Nearly Hit Stage 2: Hi, everyone. I had my... - Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease
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Nearly Hit Stage 2

Hi, everyone. I had my labs done on 4/22/19 and I just got the results online today 4/26/19. As promised to some of my fellow CKDers, I will now put up my lab results after starting a mostly vegan/the rest vegetarian diet modified for CKD.

My last three sets of labs before 4/22/19 showed a worsening GFR with each lab. So I decided to educate myself, eat the proper CKD Diet and lose weight. I started eating healthy on 2/1/19 following Mr. Lee Hull's book Stopping Kidney Disease and exercising (walking or riding a recumbent bike). Here are the latest numbers:

Creatinine 1.37 mg/dL

BUN 13 mg/dL

BUN/Creatinine Ratio 9

GFR 56 mL/min/1.73m2 (Stage 3A!!)

Albumin 4.6 gm/dL

Total Cholesterol 129 mg/dL

A1C 5.1 % of total Hgb

On 12/28/18, my creatinine was 1.66, my BUN was 26, my GFR was 44 (Stage 3B), and my Albumin was 4.2!

So after about 12 weeks of following Mr. Hull's advice, I jumped back to Stage 3A and I am just shy of Stage 2 which starts at 60 mL/min/1.73m2! I also lost thirty pounds! I am a white, 60 year old male (relevant factors for computing GFR). Thank you, Mr. Hull!

I believe everyone can benefit from educating himself or herself, exercising, weight loss (if needed) and eating a proper CKD diet. And please don't dampen my post by stating that this eating plan worked for me and it might not work for everyone else - all of the latest medical research shows that a vegan or vegetarian diet coupled with exercise and weight loss will improve CKD and other morbid conditions as well. Thank you for reading.

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Thanks. I have had a transplant for 16 years, but I still lean toward a vegetarian diet. So happy to hear of your success with this diet... This kind of diet enabled me to delay dialysis for 20 years.

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Hi, SaraEads. You are most welcome. And thank you for sharing your courageous story. After seeing people get dialysis in person and reading about dialysis, I am terrified of it. I will do everything in my power within reason to not be on it.

So you've had a transplant for 16 years and a vegetarian diet enabled you to delay dialysis for 20 years... so are you on dialysis now or is it still being delayed? So that means that you got your kidney transplant four years after being put on the transplant list? I hope I interpreted your timeline correctly. Sorry if I did not.

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I was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerial sclerosis in 1980 and after an open biopsy and a 24 hour urine collection study, I was found to have lost, at that point, 50% of my kidney function. My recollection is that at that time stages of disease ( 4A, 3B, etc) like I read about today were not in use. Doctors spoke in terms of percent of kidney function remaining. For example, when my remaining kidney function was below something like 20 and I had met qualifications to be added to the waitlist, my name was placed on the list.

This happened in the late 90’s. However, I felt absolutely fine even down to the day I began peritoneal dialysis. My kidney function was down to 8 percent the week I began PD in 2001. You will hear over and over that everyone is different in terms of how kidney disease progresses and this is so true. Each person has to work with their doctors to deal with the hand they are dealt.

In 1980 I was stunned to be told I had lost 50% of my function. I began looking for things I could do to slow down the progression of my disease. I read a news article that Emory University was doing a double blind study to see if a reduction in protein consumption could/would slow down kidney progression. I applied for this study. The parameters of the study would divide the participants into two groups and, somehow, the food used in the study looked alike, but one group would get a “normal” amount of protein, whereas, the other group would receive significantly reduced amount of protein. Since it was a double blind study none of the participants knew which diet each was on.

After talking to my nephrologist, I decided to go on a vegetarian (not vegan) diet on my own. That way I could control what I ate and see for myself if there was validity to the theory (at that time a low protein diet was still just a theory and no evidence of significance that I could find existed to prove it helped.)

So, began my vegetarian diet in 1980-81 that I adhered to until 2003. I was very good about avoiding meat protein, but getting limited protein through veggies.

I attribute my slow progression from 1980 to 2000 to this limited protein diet.

Interestingly, the final outcome, I was told, of the Emory study was that no benefit could be proved by reducing protein in one’s diet. Today, I believe many people believe that protein reduction in diet does provide benefit to people with kidney failure.

The cure for kidney failure is transplantation, in my experience. My kidney transplant was 16 years old on April 6, 2019.

I hope my story gives you some information that proves helpful and a determination to pursue what is best for you in your situation. Perseverance and up to date information and good nephrologists are necessary to achieve success in our journey .

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Hi, Sara. (It took me a while to figure out Sara is your first name. I am slow, but sooner or later I catch on. LOL) Thank you for being happy for my success and thank you once again for sharing the rest of your truly interesting and amazing story. It was a horribly bad break for you to get focal segmental glomerial sclerosis (I Googled it) - I did not know what it was since I have only recently started taking my CKD seriously.

Did Emory University ever tell the participants of the double blind study in which group they were? So were you lucky enough to be living in Georgia at the time of the study or did you have to temporarily relocate?

You were years ahead of your time by going vegetarian and limiting your protein intake to help you with CKD. I am glad that such a nice, courageous person got her kidney transplant which I understand not everyone gets in time.

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Yes, I was a resident of Atlanta in 1980. I don’t know if Emory told the study participants which group they were in or not since I had decided to go on a vegetarian diet on my own —- not part of the Emory study. Today, I think that veggie diets are recognized as a benefit to those with kidney failure.

Sara Eads

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Thanks for sharing, a lot to learn from you.

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You’re welcome.

Sara Eads

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Hi there Beckett24 Can I ask you if you used the Albutrix supplements. I’m currently reading the book and starting to implement what he suggests but I can’t afford the supplements? Cheers

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Hi, Mojomo. I first wanted to try Mr. Hull's eating program (and I did include the minor cheat of the Kirkland Cookies and Cream protein bars a few times per week - Kirkland Protein Cookies and Cream bar - 190 calories, 170 grams of sodium, 2 grams of sugar, 3 grams net carbs, 50 grams of potassium, 22 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber as a bonus - they are whey based so it's a small amount of dairy - available at Costco.com) without the Albutrix, as $2,400 per year would be a financial burden for me. And it worked pretty well, so I am sticking to it! If my GFR someday gets really bad, then I will try Albutrix.

By the use of "Cheers" I am guessing you are in the UK without Costcos. But you can do the program without protein bars. Mr. Hull is also coming out with his diet book on May 15 according to one of his emails.

Also, watch out high fructose corn syrup in anything (I ate tons of Jelly Bellies and got my second attack of Gout in my life on 4/26/19 before finding out high fructose corn syrup and excess fructose are triggers for Gout), and watch the fructose and added sugars - fruit juices (I was using them to make fruit protein smoothies) are loaded with them and unnecessary in your diet. Let me know how it goes.

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Thank you for posting!

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You're welcome!

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Sara Eads, here, Beckett24. How are you and are you sticking with your diet?

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Hi, Sara,

Sorry for late reply. I am now getting a lot more HealthUnlocked emails and missed yours. Diet wise I am fine, but I got an attack of Gout (second one in my life) which I am now getting over because I did not know high fructose corn syrup is a Gout trigger and I started to eat a lot of Jelly Bellies - one of four candies designated safe for CKD.

Here is how my wife and I are sticking to the CKD diet - it's all vegan except for an occasional Kirkland Cookies and Cream protein bar:

For protein, we make fruit juice, almond milk, vegan protein powder smoothies with frozen berries and ice. The best quality vegan protein powder for the price is Orgain vegan protein powder found on Amazon. Make sure to click on the 15% off coupon and get the 2.03 pound containers which are the best value. These are very tasty, filling, and have lots of fluids in them.

We also enjoy vegan products like veggie burgers and chicken-less products with a little pasta or rice. These are incredibly tasty protein sources and really make it easy staying on a vegan CKD diet. Just watch the sodium for the rest of the day when you have the one serving per day and try to have these faux meat products only every other day.

The rest is fruits and vegetables. So it's not anywhere as hard as people make it out to be.

How are you and your diet?

Good luck.

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I ran across another post of yours when I had first purchased Mr. Hull's book. I found your results encouraging, and I'm glad to see you're still at it and still positive. I've been trying to follow Mr. Hull's advice for the past few weeks. However, I was losing weight (which I can ill afford), so I have added liquid egg white to my diet. I need to consume 58 grams of protein daily. As egg white has the best phosphorus/protein ratio of any high protein food, It seemed a good way to add protein while minimizing the workload on my kidneys. I used bars and powder supplements during the first few weeks -- trying to get sufficient high quality protein from vegetables. Now it's egg whites. I have cheated a little a few times when eating out, but have not returned to my old high protein ways. I am getting my GFR retested this coming week. Hopefully, it won't have gone down. I am seventy-eight years old. My GFR is 53.

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Hi, Ronaldo. I am so sorry about the late reply. I just got over the second case of full blown Gout in my life on a mostly Vegan diet. I did not know corn syrup was a trigger for Gout and I was eating a lot of jelly beans - one of the four candies deemed safe for CKD. I was going to reply to your post about Orgain vegan protein powder having close to twice the listed sodium according to a 2018 Consumer Reports article. I do subscribe to Consumer Reports, but I don't know where the old issues are. LOL I searched online and found this from March 2018, but no mention of Orgain:

consumerreports.org/dietary... Can you give me the month and year of Consumer Reports issue again?

I think egg whites are OK, but if you are losing more weight - I wish I was - I would add more carbs or a little more fat versus protein. Remember, you want to keep protein at 0.6 grams per KG of body weight and see how that goes - Albumin level is critical - shoot for a value above 4, ideal is 4.5. My albumin level was 4.6 at 0.6 grams of protein or less per KG of body weight, so it worked for me.

I never depended on vegetables for protein source, I just can't eat that many veggies. Like I wrote in the post above yours, I depended on vegan protein smoothies and veggies meat-less products.

I really would make going out a very rare occurrence - a few times sounds like too many times since we last corresponded and restaurant food can be deadly as you cannot control portions, protein count, sodium content, gravies, sauces and so on. And don't forget about the free bread or chips and salsa.

I personally believe that anyone can stick to a mostly or all vegan diet with vegan protein smoothies and vegan meat-less products as the protein sources.

Let me know how your lab tests go.

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Sorry to hear about your gout problem. My brother-in-law has gout, and it can be debilitating. I wasn't refering to Consumer Reports but Consumerlab at consumerlab.com . I check with them, from time to time, when I have a nutrition question. You have to be a member to get the full skinny, but the membership fee is low. I wasn't too secure with the protein powders and bars as to how much phosphate I was getting. It looks like you have been doing good on that route though. Whether it's bars, powder, or eggs, its important to keep tabs on your protein consumption and parcel it out rather than hit your kidneys with a big load all at once. I am making egg white omelets with various fillings. I also combine egg whites with grits or rice. I use the soy bacon bits on omelets and salads. I just discovered that some spaghetti has nine grams of protein per 58 gram (2oz) serving. Not a bad source of protein. I certainly eat more than two ounces of spaghetti at a time. I like a good spaghetti marinara. The protein/phosphorus ratio isn't bad, and there are no phosphate additives. This is a handy reference

revistanefrologia.com/en-ta...

You might have to play with the referenced material a little. It was originally in Spanish. If the tables, which are the most useful part, show up tiny, you should be able to click on them to enlarge them. I downloaded and printed them.

I have the Garden of Life plant based protein powder in both vanilla and unflavored, and I use it from time to time. I particularly like the unflavored to add a little protein to a dish without altering the taste. I'm usually not much of a sweets eater, except for chocolate. I am now a reformed chocoholic. I do like carrot cake, but the leavening agent might pose a problem. Maybe I can come up with some other desserts with vegetables, and of course, there is a world of fruit that will work on a CKD diet. What are the four candies that are safe for CKD? I've never had a gout problem, but I'll ease into the sweets. In a restaurant, I eat mostly veggies/fruit and avoid the red meat. It's hard to avoid the salt though.

I'll let you know the lab results

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I received my lab report. After two months on a low protein diet, my Creatine went down from 1.29 to 1.12, and my GFR went up from 53 to 63. LabCorp's note following the results states "Patient was previously in CKD stage 3a, eGFR is now above 60 and outside the scope of the program." I don't consider this as being cured. I have also encountered the term remission used in regard to CKD, but that doesn't seem to apply either. I believe I have made progress - reached stage 2, but the kidney damage still exists, and if I leave the diet, my Creatine will rise again. Is that your read on it? I don't know whether I can expect more improvement or not. I will feel a little more secure if my next labs confirm the progress.

I'm also considering a low dose of time-release magnesium.

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Hi, Ronaldo. Sorry for the late reply. I started a part-time job which is not what was represented and it is a pain.

First, congratulations on a great job and great lab results.

CKD is never curable as kidney damage is permanent, but as you see, it is treatable and can be stopped or dramatically slowed down if one puts in the work. Yes, if you go back to the old bad ways of eating which means eating more improper food than your kidneys can handle, not only will your creatinine go back up, but kidney damage will resume based on foods that trigger your morbid conditions which caused the kidney damage in the first place. GFR going from 53 to 63 in great - you are now at Stage 2! So why go back to old way of eating? And your next labs might even be better!

I know that magnesium is very good for CKD, but I forgot Mr. Hull's guidelines, but you have the book! I am sending you a private message with a very special treat (I am thinking you do not have it). Let me know if you get it.

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