In the past few years I have had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that some doctors believe may be related to my kidneys since I injured them when I was a child. However, my creatinine and BUN tests have always been normal.
The last few weeks I have experienced the following symptoms which seem to come and go: pain on the right side of my back (near kidneys), chest pains, shortness of breath, nausea and decreased urine. (No - these are not psycho-somatic. They happened before I read about them on the internet.) But, they do not always all occur simultaneously. I also have a very slight Mitral Valve Prolapse which could explain some chest pain, but it seems to be worse than normal.
I have particularly noticed these symptoms after I eat foods high in phosphorus - oatmeal and lentils. I have read that people with kidney disease should not eat these.
My questions are:
1. Is it possible to have a beginning stage of kidney disease and receive normal test results for the BUN and creatinine blood tests?
2. If I explain this to a nephrologist, would he/she be willing to run tests, or just say everything is normal unless the BUN and creatinine are out of range?
I have polycystic kidney disease (PKD). This is an inherited disease that consists of multiple cysts in both kidneys. Although the cysts have probably been growing for a number of years, I was only diagnosed 1 1/2 years ago when I started having high blood pressure. As of right now, my BUN and creatinine are in the normal range.
MVP is frequently found in people with PKD as is back or "flank" pain. Chest pains, shortness of breath and nausea could all be associated with the MVP or stress. Reduced urine output is a symptom of PKD but not until your creatinine levels are high. Phosphorus is also a problem with kidney disease, so you might want to check the levels on your blood test.
This is not to diagnose you but to show you that your symptoms could be a sign of kidney disease. By the way, cystic kidney diseases are not usually diagnosed by a blood test alone but by scanning your kidneys (MRI, CT Scan, etc.). I wouldn't advise getting an ultrasound done since this test seems to "see" things that aren't there.
So, to actually answer your questions:
1. It is possible to have a beginning stage of kidney disease and receive normal blood test results.
2. A good nephrologist will take you seriously, especially if there is any history of kidney disease in your family. Kidney-area pain and reduced urine output should also cause the nephrologist to test you further. Since you have MVP, chest pains, shortness of breath and nausea, the nephrologist may even refer you to a cardiologist to make sure your heart is ok.
Go to a nephrologist. He/she is better suited to making a diagnosis than your family doctor.
Free at Last: No I do not know of any kidney disease in my family, but I did injure my kidneys as a child. I do remember that doctors found a cyst on my left kidney in 2005. But, they never said that this was a problem.
Rose: Hopefully I can convince a doctor to run these tests.
Thanks again to both of you for your insightful replies.
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