More on Food (Written at Dinner Time)

Okay, I’m back to normal.  I just looked in the mirror and my head is normal sized again.  Now I can concentrate on getting this information out there instead of bragging.

So, why is protein limited? One reason is that it is the source of a great deal of phosphorus. Another is that a number of nephrons were already destroyed before you were even diagnosed. Logically, those that remain compensate for those that are no longer viable. The remaining nephrons are doing more work than they were meant to. Just like a car that is pushed too hard, there will be constant deterioration if you don’t stop pushing. The idea is to stop pushing your remaining nephrons to work even harder in an attempt to slow down the advancement of your CKD.  Restricting protein is a way to reduce the nephrons’ work.

Your kidneys have about a million nephrons, which are those tiny structures that produce urine as part of the body’s waste removal process. Each of them has a glomerulus or network of capillaries.  This is where the blood from the renal artery is filtered.  The glomerulus is connected to a renal tubule, something so small that it is microscopic. The renal tubule is attached to a collection area.  The blood is filtered. Then the waste goes through the tubules to have water and chemicals balanced according to the body’s present needs. Finally, the waste is voided via your urine to the tune of 50 gallons of fluid filtered by the kidneys DAILY.  The renal vein uses blood vessels to take most of the blood back into the body.

I’ve found some terrific diagrams that demonstrate this, but I’m still working on locating the copyright material on each before using them.  They will be in the book and I will re-produce them here once it is clear that it is legal for me to use them.

Keep in mind that there will be times when you’ll need to eat more iron containing foods. Anemia would be one reason for doing so. There are diets for this and, to keep it simple, lists of foods and the amount of iron they contain.  You can use the library, ask your nutritionist or surf the internet for this information.  The list I downloaded contained so many foods on my no-no list that I wondered how I could bring up my iron level as the nephrologist told me to do.

I looked at my list again, more carefully this time.  Okay, there were some foods I could eat and did like on this list. I’m not much for forcing myself to eat food that is distasteful to me.  I found beef, which I like only sporadically, shrimp, oatmeal, tuna, chicken, spaghetti (although one cup of this uses up half my starch allotment per day), rice, broccoli and raisins which I consider my candy.  I would have to watch the amounts I ate daily, but I could make certain to eat some of these foods each day without thinking of them as medicinal.

When I developed a kidney stone, I was introduced to the purine diet.  I liked the thought that, yet again, I could medicate myself via food instead of drugs.  The idea was to limit the uric acid levels in your blood and urine.  This uric acid is produced by purines.  Although dietary restrictions are helpful, the body also produces purines.  The only foods I needed to avoid that I liked were mushrooms, green peas, berries, concord grapes and oatmeal. Oatmeal is a good source of iron so even if I needed more iron, it would have to come from other foods since I had to limit the purines I ingested.  So you see, it’s constantly a battle to balance whatever your body needs at the time. It might be oatmeal when you have low iron levels or no oatmeal if you have kidney stones or gout.

I follow the Northern Arizona Council on Renal Nutrition Diet that my nutritionist helped to review and edit. I also looked at several other renal diets to find commonalities so that I’m not describing one diet over all others.

Someone remarked when I mentioned I was on a renal diet that they were all overwhelming and depressing.  I’m not sure why he mentioned depressing, unless he meant the restrictions on the goodies.  As for overwhelming, yes, it was at first, but the taste buds do adapt and you can find ways to combine the food on the diet so that it is palatable. There are so many cookbooks with meals created for the renal patient.

My basic contention is that I would do whatever I could to make sure I live as well as I can for as long as I can… even if it means a restrictive diet.

Now that I’ve written about food, I think I’ll go have some of that home made chicken soup that’s full of vegetables, spices and grains I can eat.  Oh, yes, there’s chicken in it, too.

Until Friday,

Keep loving your life!

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Published in: on December 7, 2010 at 6:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

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