Comparative renal function test, liver function test and lipid profile results for December 2012.
I had my blood extracted and a KUB (kidneys, ureters and bladder) ultrasound on 17 December at University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) and went back to the Rehabilitation Medicine Clinic on 26 December for the review. Serum creatinine increased slightly but is not significant. However, urea is markedly elevated from 7.5 mmol/L in February 2012 to 9.3 mmol/L in June 2012 and to 10.7 mmol/L in December 2012. I suspect it could either be caused by Lipitor or the fish oil that I have been taking.
KUB Ultrasound Report for December 17, 2012
Both kidneys are increased in echogenicity.
Right kidney measures 9.6cm in bipolar length.
Left kidney is small in size measuring 7.7cm.
No calculi or hydronephrosis.
The bladder wall is trabeculated.
1. Renal parenchymal disease.
2. Trabeculated bladder secondary to neurogenic bladder.
As for the KUB ultrasound. the findings showed no significant changes from the previous one done in November 2011. I am scheduled to see a nephrologist in March 2013 for a review of my kidneys with a renal function test and liver function test done prior to that. In view of this, I have unilaterally decided to stop taking Lipitor until then to see if it affects my serum urea level. Other than that, I am quite happy with the results of the blood tests and ultrasound of the kidneys and bladder.
My good friend Cynthia presented me with a supply of Lipitor that is going to last me a long long time, sixteen months to be exact. She even gave me a tablet cutter to split the 40mg tablets into quarters since I am only taking 10mg daily.
Lipitor 40mg and a tablet cutter from Cynthia. Thanks!
Photo taken with the Samsung Galaxy S II.
Lipitor comes in dosages of 10mg, 20mg, 40mg and 80mg. The price difference between each succeeding dosage is minimal. This medicine has to be taken long-term. Buying a higher dosage and splitting it into the smaller recommended dosage makes economic sense.
Some medicine, like the Detrusitol capsules that I am taking cannot be split. Likewise other tablets that have a coating that releases the medicine slowly. However, Cynthia the pharmacist assured me that Lipitor tablets can be safely split without it losing its efficacy.
The difference in shape and size between Lipitor 40mg and 20mg.
Photo taken with the Samsung Galaxy S II.
There is a difference between the 40mg tablets that Cynthia gave me and the 20mg tablets that I recently bought from the University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) Community Pharmacy. The former are round which makes splitting them into quarters easier. The latter are elongated and I had to get only the 20mg tablets to be able to split them evenly. Both tablets are manufactured for different regions.
Thank you Cynthia! My cardiovascular system thank you too!
The results for the blood tests done on February 20 showed marked improvement in my cholesterol levels. At the same time, I do not seem to be suffering any side effect of Lipitor as evident from the renal and liver profiles. This is good news indeed. I am to continue with the 10mg daily dosage. The doctors scheduled another blood test in June just to be sure.
Since I started on the cholesterol-reducing medicine, I have cut down dramatically on pork in my diet and replaced that with fish, either salmon or threadfin. Additionally, it is supplemented with folic acid, Vitamin B complex, cordyceps, Omega-3 fish oil and CoenzymeQ10.
It may appear like I am taking too many pills and turning into a supplement junkie. Anything to keep my frail kidneys at it current functional levels. Besides, these supplements do not seem to be doing any damage to my health apart from making a big dent in my bank account.
Renal profile for February 20, 2012
Sodium 140 (139) mmol/L
Potassium 4.8 (4.8) mmol/L
Chloride 106 (105) mmol/L
Total CO2 25.6 (26.0) mmol/L
Anion Gap 13 (13) mmol/L
Urea 7.5 (7.8) mmol/L
Creatinine 273 (272) umol/L
Liver profile for February 20, 2012
Total Protein 78 (76) g/L
Albumin 39 (38) g/L
Globulin 39 (37) g/L
Total Bilirubin 7 (8) umol/L
Conjugated Bilirubin 2 (2) umol/L
Alk Phosphatase 78 (86) IU/L
ALT (GPT) 18 (17) IU/L
AST (GOT) 10 (15) IU/L
Gamma GT 13 (12) IU/L
Lipid profile for February 20, 2012
Triglyceride 1.0 (1.4) mmol/L
Total cholesterol 3.1 (4.7) mmol/L
HDL 1.01 (0.97) mmol/L
LDL 1.64 (3.09) mmol/L