You’ve Gotta Be Kidney Me: Pursuing a New IBD-related Diagnosis

You’ve Gotta Be Kidney Me: Pursuing a New IBD-related Diagnosis
When I wrote last week’s column about my dermatological issues caused by IBD, I wasn’t planning on discussing any other extraintestinal manifestations of IBD anytime soon. Then, last Thursday, I had my first appointment with a new nephrologist. I had never had kidney issues until I experienced acute renal failure when my liver failed in 2017. With all the MRIs, ultrasounds, CT scans, and bloodwork to monitor my primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and Crohn’s over the past two decades, not one of my doctors had ever voiced any concerns about my kidneys. It wasn’t until I was placed on dialysis to be “healthy” enough to receive a liver transplant that the nephrologist on my transplant team remarked that I most likely always had some sort of autoimmune kidney disease that had either gone undetected or undiagnosed. The transplant team was able to save my kidneys, but they never fully recovered. My kidney functions are stable and teetering on the edge of what’s considered a normal range for my gender, race, and age. Unfortunately, my anti-rejection medication — Tacrolimus, which is also sometimes used to treat Crohn’s — is hard on my kidneys, and I wasn’t too surprised when my transplant hepatologist suggested I find a regular nephrologist to add to my mix of healthcare providers. However, I was thrown for a loop when my new nephrologist, Dr. Ravi Mididoddi, said that 5-10%  of people with IBD also suffer from kidney disorders, either as a complication of IBD or a side effect of the medications used to treat it. I guess my transplant nephrologist was right: An autoimmune disease was the culprit behind my renal problems. But I had no idea it might be Crohn’s. When I told Dr. Mididoddi that I wrote this column, he was kind enough to share
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