Blessed Assurance: Success Despite the Odds

by Jacquie Lewis-Kemp, Author & Health Coach for Living life with diabetes and organ transplants, rather than limiting life because of them.

Browsing Posts tagged chronic kidney disease

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of chronic kidney disease is the diet.  After you get past figuring out how you will schedule dialysis and what you need to do in order to have energy and strength, you find that diet plays a large role in making that happen.

Salt Restriction

It is common knowledge that too much salt isn’t good for you. However for dialysis patients high, sodium foods impact a dialysis patient immediately. Already plagued with water retention, something as simple as a slice of pizza or a bag of potato chips can cause dialysis patients severe ankle swelling or swelling in the abdomen causing shortness of breath.
Excess sodium also causes blood pressure to rise and cause headaches, mental dullness and a loss of energy. At its worse, hypertension (high blood pressure) can incite cardiac complications.

Phosphorus Restrictions

Who ever thought that potatoes would be something restricted on a diet? But they are a very special case when it comes to kidney disease. The kidneys filter waste from the blood and it is expelled through the urine. When your kidneys don’t function properly, one of the chemicals that don’t get filtered is phosphorus. Doctors prescribe phosphorus binders which make it so that phosphorus can be cleared in the stool rather than urine. However, the best option is to limit consumption of high phosphorus foods like nuts, organ meats, chocolate, cola drinks and beer.

Potassium Restrictions

An orange on the restricted list? For the same reason that phosphorus builds up in the blood stream for dialysis patients, potassium also builds up in the blood stream. Excess potassium can cause problems such as weakness, muscle cramps, tiredness, irregular heartbeat and, worst of all, heart attack. Potassium is found mostly in fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Certain fruits and vegetables are very high in potassium while others are lower. However, eating a large amount of a low-potassium food can cause potassium to add up to dangerous levels. Be aware that most foods contain some potassium — meat, poultry, bread, pasta — so it can add up. Butter, margarine and oils are the only foods that are potassium free.
Refer to the charts below from DaVita Dialysis, as simple reminders of which foods should be restricted and some suggested alternatives.

High potassium

High phosphorus

Double jeopardy —High potassium and high phosphorus

Fruits

Meat

Milk

Vegetables

Poultry

Dairy products

Fish and seafood

Nuts and seeds

Wild game

Chocolate

Eggs

Whole grain products

Dried beans and peas

Check the list below to see if you are eating any of the double jeopardy foods on the left. Using some of the alternatives listed on the right will help improve your chances of keeping potassium and phosphorus under control.

Double Jeopardy Foods (High Potassium & High Phosphorus)

Alternatives

Cheese

Vegan rella cheese, low-fat cottage cheese, sprinkle of parmesan cheese (use very small amounts of extra sharp cheeses for the maximum flavor)

Chocolate

Desserts made with lemon or apple, white cake, rice-crispy treats

Cream Soup

Broth-based soups made with pureed vegetables or make soups with Mocha Mix® nondairy creamer or Rich’s Coffee Rich®

Dried beans and peas

Green beans, wax beans

Ice Cream

Mocha Mix® frozen dessert, sorbet, sherbet, popsicles

Milk

Mocha Mix® nondairy creamer, Coffeemate®, Rich’s Coffee Rich®, Rice Dream® original, unenriched rice beverage

Nuts

Low-salt snack foods including pretzels,tortilla chips, popcorn, crackers, Sun Chips®

Peanut butter

Low-fat cream cheese, jam or fruit spread

Share

African Americans are disproportionately affected by diabetes and hypertension which make up more than 2/3 of all cases of kidney failure. Understand these risks and take charge of your lifestyle to prevent kidney disease.

Further, share what you’ve learned with family, friends, your neighborhood and your congegation.

 

 

 

 ;

Share

I didn’t expect it–the smell. The extreme smell of disinfectant and bleach, the quiet coming and going of staff and patients. The dialysis center. I hadn’t been inside a dialysis center for nearly 11 years, when I was on peritoneal dialysis or PD as those of us in the “Kidney World” call it.  I agreed to participate in a study for the National Kidney Foundation as a peer mentor talking with dialysis patients.  I am a certified peer mentor, however this study required additional training and all through the training I was excited to participate.  The study’s hypothesis is something I believe in and feel strongly will be successful. Even though I am a peer mentor, much of my work promoting organ donation has been at speaking engagements, church functions and during book signings.  So I really hadn’t been back to a dialysis center until today.

I was glad that the social worker and National Kidney Foundation representative met with me in the conference room first. I needed a minute to collect myself. It is not that I was afraid or changed my mind about volunteering; I just didn’t anticipate the reaction of a negative déjà vu.

After our discussion about how the day would go, I gowned up to meet my patients.  I remember that when I was on dialysis, I was afraid of what would happen next . . . after dialysis.  And if I didn’t do anything today, I wanted the people that I met to know that there can be a successful life after dialysis. With that mantra, my nervousness about the bleach that I smelled turned into eagerness to meet new friends.

My afternoon was spent meeting very interesting people. Sometimes when we get caught up with disease, illness and chronic conditions, we forget about the interesting and complex lives that we live. I shared and they shared. I think we had a good day. I’ll be back in a couple weeks and look forward to building the relationships I created today. Although I’m the mentor presumably offering information and ways to make it successfully through dialysis, I feel like I’m the one who benefited from today’s activities.

Share

Kidney Transplant

Share

Kidney Transplant

Share

Kidney Transplant

Share

Kidney Transplant

 

For those awaiting Kidney Transplant, listen to these transplant experiences and prepare for your own.  For those who are donors or are potentially donors listen to this wonderful series of second chance at life stories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share

Diabetics are particularly prone to grow vision threatening cataracts. Transplant patients also have an increased risk of developing cataracts  because of the anti rejection drug Prednisone. Because Prednisone is a necessary part of our lives, here are some tips to prevent or reduce the risk of developing cataracts:

Eat foods high in antioxidants, including garlic, onions, beans, vegetables, celery, seaweed, apples, carrots, tomatoes, turnips and oranges.

Reduce or eliminate refined sugars (particularly white sugar, but also fructose, sucrose, fruit juice concentrates, maltose, dextrose, glucose and refined carbohydrates). This includes “natural” drinks that contain a lot of sugar, including fruit juices. Even milk sugar, lactose, found in all dairy products, can contribute to cataract formation, as it destroys gluthathione and Vitamin C in the lens.

Drink eight glasses of water per day. Adequate water intake helps to maintain the flow of nutrients to the lens and to release wastes and toxins from tissues.

Healthy Tips

  • Avoid microwaves. Radiation leakage from microwave ovens is a direct cause of cataracts, so avoid constant peeking into the open door window while you cook. In addition, food proteins exposed to microwaves can become toxic to the lens that is made mostly of protein.
  • Wear 100 per cent ultraviolet blocking sunglasses and a hat, since ultraviolet light from the sun can cause damage to the lens of the eye.
  • Many synthetic chemicals and pharmaceuticals can cause cataracts. Steroids, for example, taken internally or applied to the skin, are a typical cause of cataracts because they block the normal metabolism of connective tissue of which the lens is composed.
  • Cigarette smoking causes about 20 per cent of all cataracts. Men who smoke more than a pack a day increase their risk for cataracts by 205 per cent. For female smokers, the risk of getting cataracts increases 63 per cent. Quitting without supplementing the diet with additional vitamins and minerals doesn’t seem to eliminate the increased risk for almost ten years, probably due to smoking having depleted antioxidant levels in the eye.

(Sources: Encyclopedia.com, Medscape Today, WebMD, Net Doctor.)

Share

Both transplant anti rejection drugs Prednisone and Tacromulis have a long term effect of raising cholesterol levels.  Because we need both drugs to preserve our life saving organ transplants, we must find other ways to reduce cholesterol.  Here are a few suggestions:

1. Eat a heart-healthy diet with plenty of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. Avoid saturated fats (found mostly in animal products) and trans-fatty acids (found in fast foods and commercially baked products). Instead, choose unsaturated fats (particularly omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils and canola).

2. People with an active lifestyle have a 45% lower risk of developing heart disease than sedentary eople. Physically active people tend to have higher HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Research suggests that regular aerobic exercise can help increase HDL levels. Even moderate exercise reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. Resistance (weight) training offers a complementary benefit to aerobics.

3. Quit Smoking

(Sources: Encyclopedia.com, Medscape Today, WebMD, Net Doctor.)

Share

Join walkers from all over the state of Michigan to support the National Kidney Foundation in its quest to advocate for patients in all stages of chronic kidney disease.

Share