It’s All Connected

Bunches of people and groups have been sending me notification of how much they like the blog.  Rather than waiting for the following Monday to acknowledge their likes, I’ve been thanking them on the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/WhatHowearlyCKD) which also automatically posts it on Twitter (WhatHowEarlyCKD). So, if you’ve sent me a message saying you like the blog, see your name in print there.

I’ve been unhappy about the misspelling of names in the blogs.  What I missed is that while I was obsessing about that, I haven’t been catching editing errors.  Not good for an editor. Last week, I wrote “Mother’s Day and Mother’s Day,” instead of “Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.”  Errors happen, but I proofed the blog the usual three times!  Thanks for reader and friend, Amy Vlasity, for catching that.  As for me, I think I’ll start drinking one of my two cups of coffee a day before I start writing the blog.

A friend suffered a really bad bout of gout recently: fever, extreme pain in his knees, loss of appetite, the whole gamut.  That got me to thinking  about what it would have meant to him if he had Chronic Kidney Disease.  Researching that brought me to an English article which sited an American study: http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/news/general-news/2011/november/gout-more-common-among-people-with-chronic-kidney-disease.aspx.  I’m going to reproduce only one paragraph of the article here because it brought home exactly what gout with  chronic kidney disease can do to your body:

The findings were presented at Kidney Week 2011 by researcher Dr Erdal Sarac. He concluded: “This study reveals a high prevalence of gout in patients with CKD. Male sex, advanced age, CAD, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia  were significantly associated with gout among CKD patients.”

In case you haven’t got a copy of my book handy, I’ve included a small glossary defining the terms in that last, information packed sentence –

CAD: coronary artery disease

gout: particularly painful form of inflammatory arthritis characterized by a build-up of urate crystals in the joints, causing pain and inflammation

hyperlipidemia: high cholesterol

hypertension: high blood pressure

urate: A salt of uric acid

One disease, CKD, can be implicated for three others if you also have gout.  When I wrote about being careful what drugs your dentist gives you because you are already medically compromised by simply having CKD, I didn’t know that gout is also somehow in the mix of being medically compromised.  I have hyperlipidemia and hypertension and CKD.  True, I’m not an older male but should I become more viligant about any hints of gout?  I saw the pain my friend endured and don’t want that for myself.

I would have to be careful about my food and beverage intake. Oh, wait, I’m already doing that by following the renal diet. In both, you are urged to cut back on alcohol and drink more water instead. Purines are a problem, too, but then again I am limited to five ounces of protein (a purine food source) per day. Hmmm, avoiding sugar-sweetened drinks  may help. Say, with CKD, I have to watch my A1C (how the body handles glucose or sugar in a three month period) so that I don’t end up with diabetes.  That means I’m watching all my sugar intake already. I see fructose rich fruits can be a problem.  But I’m already restricted to only three servings of fruit a day!  Oh, here’s the biggie: lose weight.  Yep, been hearing that from my nephrologist for four years.  To sum up, by attending to my CKD on a daily basis, I’m also attempting to avoid or lessen the effects of gout.

This is getting very interesting.  I also take medication for both hypertension and hyperlipidemia.  Are they also helping me to avoid gout?  It seems to me that by treating one conditiion (or two in my case), I’m also treating my CKD and possibly preventing another.  It is all inter-related.

This is part of an article from one of DaVita’s sites.  You can read the entire article at: http://www.yourkidneys.com/kidney-education/Treatments/Living-a-full-life-after-a-chronic-kidney-disease-diagnosis/3189. Notice how much of this advice overlaps that given to a gout patient.

Depending on what stage of chronic kidney disease you’re in, your renal dietitian will adjust the amounts of protein, sodium, phosphorus and potassium in your diet. In addition, carbohydrates and fats may be controlled based on conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The CKD non-dialysis diet includes calculated amounts of high quality protein. Damaged kidneys have a difficult time getting rid of protein waste products, so cutting back on non-essential protein will put less stress on your kidneys.

Studies confirm that keeping your blood pressure in check can help slow the progression of kidney disease, especially if you have diabetes and/or proteinuria (protein in the urine). According to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) guidelines, you should keep your blood pressure at or below 130/85 if you have kidney disease, and at or below 125/75 if you also have diabetes and/or proteinuria.

Along with taking your prescribed blood pressure medications, lifestyle changes such as losing weight, exercising, meditating, eating less sodium, drinking less alcohol and quitting smoking can help lower blood pressure. Better blood pressure control helps preserve kidney function.

If you have diabetes, tighter management of your blood glucose level can help slow the progression of kidney disease. It is important to keep your hemoglobin A1c at less than 6.5% or at the level established with your doctor, and closely monitor your blood glucose to avoid hypoglycemia. Ask your doctor or diabetes educator about your diabetes treatment goals and options.

  Both my daughters and Bear are ill right now, thankfully none of their illnesses CKD related.  That doorway in the picture?  I like to think of it as the doorway to health.  It’s my way of reminding myself that you (and I) can help ourselves when we’re ill.

Until next week,

Keep living your life!

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