with added sugar or salt (which I believe trick you into thinking the food is better for you than it really is). I recommend experimenting with removing wheat from your diet for a month to see if you notice any improvements.

I try to make sure I get just enough of it.

Possibly your mental state is the most important factor in your wellness, so I recommend trying to only do things that make you feel good and avoid things that make you feel bad. Again, I recommend experimenting to see what really makes you feel good and what doesn't. It may not be what you expect. Sleep is probably very important for feeling happy as any parent of small children will tell you...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Test results

Just did another 'full-blown' set of lab tests.

The results are basically the same as those of 7 months ago, which can be considered good news as they show no decline in kidney function.

The general prognosis for Chronic Kidney Disease is a gradual worsening of the condition until dialysis, so avoiding disimprovement can be considered progress.

Here is a summary of the results:
* Serum Creatinine 2.0mg/dL (same as it was when my condition was discovered 18 months ago, and lower than the high of 2.5mg/dL of about a year ago)

* Creatine Clearance is calculated at 41mL/min. This can roughly be interpreted as meaning my kidneys are functioning at 35% of normal, which is asymptomatic. Below ~15%, however, and death (or Dialysis/Transplant) is not far away... (and frankly, provided my children are grown, I think death may be preferable to dialysis or a transplant)

* Protein in 24-hour urine 375mg, about the same as the last test and way down from 1,800mg when my condition was discovered. I understand that this is important as because proteins leaking through the kidneys may damage them further. Normal is less than 225mg.

* Uric Acid 7.6 mg/dL. This should be kept below 7 according to my first nephrologist. Taking Alopurinol controls it pretty easily but I'd prefer to be controling it naturally through diet. Will have to research this a bit.

Next Steps:
* I've been taking Co-enzyme Q10 for 3 months and this doesn't seem to have had any effect so I'll stop that.

* I'll probably continue taking a half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda every day. I'm not sure if it's helping but it doesn't seem to be doing any harm and it's cheap and easy to take.

* I think I need to work harder with my diet. I have a little more body fat than I'd like yet I'm often hungry, which suggests I'm not eating the nutrients my body requires, however I'm not sure what I should be eating (and it's frustrating not being able to eat many of the things I crave because of protein/salt/gluten restrictions).

* I'm tempted to dedicate 15-30 minutes every day to "mental programming" activities for a month to see if it helps.