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Early CKD Support
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Caretakers need to know too

my 83 y.o. dad was at an egfr of 40 about 15 months ago. Took him in for a CT w/Contrast last week, and it's now at 30. They couldn't use the contrast. Appears there may also be some pancreatic issues developing. I understand they can go hand in hand. But where to start? Kidneys or Pancreas? His blood sugar is creeping up too... Might be time for a nephrologist.

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A nephrologist at this point is an excellent idea. One thing to remember is that with many chronic diseases it sometimes come to a choice having to be made of helping one issue while possibly doing some harm to another. It's not an easy situation and when it happens there are no good options. I had to make a similar choice between something that could help my heart but possibly do more damage to my kidneys. Not an easy decision.

The doctors on my Care Team know I'm informed enough to make a decision for myself with their best advice. While neither options were perfect the decision was somewhat easier because my heart options are very limited and there are more in the kidney column. That was an "easy" choice but some can be downright difficult and none are easy.

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Good points Mr Kidney and well stated. I had similar situation on making decision on my health care.

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I am confused about heart vs. kidney when it comes to diet. Heart disease throughout family, including me (my whole adult life). So, I always followed a heart healthy diet, on advice of physician. Now, I found out CKD has reached stage 3b. I asked my doctor what I should be doing and he said its time for kidney healthy diet. The more I learn about that, the more the two diets seem to be very much at odds. Doctor has been no help. He says I'll just have to figure it out. I asked about seeing a dietician. He said, we don't refer at stage 3b. I'm stuck with the doctor because of insurance and I have no idea what I should be eating at this point. Have you had to work this out?

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I have worked this out. I was on a healthy diet for my heart and health until I found out I also had CKD. I checked out the issues that were primary to a heart-healthy diet and kept them within reason and made sure to incorporate those things into my kidney-friendly meal plan and eliminated the things, like sodium, saturated fats, etc, and adjusted all of my recipes accordingly. My diet is now both heart and kidney-friendly. I get most of my recipe ideas from davita.com

I take no recipe at face value. I always adjust each recipe for the things I have to monitor based on my last labs.

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How do you deal with things like only whole grains vs only refined grains or tomatoes vs no tomatoes? I had oatmeal every morning for years but now I guess I shouldn't?

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I don't eat whole grains. That is one of the foods I had to stop eating when I found out I had CKD. Tomatoes and tomato sauce was another and I just stopped eating it. That is until a member of this community gave me a suggestion to puree roasted red peppers and use that as a substitute. It works great and many things can be substituted for with a little creativity.

Anyone with CKD has to make a choice about switching to a kidney-friendly meal plan or not. It's your life and your health. I made the choice and I do miss some foods. I'd much rather give up some foods and continue to live a healthier lifestyle than not giving up some foods, especially out of habit, and diminishing my ability to do the things I like and enjoy.

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Thanks for that. I've just been so stuck on eating lots of whole grains, beans, nuts, tomatoes and other things to try to protect my heart that I think I needed somebody to tell me its okay to start giving them up to protect my kidneys. I guess I need to stop thinking that the two organs are at war with one another and start just plain thinking more...

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WOW!! We have a miscommunication. Please re-read what I said. You have gotten it backward. When I found out that I had CKD and the heart issues, I stopped eating the stuff that was good for my heart but bad for the kidneys. That doesn't mean that I let my heart suffer. It meant I had to find other things that would help my heart AND not hurt my kidneys. I can live with bad kidneys. I can't live with a bad heart. You have to find a balance where what you eat is good for both the heart and kidneys. It may require you to restructure your lifestyle and diet but you have to do that. You can't live well by ignoring both organs or hurting one over the other. I need to take a daily dose of 81 milligrams of aspirin. Good for my heart but not good for the kidneys. That's a choice I had to make to protect the heart and deal with the NSAID issue and kidney disease. Regarding food, I gave up the heart-healthy foods that were bad for my kidneys. I had to replace them with foods that were good for both heart and kidneys.

The balance is not easy and sometimes the choices are difficult but necessary. Don't hurt one organ at the expense of another regarding your diet. There are always options. Medicines are where you may have to make the choice like I did.

My apologies if I misled you on that post, it was not my intent. Again, best of luck.

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I think we both meant exactly the same thing. I meant that I need to give up some of the heart healthy things that are bad for my kidneys and start thinking about what things will either be good for both or be good compromises between the two. I didn't mean abandon my heart. I meant stop obsessing about a strict heart healthy diet and move forward trying to balance the two. The one thing I clearly cannot do is to freeze in place...

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I give my mom COQ10... good for both heart and kidneys, from what I've read.

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