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Estimated GFR

Skagway Jack's picture
Skagway Jack
Posts: 224
Joined: Oct 2013

I learned something new today.  I went to get a consultation at a Nephrologist and I learned some interesting things that I thought I would pass on.  I had some varying results in my blood creatine and GFR thorugh my Oncologist and my Urologist.  They were using different labs and the results varied between 1.48 and 1.79  with GFRs varying from around 43-52.    Bottom line according to the Nephrologist is that estimated GFR is just that, and to his experience it doesnt account for many factors.  Additionally, there can be significant differences in laboratory results between labs.  So now they do a 24 urine capture and establish the real numbers.  Also of interest is that differences in musculature and excersise can have impacts as well.  I suspect none of this will be news to some folks here, but it was news to me so I thought I would pass it on.

Scottie22's picture
Posts: 86
Joined: Apr 2013

Jack, I have had a very similar experience with these readings.  At my 6 month check up in November following radical neph in May 2013 my consultant said my GFR was 75 which was great as far as he was concerned.  Fast forward to March when my primary care had routine labs done the GFR ws 56 and she wanted a recheck in 3 months.  To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.  I have been watching my diet and exercising regularly and all my other numbers are in the normal range but I have gone from being very optimistic about the future to worrying that my lone kidney is failing. So your post is timely in pointing to the estimate factor with this test.

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3361
Joined: Jan 2010



I have a follow up visit with my Nephrologist in 10 days. I will definately get his take on the differences between eGFR and actual GFR.




todd121's picture
Posts: 1449
Joined: Dec 2012

I've chosen to be followed by a nephrologist since my surgery, even though no doctor really recommended it. I'm glad I did. They really understand these measurements and what they mean.

How hydrated you are can have a big impact on creatinine. eGFR varies not only by race, but also by gender, and amount of muscle mass.

My nephrologist has been watching my blood pressure and since it's been creeping up, put me on BP meds. It took a few tries to find something that worked and that I liked, but finally we did. I'm on lisinopril. I didn't realize that different BP meds work in different ways, and this particular drug is especially good at protecting the kidney. High BP can damage kidney function.

High sodium intake can increase BP, which in turn damages kidneys, so limiting salt is important. I'm now not adding any salt to anything when I eat outside, and drastically limit my salt intake when cooking at home. My target sodium intake is 2g per day.

High protein intake can also damage kidneys, so I'm being more careful to eat smaller amounts of meat and even some high protein containing non-meat like tofu, beans, etc. This means I'm having to eat more veggies and fruits.

All of this came from a combination of talking to the nephrologist and a dietician whom the nephrologist sent me to see to help me with a diet that is kidney healthy.

My creatinine is 1.8 and my eGFR has been about 40 (as I remember). The nephrologist told me with my age and general health, there's a good chance I could outlive this kidney so I needed to do what I can to protect my kidney function.



Posts: 85
Joined: Aug 2012

Try drinking a few extra cups before test

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