Good Bye To 2012 And Its Obesity

Today is the last day of 2012.  That means you can start your new year’s resolutions tomorrow.  When you’re done laughing, think about it.  We new-years-eve-celebrations-live-streammake resolutions intending to keep them – at least I do – but something happens right about March something or other.  We tend to forget what they are.

We could look at it another way.  Pollyanna over here likes this way better.  What has become part of your life as a former new year’s resolution?  For me, it’s the renal diet and exercise.  I actually feel bad when I can’t exercise now.

There’s hope for me in the form of a possible cortisone injection to lubricate that hip that has eroded so much that it is bone on bone. I know you were really worried about that [she wrote tongue in cheek].

Sometimes we need motivation to even think of resolutions.  Jody Charnow provided that for me in the Dec. 26th issue of Renal and Urology News:

 

Overweight, Obesity Raise Kidney Disease Risk

A large study conducted in Thailand corroborates previous findings showing that overweight and obesity are associated with an increased likelihood of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Subjects with CKD had a significantly higher mean BMI than those without CKD (25.36 vs. 24.04), as well as a significantly higher prevalence of abdominal obesity (35.7% vs. 25.3%). The investigators defined abdominal obesity as a waist circumference of 90 cm (That’s 35 7/16 inches for the math challenged like me) or greater for men and greater than 80 cm (This one is about 31 and a half inches) for women.

You can read the rest of the article at http://www.renalandurologynews.com/overweight-obesity-raise-kidney-disease-risk/article/273848/#

IMAG0093My poor dog, Bella, keeps waiting for me to walk with her.  Can’t be done until the hip is taken care of.  Believe me, I tried.  But it’s not just Bella’s disappointment, it’s mine too.  I saw the pictures from Christmas Eve.  Not good, boys and girls.  How am I going to get my BMI under control without exercise?

Just in case you don’t remember, BMI means Body Mass Index or a way of measuring the fat content of your body based on your height and weight.  If you have the fortitude, you can make use of the BMI calculator at http://nhlbisupport.com/bmi/  I just did and I can tell you this is not for the faint of heart. I was a thinner young woman.  I can even prove it!  early headshots (Pardon the cigarette pix.  This was a long, long time ago.) My goal is to lose weight and be healthier.  This picture is another motivation (thank you for finding it, Nima), even though I realize my thinner 65 year old body is not going to look anything like my thinner 25 year old body.

So why all the whining about not being able to exercise, you ask.  Read that article excerpt again.  I already have stage 3 Chronic Kidney Disease.  How much worse do you think a lack of exercise – which leads to weight gain – is going to make my ckd?  Technically (I just had to qualify that), I already am obese.  I’m not that vain, but I want to stay at stage 3 for the rest of my life and avoid dialysis completely.  This is not the way to do it.

Let’s try this another way – for those of you who can walk – untreated hypertension (high blood pressure) may also be one of the causes of ckd.  According to http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/easy-steps-reduce-blood-pressure-article-1.1226714, exercise can lower your blood pressure.  We already know that obesity is another possible cause of ckd.  Here’s the good part: while you’re walking to lower your blood pressure, you’re also exercising which means you’re losing weight if you’re consistent enough. Wow!  Two for one here!

I found surprising information in that article.  Who knew that fructose raises your blood pressure?  The only time I’d heard it mentioned as a medical deficit is at the immunologist’s. According to http://www.immunologist.com, an immunologist is, “A specialist concentrating on allergic diseases and those disease processes that involve the immune system.”  She had warned me that fructose should be avoided if you have allergies.

Potassium may also be a key in lowering your blood pressure.  I’ve been draining my canned fruit and only occasionally having a fresh (oh, all right, HALF a fresh) banana to control my potassium intake.  Guess what.  My blood pressure has gone up.  Maybe I shouldn’t be that surprised.

Oh no! The article also suggests losing weight.  Looks like it always comes back to the same thing.  A thinner body is a healthier body as long as we don’t go past thinner to obscenely thin.

Book CoverAh, I forgot to mention other new year’s resolutions that have become part of my life.  I blog about ckd every week.  This started out as a way to publicize What Is It And How Did I Get It? Early Stage Chronic Kidney Disease (Amazon.com and B&N.com – print and digital), but soon took on a life of its own. Another new year’s resolution that has become a way of life is posting some ckd related news on the facebook page for the book (https://www.facebook.com/WhatHowearlyCKD).  Say, that’s not bad for new year’s resolutions.

You know how some people announce the addition of grand-children?  I do believe we’re going to be announcing our new grand-animals for quite a while before we get to grand-children. Here’s the newest, as yet unnamed, addition to the family, Lara’s new pal. Each of my biological daughters has a cat and my other step-daughter has both a dog and a cat. We are a pet loving family.Lara and Dog

Until next YEAR,

Keep living your life.

How Sweet It Is… Or Is It?

Thanksgiving is over and I thought I’d learn from that not so successful experience (as far as energy and proper eating only – it was a delicious experience having my step-daughter to ourselves), but I’m not so sure I have.  Hence, excerpts from two helpful articles.  When I scan the internet for articles to present on the blog, I usually end up finding some that help me with my own difficult areas.  Odd how the universe takes care of you, isn’t it?  I raised my children to believe that things happen for a reason whether we know the reason or not, and am so gratified to hear them remind me of that time after time.  You’ll understand as you read today’s blog.

Fructose Raises Risk for Kidney Disease, Hypertension

By David Liu, Ph.D.

 Saturday, Nov 19, 2011 (foodconsumer.org) — Eating too much fructose may cause a series of diseases including fatty liver, insulin resistance or diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension and kidney disease, according to a report in the Nov 2011 issue of International Journal of Nephrology. In the report, Marek Kretowicz of Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun Porland and colleagues reviewed 62 studies and concluded that studies suggest that excessive fructose intake may be one of the causes for the current epidemic of obesity, diabetes and cardiorenal disease. Fructose is a monosaccharide present in sucrose (beet sugar, cane sugar etc), high fructose corn syrup (hfcs), honey and fruits.
 
The researchers cited studies as suggesting that not all fructose sources are the same.  Not all sources of fructose cause diabetes, kidney disease and cardiovascular disease. The researchers said natural sources of fructose such as fruits are rich in beneficial nutrients like antioxidants, vitamin C or ascorbic acid, polyphenols, potassium, and fiber that may counter the adverse effect of fructose. Previous studies found fructose intake was not correlated with increased risk of high blood pressure or hypertension in a population in which much of the fructose intake came from fruits.  However, the association was found significant when the fructose from fruits was excluded. According to the report, fructose can cause fatty liver and glycogen accumulation, insulin resistance and islet dysfunction, obesity, hypertension and vascular disease, and kidney disease.  {Me:  Get the message?  Fruit, not candy or cakes.  Now where have I heard that before?}
 
You can find the article at: http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Nutrition/Food/fructose_kidney_disease_diabetes_hypertension_1119110936.html
 
The following is an excerpt, but it just might be worth your while to read the entire article at: http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2011/11/living-chronic-illness-holiday-season.html?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed  I know a great deal of my problem with celebrations is that, not only do others not understand that I don’t have the energy I used to (say, isn’t that true of a great many people who are not ill, simply aging?), but half the time I don’t, so the day of the dinner, party, etc. comes and I’m too tired from the preparations to enjoy it.  I’ve got to grow up and stop this ridiculous cycle.  Thank you, Toni.
 

Living with chronic illness during the holiday season

….Bottom line, suffering from a chronic condition can be an ongoing crisis—for you and for those you’re close to. That crisis can come to a head during the holidays when people’s expectations of one another are high and when stress levels for everyone are likely to be off the charts for any number of reasons—health, financial, relationship issues. ….when the holidays arrive, you’re suddenly thrust into the middle of a lively and chaotic social scene where you’re expected to participate in a range of activities, often for days in a row. A bit of advance warning to loved-ones can go a long way toward minimizing stress levels over unrealistic expectations….If you’re one of the many people with chronic health problems who don’t look sick, the initiative is with you to make your condition visible. Here are some suggestions for helping loved-ones understand what your life is like and for giving them a heads-up on what to expect from you during the holidays.

Share information with them from the Internet or from books

Often the best way to educate loved-ones about chronic pain and illness is to use a neutral source because it takes the emotional impact out of the communication….. Print out select pages or forward a few links to family and close friends. Alternatively, if you have a book about your condition {like mine!}, photocopy the pages that cover what you’d like them to know about you. In your accompanying note, keep it “light”—you could joke that “there won’t be a test.” But also make it clear that this favor you’re asking is important to you.

Write a letter

….Without complaining, express how difficult it’s been for you to adjust to this unexpected change in your life and how you wish you could be as active as you once were during the holidays….I would end by telling them what to expect from you during the holidays—that you may have to skip some events, that you may have to excuse yourself right after eating to go lie down, that you may have to come late and leave early. In my experience, spelling out my limitations ahead of time is helpful not just to others, but to me, because I find it much easier to exercise the self-discipline it takes to excuse myself from a room full of people if I know that at least some of them are already expecting it….

Find that ONE ally and enlist his or her help

….It’s so helpful for me to be “prompted” by my ally because, when I start to overdo things, adrenaline kicks in which fools me into thinking I’m doing fine. But using adrenaline to get by just sets me up for a bad crash later on. Your ally may be a close friend or family member who’s just waiting for you to enlist his or her help. Think long and hard before you decide there’s no such person in your life.

In the end, you may have to recognize that some loved-ones may never accept your limitations

….Just as you can’t force people to love you, you can’t force people to accept you. But getting angry at them just exacerbates your own symptoms. That’s why it’s important to protect yourself from allowing their lack of understanding to continually upset you. Think of it as protecting yourself from another chronic condition: chronic anger….

Thank you to both contributing authors for helping me understand my life at this time of the year.

Shifting gears here, all.  Libre (see the blog roll) has asked me to host a tweet chat on January 9th from 8-9 p.m. EST. I’ll throw out some topics and you tweet your feelings or thoughts about them.  This is a first for me, so thank you Mandy from Libre for making certain my other foot followed me into the 21st century.  But wait!  That’s not all! (Do I sound like 3 a.m. tv commercials?), there have been book signings in the east valley and the west valley – locals will understand I mean the Valley of the Sun or Phoenix and the surrounding areads, everyone needs to make plane reservations – but not in the south valley.  That will soon be remedied: I’ll be signing at Bookmans, 1056 S. Country Club Dr., Mesa on January 14th from 1-3.

Have a wonderful holiday, whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah (tonight is the first candle lighting), Kwaaza or another I haven’t discovered yet.  How incredible it is that it’s already this time of year.

Until next week,

Keep living your life!