live with physical challenges.
I am NOT a DOCTOR!!! I don't even play one on TV!!! It is my goal to live a more healthy lifestyle. Living well and being happy is what this blog is all about.

"Nothing,' wrote Tolstoy, 'can make our life, or the lives of other people, more
beautiful than perpetual kindness."

- Gretchen Rubin

I write about my own experiences and what works (or does not) for me. Nothing I write is to be taken as medical advice.

Only your health care provider, personal physician,Disclaimer:
I am not a doctor - I don't even play one on TV! This
or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hello Kidney

Did you know that a diabetic can lose up to 20-30% of their kidney function and have no outward signs or symptoms?  Yet nearly every diabetic you talk to is more concerned about blindness or amputation than the loss of kidney function.

I guess maybe I look at everything differently.  I figure if, God forbid, I should lose my eyesight or a limb, I could still function somewhat.  But once you lose kidney function, it's on to dialysis and that's much more scary to me than any other complication.

So when you go to your doctor, is anything really explained to you?  Perhaps things are very clearly outlined for me because I go into my doctors office with a list of questions about my disease.  

I want my kidney function tested on a regular basis.  The recommendation is once a year, but sometimes I push the envelope if I'm not feeling well.    Creatinine is a waste product your body makes.  If your kidneys are not cleaning waste products from your blood, they can build up and make you sick.  Your doctor can use your creatinine level to check your GFR (glomerular diltration rate).  These results tell you how well your kidneys are removing wastes from the blood.  

The last time I had this done, my creatinine level was good, so my GFR was on target.  In that same blood test, my overall blood sugar was elevated, but the doctor was not overly concerned because it was not a fasting blood test.

Some people need medications to help slow down kidney damage.  There are two different types:

  • ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitor
  • ARB (angiotensin receptor blocker)

  • So far I have dodged these medications.  My good numbers can be attributed to the fact that I have cut down consumption of red meat and a lot of dairy.  I no longer indulge in eggs.  I do allow myself to have a bison bierock about once a month from my favorite health food store's deli.  I look forward to that monthly splurge!  I also drink plenty of water to keep my kidneys flushed out.  My sources of protein are vegetable based and not animal based for the most part.  Broccoli and I are best buds!

    Routine movement plays a key role in good kidney function.  By staying active, you reduce blood sugar and blood pressure.  An active body is a healthy body - and a healthy body is a very happy one!  It only takes a half hour a day, and while it doesn't feel great during, it sure makes you feel much better afterward.  Keep the goal in front of you!

    Kidney failure scares me the most because there are absolutely no outward signs of a problem until it's too late.  Everything I've read indicates that when kidney failure occurs, a person feels sick to their stomach and have an overall feeling of tiredness or fatigue, and there may be excess swelling in hands and feet from water retention.  Well heck, how many days do I feel like that?  It happens way more than I want to admit.  That's why I insist on having the tests done to check kidney function!   

    Blood sugar management and blood pressure management are two ways to prevent kidney damage.  Is it worth the effort?  You bet!  Am I worth the effort?  You bet x 2!

    Here's a great healthy recipe for Rajma!  It seems appropriate to have a recipe for kidney beans, doesn't it?  They are actually very healthy and good for your kidneys!  Coincidence?  I think not.  Another bit of proof that God does indeed have a sense of humor!  Making kidney beans in the shape of kidneys - Good one, Lord!


    Today is BRANDIED FRUIT DAY!!!!!!!!!!!  This stirs some good memories for me.  As a kid I can remember my mom having several jars of brandied fruit on the kitchen counter and always a starter to hand off to a friend or neighbor.  She made the best fruitcake at Christmas - and I'm not a real fruitcake lover.  This is about the time of year she would begin the fruit fermenting process.  She had it down to a science, I'll give her credit for that!  Most of the fruit came from our own back yard too - no canned stuff.  We had all sorts of fruit trees in our back yard.  Good memories.



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