According to my lab sheet anything under 60 indicates impaired renal function. I know that my GFR can change alot from one time to the next. It has gone from 50 to 35 and then back to 48 in a matter of weeks. Of course I have biopsy proven lupus and documented damage to my kidneys. I would certainly ask your rueumy about this result. Do you have any protein in your urine or low albumin in your blood, low C3, or C4, high creatinine? These would all indicate kidney problems too. Good luck and keep us informed.
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Hi Beth, nice to meet you. I recently have just been going through the same problem where my GFR fell to 59 then to 53. I believe if it is possible kidney disease the creatine clearence/serum and BUN as well as the calcium and potassium levels are off (high/low). There are also high protein and/or blood cell casts in the urine.
Once they found some of these tests abnormal, I was put through the cat scan to check for kidney stones, etc. and had comparative bloodwork drawn and another urinalysis. The scan results were negative but the other lab work came back with mixed results that showed my GFR continued to fall.
For several months I was told I had kidney disease. I finally got an appointment with the nephrologist who was concerned it was lupus nephritis, but determined it was not and perhaps it was my bladder. I had another GFR test recently and it went back up to 59, so I am unsure of the cause at this point. The best thing is to have the nephrologist examine you to make sure it is not glumeronephritis or lupus nephritis which it can sometimes be. It may be the start of a possible kidney disease or something else completely different like the bladder.
Also, they need to determine if it is chronic or acute kidney involvement. With acute involvement there is a good chance that they can treat it and your kidney will be fine. Also, the nephrologist needs to determine to what degree are the kidneys damaged, if he thinks it is kidney disease.
Try not to worry too much. I was very worried and I didn't need to worry so much. I was told the GFR has to fall between 20-30 before considering dialysis. I don't think they start dialysis until under 20. If it chronic it may take a while (years) before it falls that low. There is some time left to figure this all out and from what I can understand there is a lot they can do to slow it down. Let me know how it goes - Kristin
Ps. Always Rosie - I have literally been told by several doctors they would not listed as lupus. Just in case I ever did get insurance, they said the insurance companies would deny me. That was years ago. I still don't have insurance but still need the diagnosis to get reliable medical treatment instead of proving it over and over again.
Many of you have commented on rheumys and their knowledge of kidney function. I have both a rheumy and a nephrologist so I thought I'd tell you my experience. My rheumy will order labs to check my kidney function but thats it. He always calls me in a panic when my labs come back abnormal and tells me to go to my nephrologist. My neph is usually unconcerned because the labs are good for me. What my rheumy thinks is horrible my neph thinks is good. It has gotten to the point that my rheumy hates to even run labs and he tells me that- he won't deal with my kidneys because he is not an expert in that field. Of course I had a nephrologist before I had a rheumy, and I see my neph much more frequently so it doesn't matter to me. Perhaps some others have different experiences.