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Kidney Disease - diagnosis
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Kidney Disease - diagnosis

Hello,

I was wondering if it's possible to have kidney disease, yet have normal blood test results (ie. creatinine)?

And for those who have been diagnosed with kidney disease, how was it confirmed that you had it?

The reason I ask is because I've been suffering from chronic symptoms for many years, which seem indicative of kidney disease, but my blood test results have always turned out normal - except for low iron levels (anemia).  I'm growing increasingly concerned as doctors have been ignoring my symptoms because of this.  At the same time, my symptoms are getting worse.

My list of symptoms include:
- onset of unexplainable dizziness for 6 months now
- accompanied by heart palpitations/racing heart
- tiredness bordering on exhaustion
- nausea - feeling increasingly sick as symptoms worsen
- headaches
- back pain (it is often generally sore, and can sometimes be itchy/prickly) where the kidneys are (which I've had for many years)
- really bad breath for many years (to me it smells urine-like)
- frequent urination (sometimes have to go every 5 or 10 minutes)
- shortness of breath
- anemia
- occasionally wake up with swollen hands/feet
- 'prickly' feeling in my feet and legs (like there's static running through it)

With regard to my symptoms, the dizziness/vertigo is quite recent but most of the other symptoms I've had for the last 7-8 years (which have continued to worsen).

One other thing is that after I eat bananas or avocados especially (which are known to be really high in potassium), as well foods high in salt or sodium, my symptoms are noticeably worse, especially the back pain.

Please, any help or information would be greatly appreciated.

I'm at a loss as to what I'm suffering from.  But I strongly suspect that I have chronic kidney disease, and/or perhaps a thyroid condition as well.  

Thanks.
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1756321_tn?1377771734
Stage 1 kidney disease can often show GFR in normal range.  Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine will not be raised above the normal range until 60% of total kidney function is lost.

I had major kidney problems which showed up after supplementing with 100mg of elemental magnesium daily for a few months (for severe magnesium deficiency).  My symptoms were numerous! and listed under kidney failure, acidosis, and hypermagnesemia. Two of my many symptoms were classic signs of kidney failure: half white and half red nails (called half and half nails or Lindsay's nails) and very strong ammonia body odor.

My kidney function results however were normal! The only abnormal test results was mild iron deficiency, higher cholesterol, and slightly lower biocarbonate.  My pH is now extremely acidic. It was below 5.5pH but is now fluctuating between 5.5 - 5.8pH. I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (autoimmune hypothyroidism) which looks to be the likely cause for my reduced kidney's function.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for sharing your own personal experience with kidney disease Red_Star and for answering my question (that yes, a person can have reduced kidney function yet have normal blood test results).  If you don't mind me asking, how did you find out you had kidney disease as well as Hashimoto's Thyroiditis if your kidney function results were normal?

I've actually tried taking iron supplements several times.  But every time I take it, my symptoms (like nausea and lower back pain/itching) are noticeably worse.  I suppose this might be similar to how your symptoms worsened after taking magnesium (? or not).

I remember reading about how thyroid disease can cause kidney problems.  It is possible I'm in the early stages, or perhaps do not have a kidney disease (hopefully not).  Based on recent events, I actually suspect I might have Adrenal Fatigue.  At least if I do not have kidney disease and/or thyroid disorder, then it might be my adrenal glands.  However, I still think my symptoms are similar to that of kidney disease.  And even if they're not, they are likely linked to my thyroid in some way.  

My nails are half white and red, but the white part is closer to the top of the nail rather than the lower part (correct me if I'm wrong but all the images of Lindsay's nails that I've searched for are of nails with the white at the bottom).  Also, they've always been like this so it's not a recent development.  I don't think I have body odor (at least now that I"m aware) but my breath is extremely bad all the time.

Again, thanks for sharing. That was really helpful and I'll make a note of the things you mentioned in my search for a diagnosis.

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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for sharing your own personal experience with kidney disease Red_Star and for answering my question (that yes, a person can have reduced kidney function yet have normal blood test results).  If you don't mind me asking, how did you find out you had kidney disease as well as Hashimoto's Thyroiditis if your kidney function results were normal?

I've actually tried taking iron supplements several times.  But every time I take it, my symptoms (like nausea and lower back pain/itching) are noticeably worse.  I suppose this might be similar to how your symptoms worsened after taking magnesium (? or not).

I remember reading about how thyroid disease can cause kidney problems.  It is possible I'm in the early stages, or perhaps do not have a kidney disease (hopefully not).  Based on recent events, I actually suspect I might have Adrenal Fatigue.  At least if I do not have kidney disease and/or thyroid disorder, then it might be my adrenal glands.  However, I still think my symptoms are similar to that of kidney disease.  And even if they're not, they are likely linked to my thyroid in some way.  

My nails are half white and red, but the white part is closer to the top of the nail rather than the lower part (correct me if I'm wrong but all the images of Lindsay's nails that I've searched for are of nails with the white at the bottom).  Also, they've always been like this so it's not a recent development.  I don't think I have body odor (at least now that I"m aware) but my breath is extremely bad all the time.

Again, thanks for sharing. That was really helpful and I'll make a note of the things you mentioned in my search for a diagnosis.

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1756321_tn?1377771734
Well i don't have kidney disease (that i know of) hopefully not...but due to taking magnesium, it did show up that my kidney's are not functioning 100%. I pushed for a full thyroid panel a while back (nothing to do with kidney problems) based on various hypothyroid symptoms.

Forgot to add, that i had quite a few of your symptoms from magnesium deficiency. You haven't mentioned some of the more classic symptoms of magnesium deficiency such as insomnia, muscle cramps, twitches or tics however i'll list some of my symptoms i had that match yours: feeling off balance/dizziness, heart rhythm problems, fatigue, nausea (only slightly), throbbing temple headaches, lower back pain, more frequent urination, shortness of breath, tremors.

I have half and half nails (yes the white is on the lower half) on all nails except my thumb nails.  On my thumbs, the white is higher up on the nails like you mention.  There is red above the moons (only my thumbs have moons), then white is in the middle/upper section with a small arc of red at the top (not as red as above the moons).  Not sure what this is called but it occurred at the same time as my half and half nails.  I found something called mee's nails but it does say mee's nails grows out which i doubt mine will do.  My splinter haemorrages worsened too actually.

I do take iron but in chelated form which i find is better.  Many do feel nauseous taking iron supplements however.  From what i've read, there are only warnings not to take magnesium or potassium supplements with kidney problems.

I had severe adrenal fatigue which took around 18 months to improve.  There are three home tests to see if you have adrenal fatigue. My pupils still fluctuate slightly but nowhere near as badly. With the Sergent's White Line test, my white line widened to over 2 inches but now that test now shows up normal. :)

From Dr Wilson's Book:

Test #1: Iris Contraction Test
Equipment required: chair, small flashlight, mirror, a watch (with a second hand), and a dark room.

In a darkened room, sit in a chair in front of a mirror. Holding the flashlight at the side of your head, shine it across one eye (not into the eye). Watch what happens in the mirror.

You should see your pupil contract immediately after the light hits the eye. The pupil will normally stay contracted, but if you have adrenal fatigue, the pupil won't be able to hold its contraction and will dilate. This dilation will take place within 2 minutes and last for about 30-45 seconds before it contracts again. Time how long the dilation lasts and record it along with the date. Retest monthly as it serves as an indicator of recovery.

Test #2: Blood Pressure Test
If your blood pressure drops when you stand up from a lying position, this almost always indicates low adrenals. This can be measured with a blood pressure gauge (a sphygmomanometer), which you can buy at a drug store. Make sure to purchase the type that doesn't require a stethoscope to take your blood pressure.

Make sure to do this test when you are well hydrated or it could give you a false positive. Lie down quietly for about 10 minutes, then take your blood pressure (while still lying down). Then stand up and measure your blood pressure immediately upon standing. Normally blood pressure will rise 10-20mmHg from standing up. If your blood pressure drops, you likely have adrenal fatigue. The more severe the drop, the more severe the adrenal fatigue.

Test #3: Sergent's White Line
This is only present in about 40% of people with Adrenal Fatigue, but if the test is positive, it's a "slam dunk" confirmation.

With a ballpoint pen, take the cap end of the pen and lightly stroke the skin on your abdomen, making a mark about 6" long. Within a few seconds, a line should appear. In a normal reaction, the mark is initially white, but reddens within a few seconds. If you have Adrenal Fatigue, the line will stay white for about 2 minutes and will also widen.
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