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My 72 year old diabetic husband has just been diagnosed with 40% kidney failure. The expects to be referred to a kidney specialist in October if there is further deterioration.

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Tootsiepie, it wasn't my intention to infer that you shouldn't have asked for information. Please don't take offense when none was intended.

Your questions seemed fairly broad, and could vary in so many ways based on your husband's specific situation. It's hard to offer generalized responses in those cases.

E.g., I could tell you that I know of diabetics who have lost kidney function and gone on dialysis, chained to a life of 3x treatments. I could tell you that others have had diabetes so severe that their feet were compromised and no longer functional. And I know of others who have strong wills and persevered on, living a very full life.

Are these options possible with your husband? Could you expect any of them to happen in the next years? Who knows?

But there are so many variables in each case, which is why I thought your question was really too broad to be answered with any specificity.
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Thank you GardenArtist. He has been started on a low dose of ACE inhibitor which is supposed to slow down or prevent further loss of kidney function. He returned after one month of that and test results showed further deterioration. We have an excellent doctor in the Mayo Clinic system who we trust thoroughly. I have been researching the subjects involved and finding lots of info. I am looking for any helpful information and thought I might find some on this excellent website. Maybe I shouldn't have asked.
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Forgot the link. Good information here:

http://www.mykidney.org/KidneyDisease/StageOfKidneyDisease.aspx
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If I read your post correctly (and you posted it correctly), your husband has 60% kidney function, meaning, according to this link, that his kidneys show some signs of damage. This is considered "mild".

"Most people with mild to moderate CKD (stages 1-3) can prevent their kidneys from getting worse by adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking some medications. Your family doctor and community health services can often support you to do this. If your CKD progresses to stage 4-5 you will need to start thinking about the treatment choices available for kidney failure. These include having a kidney transplant, undergoing dialysis or conservative management."

Since he hasn't even been referred to a renal specialist yet, I'd say the docs plan on managing it with medication and diet. Follow their recommendations and cross your fingers. Other than following instructions, try to put it out of your mind. (So easy to say! Yes??)

Good luck!!
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I'm sorry - I misread your first statement that he would be referred IF there was further deterioration. Have you asked the physician who made this diagnosis what that deterioration could be, and what methods if any can mitigate or prevent it?
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The best person to provide the answers you seek is probabl either a diabetes or kidney specialist, who will determine more than we could about your husband's condition as well as ramifications. With diabetes, there are probably other issues as well that may affect that happens in the future.

I don't understand though why he can't be referred now. Who is making this referral? Is it required from a primary care physician to a specialist by your insurance coverage?

Is your husband on dialysis or have you been advised he will be in the near or far future?

I think I'd get aggressive and tell whoever is doing the referral that you want answers and a referral now.

In the meantime, the only other suggestion I could offer is that you research "diabetes, kidney failure" and go from there. If there are any other co-morbidities, add those to your search parameters.

Good luck.
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