Diet and maintaining what kidney function I have.

FOURTH TACTICAL GOAL : 

Learning, adapting and lots of number crunching. 

The Insane Level Of Importance : Our Daily Diet

FIRST TACTICAL GOAL :

Adapting to my new normal.

FIRST STRATEGY IMPLEMENTED :

"Divide and conquer." 

Diet and hydration are the two most import aspects of this when you are diagnosed with RPGN. Exercise of course comes into play, but sometimes we have to build up to that. I’m also going to to stress that this is one of my biggest areas of freak out. It is the supreme point of which I now have some semblance of control and absolute the best way that we can help ourselves. That all being said, I scoured : kidney health packets given to me by the hospital; dedicated kidney disease sites; homeopathic and just ended up stressed out and confused. Everything contradicts itself and everyone wants to think that they know best. So, I took notes, took action and slowly complied a list of topics for my first meeting with my nephrologists dietitian. I found I was on the right track but her time was priceless, especially once I deciphered the new math equations that are my meals.

 

You will need a dietitian, a food scale and your own method of tracking your servings. I’m keeping a small spiral bound journal where I have my allotments, running daily totals, as well as notes mapped out as to the foods / meals I’m eating for easier calculation. I had been doing a food journal, but as long as I keep a record of my normal meals a few days before I meet with the dietitian it saves us both a lot of time. She is able to see a baseline and I don’t have to constantly recall what I ate. My daily running total gives me peace of mind and I’m off! Each allotment plan made by the dietitian based on your most recent vitals, so no two plans will be exactly the same. 

 

There’s also personal drink/food preferences that impact our lists. For example, I can have clear-colored sodas and Buttermints, but they aren’t to my taste. I also have health issues and a few food allergies that are not in correlation to RPGN. Listing off what I am eating or not eating isn’t really going to help you in the long run and may actually just confuse you more. I do not want to do that. There’s already too much confusing information out there as is! 

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THE BIG FIVE POINTS : Your Dietitian Will Give You Your Allotted Amounts

Phosphorous

Is an essential mineral that is required by every cell in the body for normal function and is bound to oxygen in all biological systems. 

Potassium

is a mineral/type of electrolyte that helps your nerves to function, muscles to contract, your heartbeat stay regular, it also helps move nutrients into cells and waste products out of cells.

Protein

Is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.

Sodium

is a mineral/type of electrolyte that the body needs in relatively large amounts. Most of the body’s sodium is located in blood and in the fluid around cells. Sodium helps the body keep fluids in a normal balance, maintain normal nerve and muscle function.

Water

Is in all your body’s cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature and maintain other bodily functions. Your body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion so, it's important to rehydrate.

Check The Labels! 

Okay, so this is also a tricky part and you’ll need a good eye if you decide to brave processed foods. I have a penchant for Asian flared fare and baked yummies so I look. I also am making note of a few main points of label hopping freak outs before I was able to meet with the dietitian. 

NOTHING WITH “PHO” IN THE INGREDIENTS. It contains phosphorous, unless you are able to get the exact milligrams from their product listed on the USDA site.

ANYTHING "ENHANCED" IS ALSO OUT. Unless again you check with the USDA.

ALMOST ALL NUTS AND SEEDS ARE OUT. All are packed with protein. Macadamia nuts seem to be the exception.

ONLY NATURAL COOKING OILS ARE FINE. I found a lot of conflicting information on that, just clearing that up.

BRAVING PROCESSED FOODS, STICK TO LOW-FAT AND LOW-SODIUM.

Think Ahead And Plan!

All of this can be overwhelming, I am still constantly struggling to understand. I have never been a calorie counter. Honestly, I was just thrilled when I even had an appetite. If you are also on Presnidone, then you WILL get your appetite back. The key really is to maintain the health of your kidneys and eat both responsibly and with what works for you.  

BEFORE COOKING YOUR FOOD CHOOSE TO EITHER BAKE OR STEAM YOUR MEAL.

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BIG FIVE AS WELL AS YOUR DAILY CALORIE INTAKE.

HAVING A MEAL PLAN IN PLACE HELPS RELIEVE STRESS. PLAN. LIST. SHOP. MAKE.

Electrolytes and Minerals

Just to cover my bases, let’s go through what electrolytes and minerals are in relation to our body.

Electrolytes : are minerals in your body that have an electric charge. They are in your blood, urine, tissues, and other body fluids. Electrolytes help balance your hydration levels and acid/base (pH) level; move nutrients into your cells and wastes out of your cells; and make sure that your nerves, muscles, the heart, and the brain work the way they should.

 

Minerals : keep your bones, muscles, heart, and brain working properly. Minerals are also important for making enzymes and hormones.

The Kicker

The kicker here is that with the kidneys no longer able to function properly we have to fine tune just how much of each life sustaining element we ingest. Whether it is to much or too little directly impacts the effectiveness on the kidney functionality we have left. 

Hyperkalemia may result due to high potassium levels in your blood because it unable to filter it. 

 

Fluid buildup in your body can cause problems with your heart, lungs, and also cause high blood pressure. High blood pressure is the second most common cause of kidney failure. Maintaining your hydration level is key.

There are many other complications but we’re sticking to the ones only based on the afore mentioned Big Five that are directly impacted. Again, I will probably add to this page in time, but I think your grasp that the Big Five are important. Paying close attention to your intake and most recent vital levels is crucial to your survival. Yes, it can be frustrating but a little extra of your time now will go hopefully a long way later.

©2019 IHaveRPGN.com created and maintained by Erika-Lynn "Lynn" Anderson.