The Doctor’s Appointment That Led to a Nephrologist

Let me think!  The doctor is talking about kidney disease and the triglyceride test result is out of range. I was given a pamphlet on triglycerides and told to lower that number within the next month.  This was getting so complicated.  I thought we were looking for kidney disease. The booklet told me that triglyceride was a bad fat, just like LDL cholesterol, which could affect my heart and blood vessel health, and that cardiovascular disease (read heart and arteries) is the number one killer of Americans. Great, now it’s not only the liver and the kidneys I need to worry about, but also the heart and arteries. I mean MY liver, kidneys, heart and arteries.

It was made clear that lifestyle changes just might do the trick as far as the triglyceride number. Other than a little dancing here and there, I no longer did much exercising by now. Okay, I resolved, I would again dance vigorously several times a week.  My doctor agreed, but gently suggested I add some kind of movement every day.  I had unwittingly become a sedentary person – a couch potato.  What could I do? I’d figure it out later. I was not to smoke, drink, or do drugs. That wasn’t going to make any difference because I didn’t do any of that anyway.

Dietary changes were necessary, too.  I was to eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables daily (You’ll see later that this is not in accordance with the renal diet). Grain products were to be added.  I had no argument with that: my grandfather had been a miller in The Ukraine so my love of bread must have been in the genes. There were other restrictions that didn’t seem to be problematic until I received the renal diet a short time later. Many of the restricted foods on that diet were suggested to help control the triglyceride number.

My head was spinning.  I’d thought it was enough to eat fresh, organic food and rarely ate meat.  It just didn’t taste that good to me. I needed to know about BMI (Body Mass Index) which involved all those numbers – the nemesis of my life – and now they were to be a daily part of my life.

 Come to think of it, it’s a good thing I didn’t know about the weighing and measuring involved with the renal diet at this point. I was already swimming in that foreign sea of numbers.

 Ummm, I may have neglected to mention that according to my BMI at this time, I was obese.  I don’t know which was more of a shock – that I had such serious medical issues or that I was obese.

Trans-fatty acids would have to go, too. I readily agreed thinking it might be nice to know what I just agreed to. The doctor took a look at my eyes wandering around the office and realized I had no clue.  She explained, with the pamphlet’s help, that these are found in fast foods (Damn!  No more McDonald’s drive through breakfasts), cookies and doughnuts (I naively thought it wouldn’t be a problem to cut these out) and deep-fried food (no more calamari or onion rings?) among other things. It’s a good thing that I started cutting these foods out right away because it made adhering to the renal diet a little bit easier later on.

For those of you on the edge of your seat, between the food and exercise changes, I was able to lower the triglyceride number to within the acceptable range within the month. Unfortunately, at the same re-test my GFR was even lower, and my BUN higher – not good – yet my creatinine was within range.  It was time for a nephrologist. I also noticed I’d lost a pound without making any changes yet.  Was I that worried? It doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’d been the same exact obese weight for over two years.

Published in: on September 29, 2010 at 3:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

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