Turning the Renal Titanic Around: Regenerating 1% Kidney Function Every Four Months

“Life affords no higher pleasure than that of surmounting difficulties…”
– Dr. Samuel Johnson

Last Thursday, Nicole opened the door of our apartment to the sound of the blender grinding ice cubes.

“Here’s the latest lab report,” she said. She handed me two sheets of fax paper. I handed her one cold cup of snow. Ground ice, made from spring water, is her current low-carb obsession in these hot, humid Ontario days.

Nicole had just returned from a four hour dialysis session. She sat on the couch with her ice. I went to the office computer to compare her current and past blood test results:

  • 1,110 μmol/L (12.6 mg/dL) on December 4, 2014
  • 999 μmol/L (11.3 mg/dL) on January 8, 2015
  • 922 μmol/L (10.4 mg/dL) on February 15, 2015
  • 869 μmol/L (9.8 mg/dL) on March 3, 2015
  • 828 μmol/L (9.4 mg/dL) on June 10, 2015
  • 841  μmol/L (9.5 mg/dL) on July 7, 2015
  • 745 μmol/L (8.4 mg/dL) on July 30, 2015
  • 701 μmol/L (7.9 mg/dL) on September 3, 2015

Another drop in creatinine! The less creatinine the better the kidney function. Using DaVita’s GFR calculator and a creatinine conversion tool I determined Nicole’s new estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). She still scores at 5% kidney function. (But maybe we could say 5.25%?)

Since December, Nicole appears to have regenerated 1% kidney function every 4 months. 2% in total. When doing something “impossible” – like healing kidney failure –it’s hard to complain if it goes slow. Yet, 0.25% added kidney function means it’ll take 380 months to reach 100% kidney function. 31 years.

Nicole’s 48 right now. In 31 years she’ll be 79 years-old – the age most people begin to lose their kidney function. Hopefully, between the low-carb, ancestral diet, the biochemical regeneration program and a healthy lifestyle, she’ll live to be 120. So even if it takes until 2056 to reach full kidney function, she’ll still have 41 quality years left to her life.

Closer on the horizon, when she reaches 15% kidney function, she’ll no longer require dialysis. At this rate, she’ll reach 6% kidney function by the end of 2015. 9% by the end of 2016. 12% by the end of 2017. And 15% by the end of 2018.

Nonetheless, once we’ve fully turned around this Renal Titanic, I hope it’ll start to pick up momentum. Especially now that Nicole’s thyroid is nearly recovered. While we can’t complain about recovering 3% kidney function every year, it’ll be nice if Nicole can start doing that every month.

I’m sure that would make Nicole very happy. The better her kidneys function, the more she’ll urinate, the more fluid she can take in, the more ice she can eat. That reminds me, I better go refill the ice cube trays…

Nicole’s latest blood test also shows her BUN level has dropped to 18.6 mmol/L – another indication of improved kidney function. You can read more about her improved blood urea nitrogen levels at: Dietitian Baffled by Improvement in Dialysis Patient’s Blood Urea Nitrogen Levels. To find out how her kidney function improved on her subsequent blood test please read Compound Discomfort: How to Avoid the Diabetic Repo Man. Until then, for more information you can read: Type-1 Diabetic Moves From Nutritional Balancing to Biochemical Restoration

About the Author: John C. A. Manley researches and writes about alternative treatments for type-1 diabetes and its many complications. His wife, Nicole, of 15 years has had type-1 diabetes for four decades. Together they have lowered her HgbA1c below 5.5%, regained thyroid function, increased kidney function and reversed gastroparesis. Read more about their journey out of the T1D matrix or subscribe to their Diabetic Dharma blog..