A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Stupid Kidneys (aka Bump in the Lupus Road)

on August 4, 2017

More accurately, a bump in my creatinine. Boo.

Creatinine is a molecule that’s a byproduct of muscle metabolism / breakdown and it gets used in medicine as a marker of kidney function. If it is high, particularly if it is higher than your normal and you haven’t suddenly massively increased your muscle mass, doctors get worried about your kidneys.

Worried is exactly how my poor little rheumatology fellow looked the other day when I ran across him in the hospital after my check up this week. (One of the minor inconveniences of working in a medical school is that you run across your doctors in the hall occasionally – awkward!) You never want to see your doctor look worried. It turns out, my creatinine has gone up a lot since last time we checked it and is in officially “elevated” range. The good news is that there’s nothing else that seems wrong and my other kidney tests are okay so far.

It could be a blip. It could be due to the Alleve I take every day (although I’ve been cutting way back on that over the summer, so I’m not sure it’s that). It could be the sign that I’m developing kidney complications from my lupus, which is unfortunately very common.

For now, I’m stopping the Alleve, drinking a lot of water and stepping up my vegetable intake. Turns out, the best diet for chronic kidney disease is the DASH diet – aka the hypertension diet, which I’ve followed before and is generally a pretty “eat healthy stuff” kind of diet. Other than the massive amount of veggies it recommends, it’s pretty much the way I eat on Weight Watchers – just need to step up those veggies. I’m already good about watching my sodium intake and don’t eat a ton of red meat, which are also in the “good kidney” diet guidelines.

It’s also going to be very important that I do all of things I can do to help my lupus settle down, which means REST, manage my stress, get my exercise in and wear my sunscreen. Not only will this help lupus overall (and maybe my cranky lupus-kidneys), but it will help my joint symptoms. Today is my first day without Alleve in ages and my hands have been stiff, sore and swollen all day. If I’m to go without Alleve to help my kidneys, I have to do everything else I can to help my hands settle down.

Action items:

  • Loads of water!
  • Loads of veggies!

Amping up veggies

  • Walk every morning!
  • Hat and / or sunscreen every time I go outside, including walking around campus at work.
  • Work on sleep (looks like that’ll be my first task in my “40 by 40” happiness project)

Think good thoughts for me. We’ll recheck my labs when I get back from New Hampshire. Hopefully things have trended back down and this was just a blip. I’ll keep you posted!

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8 responses to “Stupid Kidneys (aka Bump in the Lupus Road)

  1. Farrah says:

    Sorry to hear about your creatinine! I hope it’s just a transient bump! ❤ Keep chuggin' that water and yay for veggies/walking/sun protection!

  2. Meg B says:

    Fingers crossed for a blip!

  3. Li says:

    One more advice here: lift some weights! 🙂

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