Thursday, 30 November 2017

Another health update – confusion!

The mysterious Serum creatinine levels

When I was in the process of getting my blood pressure under control, my Doctor told me that he was puzzled as to why I had hypertension.  After all I was doing everything right – good weight, exercise, tee total, haven’t smoked for decades, caffeine free and a vegetarian.  He ran a series of blood tests and found my serum creatinine levels were high.  The test was repeated to ensure it wasn’t an error from the lab and sure enough the readings were correct.
I have since had the tests done again along with my urea levels.  Fortunately for me, I have had a regular check up over the years and so the trend can be seen and you can spot where things went a little wayward:

Date – Creatinine mol/L – Urea mol/L

2004 – 75 – 3.1
2006 – 73 – 2.4
2010 – 79 – 2.3
2014 – 56 – x
2015 – 64 – x
2017 March – 163 and 154
2017 May 159
2017 – November – 200
My Doctor had said my pre-2017 readings were all good, showing my kidneys were working well as they should.  In fact my readings were towards the bottom of the range, even better.  He also said how being a vegetarian is beneficial on the kidneys as they don’t have to work so hard in dealing with the meat-based protein.  Those are the good bits.  He is puzzled at the rise this year asking me if something happened in my life?  Well, that’s hard to answer really.  My Dad died, I changed jobs and Brexit started; surely that can’t be linked?  What about stress?  Maybe but I’ve had this before.
So with the latest tests where my creatinine was 200, I only know the result as I phoned the Doctor’s surgery and was told the Doctor wants to see me as soon as possible.  That ‘as soon as possible’ will be 19 December according to the receptionist.  So much for ‘as soon as possible’ as that’s almost three weeks away.  I pressed the receptionist for any further comment from the Doctor.  She said the only note was the creatinine was abnormally high and the urea was high as expected.
I am none-the-wiser now.  Contrary to my previous liking for grabbing the last appointment of the day and enjoying a chatty consultation, the last time I did this he was running late and no time for chatting (grrrr).  He did say something about referring me to a specialist but I’m not sure about this (when, who, why etc).
By way of answering my questions, he suggested I “Google it” as there was so much on the web for patients nowadays.  Trouble is, I’m not sure I’m starting in the right place and this is where some denial might be creeping in.  This creatinine business points towards kidney disease (ugh) and then when I read some of the other symptoms I wonder if I should start to be worried or not.  The symptoms I experience daily are fatigue, tiredness and muscle cramps, possibly reduced urine.  Other symptoms I’m not getting at all are itchy skin or swollen feet and ankles.
So what’s going on??????

Blood pressure

Not much to report here, everything has settled down with the aid of the medication.  My typical readings are 120/80 which I understand is fine.  On rare occasions it might reach 130/90.  Other times, particularly within a few hours of returning from a run or a workout my blood pressure can go down to 100/70.  My pulse is normally about 60bpm.


After blogging about the dramatic improvement in my eyesight earlier this year, this has mostly held up alright.  Only recently have I noticed a deterioration but I’m not too worried about this as I know the medication is so effective and I can use this again.

All this raises bigger questions….

….such as the merits of giving up work in the foreseeable future.  Don’t know, just don’t know.  I like to work and it feels right.  Our financial plans are based around a few more years of work before I draw my pension and so on.  Or is it really worth slogging away in a stressful job in the longer term?

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