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Newbie with Stage 3 CKD

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  • Newbie with Stage 3 CKD

    I'm brand new to this forum and hope it's okay for me to participate even though I'm not on dialysis and hope that I can avoid it.

    I only just found out I have CKD less than two weeks ago. Actually, I had figured it out for myself from recent lab results I was able to access that showed my GFR was 44. When I asked my doctor about it, he said my GFR hadn't really changed that much since my previous test, when I was already at Stage 2! Would have been nice if he'd told me!

    At any rate, I also found out (in February) that I have diabetes (following a gallstone-induced bout of acute pancreatitis). When I was discharged, the doctor ttold me I had Type 2 diabetes, but I think it's Type 1.5. I don't fit the Type-2 profile. I'm not overweight, and the metformin they prescribed doesn't seem to help much. Exercise seems to be the only thing that gets my sugar down.

    I was just getting the hang of eating right for diabetes (while trying not to lose more weight) when I got this new diagnosis. I had been trying to eat more protein, including meat, cheese and nuts. But now I find that too much protein is bad for the kidneys.

    One of the things that concerns me is that it seems impossible to balance the demands of both kidney and diabetes diets without cooking virtually all of your meals from scratch. In addition to diabetes and CKD, I also have multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia. Going shopping is a major undertaking, and recently, I've found that standing and trying to prepare healthy meals for my family tends to make me lightheaded (as I'm going to pass out) and sometimes out of breath. (I don't know whether that's related to my MS, diabetes, blood pressure or something else entirely. I just know it makes it hard for me to cook from scratch.)

    Are there any quick and easy meals that work for both a diabetes and a kidney diet? Are there any frozen or prepackaged meals that would be safe for me to use? I have seen my diabetic nutritionist and have requested an appointment with a renal nutritionist.

    I was hoping that some of the people on this forum who have gone through Stage 3 might be able to help educate me. My doctor has ordered a follow-up creatinine test. What are the chances that my GFR might improve?

    Also, I would appreciate any suggestions anybody might have for meeting the challenges of a diabetic/kidney diet when eating out or traveling or being on a vacation.


  • #2
    Firstly, of course you are welcome here, and we are glad to answer any questions that you have! That's why we're here!

    Stage 3 CKD really isn't that bad. You can stay in Stage 3 for a few years with no major problems.

    As for diet, this site has a lot of great recipes that are kidney-friendly and good for diabetes (link), since a high percentage of KD patients are diabetic.

    Here are a few links to things that might also help you with your new diet:
    Meal Planning/Eating Out
    Lowest Phosphorous Cheeses
    Dairy Delicious (low phos & K milks and cheeses)
    Phosphate Content in Drinks

    Hope these help!
    KidneyFun // Kidney Korner // Organ donation awareness products!
    If the world didn't suck...........We'd all fall off!


    • #3
      New CKD preparing meals

      I know what you mean about the diet requiring you to prepare everything from scratch. I've found that also, and I hate to cook. Preparing meals for one is not fun and not being able to have a lot of the foods that I used to enjoy makes it all the more unbearable.

      My renal dietician has suggested using some of the Healthy Choice meals, and the Lean Cuisine dinners. As long as I don't overdo them,and watch that the sodium content is less than 600. There are two or three of each that are in that category. I've eliminated potatoes from my diet completely and use only a small amount of tomatoes or sauces. No condiments like mustard, catsup, relish, and I've eliminated dairy. etc. I've been coping with CKD for about 18 months and things are GFR was 48 and over the past months it's improved to 60 and the last test was 67. I go for my next bloodtest on Tuesday...hope it's maintained. I'm planning a trip abroad next month and know keeping to the diet won't be easy, but I'll watch carefully.

      You mention family. How many are you preparing meals for? Can you enlist their help?
      Good luck


      • #4
        Type 2.....

        My wife was diagnosed last year as a Type 2.

        She started counting carbs, lost about 30 lbs in 3 mos.( she was about 160 to begin with), walks 1.5 miles a night, I don't know if you are able to do that or not. Do something else you are up to. You need some type of exercise to go with.

        We found( I am Type 1, have been for 30+ years) that the key to the diabetic diet is carbs. I have nutritionists all over me all the time about eat this and don't eat this ,etc.

        You need to decide what works for you and keeps you happy AND healthy. There is room for give and take at your GFR stage, yoou are not at a severe stage. Stay away from the real bad potassium foods and keep your eye on the usual labs.

        I have been told that I am a bad example of a diabetic, but you know what, outside of my kidneys giving up I still have good vision, all my limbs and digits and feel great. I have a theory that nobody seems to agree with but I just look around and talk to all the diabetics in the dialysis center.

        My theory is this and you can take it or leave it. You are going to wind up however you wind up. You need to moniter your body and see what you can get away with. I know MANY,MANY what I call " By the Book Diabetics" who do everything the experts say you should do to be a "good" diabetic. A lot of those folks have had diabetes a lot less time than I have a many of them are now blind, missing arms and legs, and fingers, and toes and all that stuff.,Or are now dead.

        Moral of the story, I think you can over do it. Educate yourself on everything you are supposed to do because you need to know, then customize that to fit you. Your labs will tell you if you are on the right path.

        Everybody is different, I can eat a small bag of Ruffles and it doesen't raise my potassium at all. I do not take a blocker for that either. French fries are still on t he menu for me, in moderation.

        Quit the carbs and do everything in moderation and slowly wean yourself off the real bad stuff. You will find healthy substitutes over time. I think you are overwhelmed right now. Don't try to change everything at once, you have the luxury of time so take it.

        You mentioned you have family, they need to be involved, educated and learn how to help you out.Very important.
        " GO AHEAD, MAKE MY DAY"-Dirty Harry



        • #5
          potato chips

          Lays potato chips doesn't have any potassium
          CAPD (continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis)
          since 7/13/07 with 4 exchanges a day
          kidney function improved after 2 years
          presently at 2 exchanges a day :-)
          diabetic, not on insulin


          • #6
            Just because potassium is not listed on the label doesn't mean there is no potassium. There are 494 mg of potassium in an ounce of Lay's potato chips.
            To the stars through difficulty!


            • #7

              DO HAVE ridges....and tons of potassium.

              But there are just some things more important than life itself........for me it's a bag of Ruffles, a big tub of French Onion w/ Bacon dip and a good NASCAR race on the T.V.

              Preferably at a condo on the beach, but ant T.V. will do.

              Another great Dirty Harry quote I live by......."A mans got to know his limitations."

              " GO AHEAD, MAKE MY DAY"-Dirty Harry



              • #8

                wow-thanks! guess I'll check it again. my weakness is definately potato chips.
                CAPD (continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis)
                since 7/13/07 with 4 exchanges a day
                kidney function improved after 2 years
                presently at 2 exchanges a day :-)
                diabetic, not on insulin


                • #9
                  Sorry, but with CKD potato chips are going to have to join the "occasional treats only" category of your diet because of both sodium and potassium.
                  To the stars through difficulty!


                  • #10

                    I wonder why so many of us with CKD at any stage love potato chips. I too could sit down with a bag and eat and eat until they're gone. Fortunately, when my neph said potatoes were on the list of "no-no's" the chips went out the window and have only nibbled on three or four chips at one of the restaurants in town. They're home made and not salted.


                    • #11
                      Football and racing.....

                      Bring out the worst in me. Yesterday was like Christmas for me. The first pro football game of the season, as well as a 500 mile NASCAR race at Pocono.

                      Needless to say, I went thru a family size bag of Riffles and a tub of dip, afterwards we went to Coco's restaraunt and I had a Quiche........and a green salad.

                      That is a typical Sunday for me, and don't ask me why, but I never have a bad report on my Phosphorous or Potassium levels.

                      I keep telling my dietician about my "weaknesses" when it comes to chips and cheese and she just shakes her head when she sees my labs and says that I am fortunate. I don't just eat a little bit, I eat loads of this stuff when I get going. Fortunately, it is usually only 1 day a week.

                      I don't have any explaination for it and neither has anyone else.

                      I do take Phoslo and Renagel for the Phos. but don't take anything for the Potassium, tried a Potassium blocker once but it ran thru me like crap thru a goose. Needless to say, I quit that pretty quick.

                      Like I said B4, sometimes I'm a bad, bad boy. I suppose one day I won't be so lucky and my labs will fall into the unacceptable range. But until that day comes.............
                      " GO AHEAD, MAKE MY DAY"-Dirty Harry



                      • #12
                        Potato Chips...Popcorn...Ah..Salt.

                        Well, I have to chime in here because all of you are making me hungry. Now, I'm at stage 4/5. You'd think I'd be behaving myself with my diet, but occasionally have to break down and eat popcorn. I have my labs checked every two months and so far, I have nothing that is off the charts as far as my sodium, potassium or phosphorus. I don't quite understand this scenario, but have to agree with most that we have to LIVE once in a while and if that's eating some chips, well so be it. My poison would be what Pancho3 suggested - the Ruffles with Onion Dip....sad...haven't had that in over five years and like one said - sometimes you just don't miss it if you don't eat it after a while.

                        Redskins vs. Colts game was a bag of popcorn and a bottle of water. Eat some chips and onion dip for me will ya...God I miss food...real bad food..that is.

                        P.S. Crackerbarrel cheese is my favorite - cut a couple chunks and sit back with a good glass of wine. I'm going to hate dialysis when it comes!!


                        • #13

                          I think popcorn is on the good list as long as you don't go crazy with the salt.

                          Pre-season is not my favorite part of the football season, but's football. And I for one am happy,happy,happy!!!!!! did I mention happy?

                          My wife has really helped me find alternatives to the stuff I used to always jam down my throat. She was diagnosed type 2 diabetic and she is really into the good stuff. She always says " Here, try this is isn't bad and it only has blah,blah, whatever carbs , calories ,potassium, phos. whatever.

                          And I have found some of the stuff to be not bad and have dropped quite a few of my past favorites without too much whining.

                          There are substitutes for about everything know it........RUFFLES AND DIP.

                          Theres a Monday Night Football game on Thursday night on ESPN.

                          I have tried broccoli or carrots with dip but it don't cut it.
                          " GO AHEAD, MAKE MY DAY"-Dirty Harry



                          • #14
                            I'm pretty much in the same boat. If I follow the diet too closely, my phosphorus and potassium get too low. I've never taken binders and I eat basically what I like. I just don't overdo it.
                            Whatever does not kill me makes me stronger...Neitzsche


                            • #15
                              Food & Football

                              Pancho3 - yeah, I'm with you. I love football season and the food comes with it. I usually grill up some chicken wings (with Ranch dressing), a side salad (gotta have the good food) and some other veggies that are grilled for a Sunday afternoon game. Monday night football is just too late to start eating snacks - they need to start the darn games at 7 p.m.! I start to doze at 10 p.m. and then miss the rest of the game.

                              Now anyone want to start on the Brett Farve saga....God I can't believe they brought him back!!! Go Ravens!!! (for whatever it's worth)