Kidney Disease
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Living with Kidney disease

I was diagnosed with diabetes 3l years ago . For the first 10 years I controlled it by weight management and exercise. The next 15 years it was oral meds. Now I am at a point in my life that I am required to take 10 units of insulin 3 times per day. I currently have CKD my kidneys are working at 80 percent. I am very disappointment because I felt I did everything that was required of me. This is depressing and I am ready to give up and eat what I want when I want it. I am 64 years old. Does anyone have any suggestions.

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Hi and Welcome,

Congratulations. You are in a rare place around here. You apparently have a physician who was smart and willing to let you know that you have CKD while you are at Stage 2.

Sadly, many of us are not that lucky. I wasn't told until I was in Stage 3 with a GFR of less than half of yours. That was almost 8 months ago and my GFR is now at 45.

There are many things you can do to slow down the progression of CKD.

If you smoke, stop. If you drink alcohol, slow way down if not stop altogether. Switch to a kidney-friendly diet.

Go to davita.com There you can register for a free, 90-minute Kidney Smart class in your area that will answer many of your questions and give you the information to ask intelligent and informed questions about CKD with your doctors.

Also on that site, you will find a lot of recipes for a kidney-friendly meal plan. This will be your biggest step towards slowing down the loss of kidney function.

You must be proactive when it comes to your health. Take charge and be strong enough to make the final decisions. Your doctors and the rest of your care team are there to provide you with the information you need but the final decision is yours.

Another site to help you is drugs.com Check the medications and dosages of any meds you take now and in the future and see which ones may be doing kidney damage and contributing to poor health.

For any lab tests you may have to undertake I'd suggest labtestsonline.org The values you receive from lab work may not be readily available to you and this site will tell you what the tests are for and what the highs and lows mean for you. I keep a binder full of the information I receive and of each lab test done so that I can have a readily available information on where I stand. I also set up and track the lab results on a spreadsheet to see if any patterns develop that I need to bring to the attention of my Care Team.

Have your doctor discuss with you a proper exercise program for you to stay active and healthy. Where in the USA you live is important because whatever you do should be ongoing and not just with good weather.

At some point, you may wish to consult with a Nephrologist or a kidney specialist. Your nephrologist should also recommend to you a Renal Dietitian who will help you make adjustments to your meal plan. The biggest items in the meal plan based on your labs are sodium, calcium, protein, phosphorous, and potassium. Your body needs all of these but with CKD you have to cut back. The great thing about the DaVita recipes is that each recipe gives you specific information on each of these items and if the meal is approved for someone with Diabetes, CKD on Dialysis or not.

Sorry if this is overwhelming but I wanted to give you enough information to get you started. Come back here often for help as there are a lot of great folks here to help you realize you aren't alone and have many friends here who can help.

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Hi Hatcher,

It sounds like you have done a great job at keeping your body working properly. Don't give up! IF you keep up the good work, your kidneys may outlive you. Mr-Kidney gave you some good info. Diet, exercise and reducing stress are key. Learn as much as you can about eating kidney friendly which will probably be different than eating for your diabetes so you will need to eat right for both conditions. You have made a difference with your body by doing what you've done, you just have to keep adjusting it as things change. It is worth it! Come back here for support when you need it!

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Hello Hatcher, I sympathise with your feelings regarding controlling your diabetes for all those years only to have a diagnosis of CKD now! I, and my late husband, have had similar experiences, having each controlled our respective diets for 30+ years. Now at age 76 and stage 3 CKD I have to control my potassium intake, eat gluten free as much as possible (I'm not celiac, just gluten-intolerant) and eat low cholesterol. I have just got used to eating around these issues and don't actually like the taste and texture of many foods other people enjoy - maybe you would find the same thing!

Please don't give up on your wonderful efforts to control your diabetes and now CKD, try to get to see a Renal Dietician if you can (if you are in the UK it can be difficult to do at your stage of CKD but get your Diabetic Clinic to help you contact one). When I get miserable about my admittedly unexciting diet (I can actually drool over a dish of shredded fresh white cabbage with blueberries and strawberries) I just reflect on the benefits - I feel more active, and have lost weight slowly but steadily, I can walk around all day and have lost the niggling aches and pains I used to have, even my eyesight seems better (though I'm not sure it is connected in any way to CKD). Best wishes for your future - Curleytop1.

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Would you mind posting your recipe for the cabbage with blueberries and strawberries? It's not one I'm familiar with and I'm always looking to add something new to my meal plan. Thanks

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Hello Mr. Kidney, There is no actual recipe for the cabbage dish! It is just a serving of fresh raw cabbage, shredded, grated or sliced up, with a serving of fresh blueberries and fresh strawberries (or raspberries/blackberries). I use it to accompany a salad meal, as garnish for a sandwich, or with a portion of chicken/turkey/cooked fish. I suppose one could cook it in the microwave for a couple of minutes but some vitamins would be lost.

Another way of using up cabbage is to add it to homemade vegetable soup. I have adapted my ingredients for this over the years to accommodate differing needs, but I now use red bell pepper, cabbage/cauliflower/frozen diced veg mix/small amount of chives or leeks as intolerant to onions, also dried red lentils (which are high in potassium) which I cook separately in a big saucepan of water, draining and rinsing, discarding the cooking water. For the liquid part of the soup I use a Kallo gluten free stock cube in double the amount of liquid recommended. All these are fresh or frozen and are cooked to boiling point, I then let it cool down and divide into portions for the fridge or freezer. I serve it on a portion of pre-cooked rice, and discard the soup 'juice' to lower my potassium intake.

Hope you find this info. helpful - best wishes Curleytop1.

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That's so simple even I could follow it. I thought you might have added some type of bonding ingredient. Thanks for the additional ideas.

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Glad to be able to HELP YOU, Mr. Kidney, Also have a bit more food info. try adding these fruits or a bit of diced apple (keep skin on) to plain low fat cottage cheese(low in potassium) , hot porridge or other cereal - I always use water instead of milk (high in potassium). If you opt for the porridge oats, you can always heat the fruits in the microwave too and its more filling.

I have just discovered a site on Facebook (no I don't like the 'social' side of it either, but it does have other qualities, although not really easy to navigate - I used a made-up name and have not posted any personal info at all). The site is:-

'Kidney Disease Cooking Made Easier'

However, be aware that these recipes may needing adapting - the only one I have looked at so far is for scrambled eggs and features cream cheese (high in potassium) and 'salt to taste' (v. high in potassium and should be a definite no no). I have commented on this and look forward to any replies I may receive!!! Incidentally, I can make a great omelette using 2 medium eggs, water to mix, sprinkle of fresh/dried herbs (usually parsley for me) and pepper to taste, NO SALT AT ALL.

If anyone has any quick, simple food ideas they use, I would be interested to know what they are. Best wishes - Curleytop1.

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Thanks for the food options. I'm restricted to 8 oz. of protein each day and no red meat. Using eggs would count as part of my protein intake and that doesn't thrill me at all. Other than HU and one other unrelated forum I don't do any form of social media. My next tweet will be my first ever. I do like the cabbage with berries as a side or with a salad. Sounds like a refreshing finish to a light meal.

The only cheese I can have is Brie. Even that is sparingly used. Did I mention that I seriously miss having Pizza?!

I don't think I even have a salt container in my cabinet. I use acceptable substitutes and lots of pepper.

Thanks again.

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Hello again, Mr. Kidney - sorry to hear about the protein restriction but am intrigued that you can have Brie cheese (must research it). Try a faux pizza - l slice bread, toast under grill on one side, turn over and before grilling it add any allowable veg such as red pepper) and a little cooked chicken or bit of brie or cottage cheese (if allowed). I know its not a pizza but, as a fellow pizza lover, I find it makes an acceptable supper or lunch - especially if you could double up and would be allowed 2 slices of bread etc....

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I like the faux pizza idea. I have switched my big meal of the day to the noon hour and in the evening I have a light "lunch". I usually do my exercise (biking or walking, weather permitting) in the morning and by making the switch and having a light meal in the evening I use my afternoon time for indoor exercise on an incline walker. It's working for me now but I'm so looking forward to warmer weather and hiking and biking outdoors more often and for longer distances.

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Glad you like my ideas, most people I know, friends and family, think I am just a 'food crank'!

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My husband makes us pizza at home. He makes the dough with no salt, thin crust, in a bread maker, makes homemade pizza sauce with no salt added tomato products.The mozzarella is store bought and I'm allowed 4 oz as long as that's my meat for the day. I'm only allowed 4 oz of meat daily, sigh. So I'm able to have pizza again!

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One of the items I have an issue with is the high level of potassium found in tomato sauce and tomato products. I did get a suggestion from someone to puree a red bell pepper and make that my "sauce-like" base and add my brie cheese.

I don't spend a lot of time watching TV but I do believe that restaurants and food commercials, especially pizza, target me personally during my limited viewing.

Thanks for your ideas and suggestions.

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Have you tried cauliflower. With You can make “mashed potatoes “ and “pizza dough “. Check online for recipe. It works really well. ( I would share recipe but sister is chef around here and she is not available right now)

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I use cauliflower rice as a side. With a bit of "no sodium" seasoning, it does work out really well. Thanks for the tip.

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If they had CKD they'd become a "food crank" just like us.

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