Monday, September 17, 2012

This Sounds Fishy

One question I get a lot is: What kind of medications are you on?

And I think they're asking because of the kidney disease and not something else (", you're weird, are you taking anything for that?")

My nephrologist has me taking:

1. Lisinopril (blood pressure)
2. Spironolactone (diuretic)
3. Fish Oil. Lots and lots of fish oil.

It's the fish oil that people always find surprising. We've all heard about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, but lesser known is that fish oil has been shown to slow the progression of IgA nephropathy -- the type of disease I have. This was proven in a Mayo Clinic study in the 1990s and again in a 2004 study. The catch? Patients need to take a very high dose -- at least six grams a day. (The Foundation for IgA nephropathy has a thorough post that provides more information on this topic.)

Some nephrologists recommend fish oil for their patients. Some don't. When my doctor presented this option to me, we decided that it can't hurt to try. We opted for fish oil instead of other, harsher options -- like prednisone or an immunosuppressant drug.

My next appointment is Sept. 24, and I'm curious to know if we'll stay the course or if we'll try something new.

But for now, I faithfully take my fish oil.

And I just keep swimming.    


  1. How much is " lots" of fish oil?

  2. One study showed that you need at least six grams a day to make a difference. The Mayo study called for even more. I take about 3-4 grams/day.