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how would you know?

Eims's picture
Eims
Posts: 420
Joined: Feb 2013

hi all,  is there any signs that would kinda let you know if your remaining kidney wasn't working the way it should?

eims x

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

Yes, of course!!!!!  What on earth do you think the follow-up blood tests are for?  Eims, I think you've got a bit too hooked up on tattoos and forgotten what this forum is all about.   Smile

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1550
Joined: Jan 2010

Elms,   While the blood test can diagnos a reduction in Kidney function I would also include new or unusual pains in the midsection as well as high blood pressure which might lead the doctor to give an additional blood test.

 

 

Icemantoo.

Eims's picture
Eims
Posts: 420
Joined: Feb 2013

icemantoo i had my blood pressure done today and its on the low side so thats ok but i keep getting a fuzzy feeling Frown

Eims's picture
Eims
Posts: 420
Joined: Feb 2013

awwwww tex don't give out to me...lol....we all needed a bit of light relief....lol....ive  just been feeling a bit off the last couple of weeks and my iron levels have been low too so im just nervouse about my remaining kidney.....

eims x

twinthings's picture
twinthings
Posts: 403
Joined: Jun 2013

Hi Eims, I too, have wondered if (aside from blood work) I would know if my kidney was not operating up to speed.  How would I feel...sick, tired or maybe even pain?  I have no idea.  I've never been told what my kidney function is and honestly, didn't know to ask.  It wasn't until I began reading thru the threads on this forum that I realized many people know the level of function of their now lone kidney.  My doctor hasn't ever mentioned it, granted, I've only had one post op appointment that involved blood work and I never received results.  I was simply told "no news is good news", if I didn't receive a call, not to worry.  I HATE when doctors and nurses say that because, I know that things get missed and when your doctor is as old as my doctor, things get forgotten. 

I have lots of questions but, not gonna lie, I feel stupid asking...so I keep reading, knowing someone is bound to ask.  I'm still new to this and, despite reading everything I can find on the topic, am not nearly as educated about RCC, as some of you.  So, thanks for asking!

Hope you get to feeling better!

Sindy

MDCinSC's picture
MDCinSC
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

That was a very pleasant chastisement Texas Wedge.

I didn't know that we could have one kind of site to the exclusion of the other!  A little frivolity and good humor certainly has it's place in cancer treatment. 

Not all of us possess your background and time for research.  You certainly provide a valuable voice and much needed information.  You have comforted me more than once.  I hope you will again if and when the time comes that I need it. I treasure your insights and technical expertise on RCC. 

Others of us, including me, have a friendly handshake, a welcoming smile, a positive attitude and empathetic spirit as our contributions.  Those areas need feed and care as well.  They certainly ought not be targets for snarky comments, even when they get a little robust.

 

 

 

 

danbren2's picture
danbren2
Posts: 186
Joined: May 2013

Eims,

     I am now on a first name basis with my primary physician!  When I call they get me in as soon as possible and we will discuss what I am feeling and decide whether or not to run some tests.  If you  feel something amiss with your only good kidney, get to the doctors ASAP.  I have learned one thing from this sight, and that is, no is going to take care of you but you! A Doctor can't fix what you do not tell him about. CALL YOUR DOCTOR!

     Hope everything is ok, please let us know.

                                                     Love, prayers, and good health sent to you!

                                                      Brenda

Eims's picture
Eims
Posts: 420
Joined: Feb 2013

thanks brenda...made an appointment today Wink

Djinnie's picture
Djinnie
Posts: 769
Joined: Apr 2013

Hey Eims, 

I am so glad to hear you are going to the doctors. When did you last have a blood and urine check up?

 

Djinnie x

GSRon's picture
GSRon
Posts: 1247
Joined: Jan 2013

Eims, you could always take the ferry over here....  ya wanna be my umbrella girl..??  :)   OK, so get the blood tests so you can rest more easily.

Ron

rainsandpours's picture
rainsandpours
Posts: 93
Joined: Apr 2013

Eims, I'm going to throw out a random thought here.  Do you take anti-D's? Like Effexor or Lexapro?  If you're metabolizing it too quickly, or have even forgotten a dose, it can bring on the "brain zaps"  This is the weirdest fuzzy head feeling.  And progresses into full body warm and fuzzies.  I know from experience.  If I'm even an hour late taking my Effexor Sr, I get the head rush.  Think it's time for a dosage increase.  Other than that, I have no clue about kidney function.  My doctors don't even test it.

rainsandpours's picture
rainsandpours
Posts: 93
Joined: Apr 2013

double post demon bit me.  Sorry lol

Stros2013's picture
Stros2013
Posts: 31
Joined: Aug 2012

EIMS,

i'm usually clueless about many things but I've become acutely aware of when I'm not drinking enough water.  For me,  I get irritable,  less productive and there's a sense of fuzziness too it.  I'm sure you drink plenty (of water).  If not consider upping the amount.  .

 On the other part of your question...I refer back to my first comment about clueless.  at least that is on a daily basis.  Quarterly, I'm on top of it and monitor changes in my GFR with each 90 day visit.  Of course MD Anderson monitors it too.  If there's significant changes then ill add the nephrologist back onto the dream team.  For now though he's onthe bench.

Best of luck with the upcoming scans.  I'm sure it'll all be well. 

Warmest

CC

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

Eims, it was only after reading the replies you've received, ending with CC's in which he referred to GFR, but didn't elaborate, that a fact that should have been obvious suddenly dawned on me!  Members here are fairly much a cross-section of the general public, with all the variety that entails.  We come from all sorts of backgrounds, interests, occupations and levels of academic achievement.  Some of us have more time available, more experience in researching subjects and greater facility in using the wonders of modern technology.  But, beyond that, is a factor I hadn't attached enough weight to - motivation. 

For someone like yourself, with very little that you should be worried about, there isn't the same imperative to research and learn that there is for those of us who are close to death (which is a pretty strong motive for wanting to know the score, if your quality of life is good enough that you'd like to hang on to it for as long as possible!). 

It's all too easy for us in that category to forget that many here, and in particular most newcomers, have no reason to have learnt much of what we now take for granted.   Accordingly, a fuller answer to your question may be helpful for you and for a number of others lucky enough to be at the good end of the prognostic spectrum.

For all of us, both before and after nephrectomy and subsequent treatment, it's important to monitor the health and function of certain organs, the most important of which are our kidney and our liver and there are well-established and universally used tests for this purpose. We also need to know our heart is OK and we are monitored for blood pressure and heart rate as a matter of course, along with other indicators like the oxygen saturation of our blood.

The standard panel of blood tests includes key measures of liver health and function, such as levels of bilirubins and ALT, and measures that tell us about our kidney function - in particular our urea level and creatinine (not 'creatine' which is a favourite food supplement among bodybuilders, of which creatinine is a metabolite - a waste product from creatine, the rate of elimination of which gives an indication of the efficiency with which our kidney is working.

CC mentioned GFR which stands for glomerular filtration rate which is the kidney function measure derived, by a formula, from the levels of urea and creatinine showing up in our blood tests.  (The glomerulus is a ball of capillaries in the kidney that filters the blood and there are around a million glomeruli in each kidney). 

It's only an approximation, but a very useful one, which is calculated from our urea and creatinine levels, so it's termed the estimated glomerular filtration rate or eGFR. 

If you keep an eye open, you'll see many folks here referring to their latest eGFR and so what they're talking about is the efficiency of their remaining kidney(s).   As we get older most functions (as you'll discover in another forty or fifty years time) tend to fall off and GFR is one.  There are loads of youTube videos on GF but most of them are pretty boring.  A website that's not too bad is

http://www.renal.org/whatwedo/InformationResources/CKDeGUIDE/AbouteGFR.aspx

which will tell you quite a bit about kidney function and health.  An eGFR of less than 15 means you're a candidate for dialysis, 15 - 30 is not too good and you'll need to be carefully watched (it's classified as stages 4 & 5 of CKD (chronic kidney disease) while 30-59 is stage 3 and over 60 is stages 1 and 2).  [CKD is a silly misnomer because it doesn't actually refer to disease but to efficiency of function.]

I  hope the above info is of some help or interest to you or maybe to someone else here.

 

It's been suggested, Eims, that you consult your doc about how you're feeling and that may be a good idea if it persists but it probably has no connection at all with your kidney.  

 

 

Eims's picture
Eims
Posts: 420
Joined: Feb 2013

thank you all for all your advice and you know i value every one of your suggestions.......tex you are like a sponge and i for one am grateful that you are....soaking up all that information and passing it on.......more water is definitely on the agenda....i must admit i have lost a few pounds over the last few weeks and i am starting to wonder if that has something to do it too.....

love to all...

eims x

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