In March of this year, following Jacquelynn’s two back-to-back severe sepsis/kidney failure events and then her diagnosis of dementia but prior to the “official” conclusion of Alzheimer’s, I drew a personal conclusion linking her kidney issues to her dementia. In my opinion, the timetables were just too conveniently parallel, and the manner in which the cognitive effects of kidney failure resemble longer-term dementia symptoms were simply identical. I attempted to present these concepts to three different doctors (including her PCP) during her hospital stays and afterward only to meet with the hidebound mentality that is rampant in the mainstream medical community. Three conversations and three out-of-hand dismissals with educated, supposedly very intelligent physicians unwilling even to listen to or entertain the possibility of a correlation.
To formalize my thoughts and the chain-of-events that led to them, I wrote the following on 3/24/2017:
Proposed relationship between “dementia” and kidney-related illness
Revised March 24, 2017
WHAT WE KNOW
1) Left kidney has been in decline for well over a year. Presumably much longer.
2) Kidney malfunction/infections have a profound cognitive impact. From elevated creatinine levels to blood toxicity, all contribute to states EASILY mistaken for dementia/Alzheimer’s.
3) I first made note of observable cognitive decline in mid-fall of 2015.
4) She has been ill in one way or another since fall of 2015; from kidney stones/infections to stomach viruses and sinus infections and every variation of the “common cold”, she hasn’t strung together 3 consecutive weeks of feeling well in all that time.
WHAT WE KNOW
1) With the cumulative damage to the left kidney, its distress would almost inescapably be expressed in the body; elevated creatinine levels, susceptibility to infection, elevated white counts, and lowered immune response are all predictable, as is some level of cognitive impact.
2) This vulnerability and cognitive damage could be cumulative, as well, and would express as a mild form of sepsis, with reduced bladder control, frequent/chronic kidney infections, increasing confusion, difficulty expressing oneself, and reduced fine motor control, among many other manifestations, many of which are shared with a dementia diagnosis.
3) Her recent drastic weight loss could easily be attributable to the presence of the sickened left kidney, leaching nutrients from her food intake and expelling them rather than functioning properly.
It is my assertion that the left kidney is largely or even solely responsible for all of her health problems of the last year-plus, even the “dementia” and it’s side effects. I believe that seeing a nephrologist at the earliest possible time is key to returning her to full health, and I think it likely that the removal of the poisonous remnant of the left kidney must be done with haste to make any healing possible.
Then, upon the conclusion of Jacquelynn’s final kidney surgery, I spoke to the urologist who performed the operation and presented this to him. To my shock, he not only conceded the possibility, but also confirmed that he himself had observed similarly concurrent events and had even seen some recovery of cognition upon resolution of the causative kidney issues. I’m not going to share this doctor’s name here, but his open mindedness and willingness to give me all the time I needed for what is usually a two-minute post-procedure conference (it stretched more than fifteen minutes into his very busy surgery schedule) were a breath of much-needed fresh air.
The Nephrologist we were eventually sent to by Jacquelynn’s (former) Primary Care Physician concluded that the kidney was no longer functioning and thus whatever threat it may have presented had passed. So, no surgery to remove it will be necessary (good thing, obviously), but it’s clearly done plenty of damage already.
All of this is to preface the conversation we had with Dr. Ross this morning.
As was widely suspected, her Reverse T3 (thyroid) is very low, as are her cortisol levels. Vitamin D remains low despite a daily 2000 IU dose since April. This led the doctor to make the switch from pills to drops for better absorption.
While the terminology did not translate to my hasty notes and I have not yet received the doctor’s transcription of the conversation (expected Monday), some of the test results clearly tie some of her symptoms to elevated kidney function. Dr. Ross hasn’t seen this before, and she is contacting Dr. Bredesen about it for input and advice. This may be totally new science, and we could truly be the first case officially relating the two.
It is my belief that this is very likely the case. Moreover, I believe that this is the reason Jacquelynn developed this illness. Her situation will could very well lead to paradigm-shifting science and save lives that would otherwise be cast aside and lost to the close-minded and casual “easy way out” diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and “we’ll-be-here-to-fight-for-you-till-the-end” bullshit we refused to accept seven months ago.
We will be beginning some hormone-replacement therapy as well as making some additions/alterations to the supplement schedule as that research moves forward. Results for mold (mycotoxicity) were well within normal ranges, removing one concern, and the house tested quite clean for mold levels as well. Of course, Dr. Ross will keep us in the loop re: her conversations with Dr. Bredesen in reference to the kidney toxicity questions.
Yes, we are moving in the right direction, and with a more focused treatment program evolving from the lab results (there are still a few out), that path will straighten and accelerate.
I will, of course, keep you in the loop as well.