Kidney Class: Week 11

Welcome back to another week in the American Kidney Fund, Kidney Education Class. This is week 11, and I will be sharing slide 11, with comments from my personal experience with CKD, and my experience as a nurse.

In week 10 I discussed how the number one cause of Kidney Failure is Diabetes. This week I will discuss the #2 cause which is Hypertension, sometimes referred to as HTN, or High Blood Pressure. They all mean the same thing.

There is a short video below that explains how HTN damages the kidneys and can lead to Kidney Failure. There is no sound on this particular video. My thoughts and comments are under the slide that is the property of the AKF and provided to me as a Kidney Coach.

I encourage, you, my readers to leave me comments and or questions. That is the best way for this program to work. I do not accept spam, so please do not waste my time. If you would rather not post a public question or comment, you can email me at healthbuddymelissa@yahoo.com

As you can see in the slide HTN causes 25% of kidney failure cases. This is a large amount. Keeping your blood pressure in good control through healthy lifestyle changes, exercise, diet, and medications when needed are all vitally important. As someone with CKD, and as a nurse, I understand the importance of keeping my blood pressure under control, and so far I have been successful. However, CKD in and of itself can lead to high blood pressure. So, keeping your CKD well managed is also very important.

AKF Kidney Class Week #3

Happy Humpday! Today is week 3 of the AKF Kidney Class. I am a Kidney Coach, and each week I share another slide from the program that I would have done in person if Covid hadn’t come around. The slides are the property of AKF and I have permission to share them here on this blog. The ultimate goal is to raise awareness about Kidney Disease prevention and treatment. The writing that is on the slide is the AKF information. My thoughts, and experiences, are after the slide. I have done a lot of blog posts on the topic of CKD, so be sure and browse through the blog if you are interested.

The slide today covers the topic of what the kidneys do. They really do a lot more than you think, keep reading.

The kidneys are extraordinary organs! Two tiny bean-shaped organs do so much to maintain Homeostasis in the body. What is Homeostasis? Simply put Homeostasis means the body is in balance.

Here are some blog posts on the topics in this slide.

  1. https://healthbuddymelissa.coach/2019/03/06/how-does-salt-effect-kidneys/
  2. https://healthbuddymelissa.coach/2021/02/16/potassium-and-kidney-disease/
  3. https://healthbuddymelissa.coach/2021/03/09/does-blood-pressure-cause-kidney-disease-or-does-kidney-disease-cause-high-blood-pressure/
  4. https://healthbuddymelissa.coach/2019/02/22/foodie-friday-calcium/ I have not covered the bone disease issue as much as I could have on this blog. It is complicated, and something I need to look into.
  5. https://healthbuddymelissa.coach/?s=anemia&submit= There are several good posts on the topic of Anemia and CKD on this blog, so I just shared the results page.

Let me know what you think. Please ask questions in the comments or you can email them to me at melissa@healthybuddymelissa.coach

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How Much Salt Does the Body Need to Function Normally?

Hello, and happy Thursday! If you read this blog, then you know I talk a lot about salt. I talk about salt when I talk about the kidneys, and I talk about salt when I talk about blood pressure. But, how much salt does the body actually need to function normally. Yes, you are reading that correctly. The human body needs salt to function! I usually say that right around a 2GM Sodium Diet, is probably good for most people. But, am I correct? I found a video that explains it quite well, and better than me. It is short, so be sure and watch it and see if my 2 GM, or 2,000 mg is a good amount, or not. I picked two posts that I have done in the past on this topic. You can read them here, and here. There are certainly many others, and you can find them in my archives.

I like this lady because she explains things in a simple, easy to understand way. She is a Kidney Dietitian, and that is super important when getting information about diet and Kidney Disease.

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My 3 favorite mindfulness techniques that may help lower blood pressure

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had an awesome weekend. I was able to work, technically light duty because I was not allowed to lift or pull, but I was grateful to work. I think sometimes we take for granted the importance of work and how it plays into our mindset. That doesn’t mean I think people should work themselves to death, just that it does have purpose other than to make money. This post may contain affiliate links.

This whole month I have been discussing Blood Pressure Awareness. You can see all of the posts in the series in the archives. As you may know, if you read here a lot, I have completed my Mindfulness Certificate course. I think people interpret Mindfulness in different ways and that is fine. Mindfulness is being in the present, being aware of your surroundings and how you feel about your surroundings. It is not an escape, or ignoring of what is going on around you. It is a way to become stronger, and more resilient in dealing with negative experiences and the way you react to them. It can help you relieve Stress and relax.

There was a study done that shows that Mindfulness may be able to help lower blood pressure or avoid it. Remember, that Stress is a huge driver of blood pressure. So, it would make sense that learning Mindfulness, may help lower or even prevent High Blood Pressure. As I always say, please do not ever stop taking medication on the advice of someone online. Talk to your doctor that you would like to try Mindfulness to see if it can help you. Hopefully your doctor will say, awesome and lets monitor you while you do it to see if it helps or not.

There are many different Mindfulness techniques. A lot of people use Meditation. But, to me Meditation is more about removing yourself from your thoughts and feelings, not exploring or noticing them. Don’t get me wrong Meditation super awesome and I love it, but just not really Mindful to me. A lot of people like controlled breathing patterns. This is also an awesome technique and is particularly helpful when the moment can not be escaped or left for a few minutes. Such as excusing yourself to take a few minutes to reflect and gather your thoughts. Counting to 5 before you speak so you can think of a good response instead of a hasty one is another great technique. You can read the article here.

So, what are my 3 favorite techniques for minding my emotions and being in the present moment?

  1. Mindful Meditation. To me Mindful Meditation is a type of self reflection of my day or how I reacted to certain circumstances. Since I tend to Ruminate, or go over things again and again, especially when it is time for sleep, Mindful Meditation helps me to finalize all my thoughts on the day so I can fall asleep. There are obviously several ways that you can do this. My favorite way is to hook up my Bluetooth headphones and play the video below on low, while wearing this eye warming mask. My son gave me money for Mother’s Day and I bought one. It isn’t that exact brand but pretty much the same. The mask stays warm for exactly 20 minutes, and during that 20 minutes I reflect on the events of the day, noticing how I reacted to those events. If I think I could have had a better reaction I make a note of that in my mind so hopefully the next time I will remember to notice how I am feeling and better control the situation. I find this technique not only helpful for me to fall asleep faster but to learn more about myself and the ways that I respond to situations. If you don’t like the idea of the eye mask, using a journal to reflect on your day is another option. Not only do I fall asleep faster, but the warming mask also helps my dry eyes. You can read about my dry eye saga, here.
  2. Body Scans. Body scanning is a very easy technique to learn. You can do it in a restroom, or just sitting quietly and no one will even know you are doing it. I use Self Reiki for my body scan. I can’t really do it in public, because people will definitely notice. But, I could do it in a restroom or quiet office space. This is especially helpful if you are noticing that you are having a negative response to a situation, or feeling stressed. You are in the present moment and noticing how you are feeling. You may not like the feeling, body scanning may help to reduced that stressor and eliminate it.
  3. Mindful Exercise. This will be different for everyone. Whatever type of exercise and music format will allow you to reflect on your emotions related to situations is what you are looking for. For me, and I have talked about this probably 100 times, walking in nature is my thing. Even if I am on the treadmill I tend to put on nature sounds while I walk. It allows my mind to wander and concentrate on situations, reactions and how I can reduce that stressor thereby possibly reducing blood pressure. Yoga, Pilates, Kickboxing perhaps, or jumping around to Hard Rock may be more your thing. Whatever allows you to be present in a moment, evaluate it, feel it, and then change it if need be. Mindfulness is not always about changing how you behave in a situation. Through your reflection you may find that you behaved just fine and you are OK with it. So, store it and let it be.

No matter which Mindfulness topic you may want to try, it is important to use your senses to notice your surroundings. Touch, Smell, Sight, Sound, and Taste are the 5 senses. Try to notice them in your everyday life it will help you to become more mindfully aware.

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If you would like to learn more about Mindfulness and how it can help you in your every day life, please use the contact form at the end of this post to message me with your questions. If you are interested in a Distance Reiki session, a 20 minute session is 50 dollars. Use the contact form to message me for details.

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how to lower high blood pressure

Hello, and welcome back to all of my wonderful readers. Since typing and using a mouse are still quite painful on my right arm, this will be a quick post. A lot of the material in the video I have covered in previous posts anyhow. You can browse through the archives to learn more. This post may contain affiliate links.

Tomorrow I am going to try to do a post on this horrible shoulder injury I have, and some of my frustrations with doctors and my lack of proper pain therapy. Now I know I have CKD and of course I don’t want to take something that will damage my kidneys. But, I also still need to be able to work and I don’t even need to be pain free, just somewhat comfortable. One of the things I will be discussing related to my pain, is CBD Oil. I have been thinking about this for a while, but it has never come up in conversations with my doctors. Now it feels like a must. More on that topic tomorrow and what literature says about CBD, pain, and CKD.

My blood pressure has been kind of high for me lately. It seems when I started increasing the intensity of my workouts that is when I noticed the difference. I am not entirely sure why this would be, but I did receive clearance from my Kidney Doctor to do so. I think I am going to return to just the fat burning zone and see if the BP comes down then I will know what the trigger was. If you are on my mailing list then you know I had reached my goal of running 1.5 miles in 15 minutes. I had continued to do that, but now I am rethinking it.

Admittedly I do not want to have to take BP medications, but it always sits in the back of my head. I also don’t want to have a Heart Attack or Stroke. Since my kidney function improved back to stage 2 the last set of blood work, I am not thinking kidney function is the issue. I have to have a repeat Lipid Panel tomorrow, as well as a BMP. While not a full Renal Panel it will have my BUN and Creatinine on it.

The lady doctor in the video does mention Stress relief as a way to reduce blood pressure. However, she does not mention pain. Trust me pain is a stressor and not having proper pain management will only make that stressor worse. It is an excellent video and I encourage you to watch it. Note in the second video that it states your Pharmacist can actually check your blood pressure for you.

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Calf exercises 2 and 3 for weeks 2 and 3

Hello all my fabulous readers! I am still nursing this shoulder injury, but at least today I can type. I did not realize that I did not share move 2 for week 2 of the May Health Challenge which is to strengthen the calfs. So, this week I am posting both exercise 2 and 3. These exercises have helped me immensely on my run days. If you remember I am prone to shin splint type pains and cramping in the calf area when running. Only one day did I still have cramping and I am not sure why. I do the exercise before running on the treadmill. This post may contain affiliate links.

Are you working on your calfs? Leave me a comment and let me know how it is going.

So, move two is toe raises. I do them with the seated calf raises and then I do pulses of just toe raises. This is a fabulous exercise for targeting the Soleus muscle which is my main nemesis when running.

Exercise 3 is walking on the tiptoes. I used to work a lady that had the hottest legs ever. She wore high heels everywhere, except to work of course. Nurses don’t generally work in high heels, lol. If you would rather wear high heels then walk on your tippy toes, that would work too.

Don’t forget to check out my new 30 day coaching plan. If you are on my Mailchimp mailing list you can claim a free 60 minute coaching session related to Blood Pressure. If you are not yet on my mailing list sign up below and you too can claim a free session. Find a sponsor for your web siteGet paid for your great content. shareasale.com.

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5 Reasons why you should care about your blood Pressure!

What are they? Your brain, heart, eyes, kidneys, and penis. Yep, you read that right! Those are 5 perfect reasons to care about your Blood Pressure. This post may contain affiliate links.

May is Blood Pressure Awareness month here on Health Buddy Melissa. All month I am sharing posts on the topic of Blood Pressure. Most people don’t even know they have high Blood Pressure because they never have it checked, or don’t see a doctor to have it checked.

How does Blood Pressure affect these 5 organs. Below is a short description, then you will find several videos that explain it in visual form.

The brain: High Blood Pressure is a risk factor for Vascular Dementia, and Stroke. Trust me you don’t want either of these if you can avoid it.

The heart: Not only can High Blood Pressure lead to Heart Disease, but also Heart Attack. Heart disease can be a very debilitating disorder, and Heart Attack is the most likely end result of Heart Disease if it is left untreated. Blood pressure is not the only risk factor for Heart Disease.

The eyes: Did you know you can have a Stroke in your eyes? Yep, it is true. Eye doctors may be able to detect High Blood Pressure early if you see an eye doctor regularly. Retinal damage, eye stroke, vision loss, plus other diseases of the eye can be related to High Blood Pressure.

The kidneys: As someone with CKD I have done a whole host of posts on Blood Pressure and the kidneys. Here are some for you to review. https://healthbuddymelissa.coach/2021/03/09/does-blood-pressure-cause-kidney-disease-or-does-kidney-disease-cause-high-blood-pressure/, https://healthbuddymelissa.coach/2021/04/17/are-you-stressing-your-kidneys-out/,

The Penis: For all you men out there your plumbing won’t work right if you have High Blood Pressure. As a matter of fact for men Erectile Dysfunction is an early sign that you might have a blood pressure issue. So see your doctor asap!

For all of these reasons everyone should have their blood pressure checked at least monthly. It doesn’t matter if you are old or young, either. Statistics show that younger people are getting High Blood Pressure much earlier.

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High blood pressure free coaching giveaway!

Hello, and Happy Tuesday! For the month of May I decided to focus on High Blood Pressure as my topic for my free coaching session giveaway. 10 lucky people will receive a 60 minute coaching session. This will not include the free health assessment and review, that is already free. Keep reading to learn how to claim yours.

Do you have High Blood Pressure, or want to prevent getting High Blood Pressure? Did you know that in 2020 was a top Health search topic? Coronavirus was obviously number 1 and probably still is. High Blood Pressure is very common. According to the CDC about 45% of Americans have High Blood Pressure which means a blood pressure of 130/80 or higher, and or taking medications to control blood pressure. Of those people only 25% have their blood pressure well controlled. Having High Blood Pressure can be a risk factor for many other chronic diseases. All month I will focus on this topic in various blog posts.

If you would like a free one on one coaching session to discuss blood pressure, follow the steps below. You do not have to have High Blood Pressure, but you do have to want to learn how to prevent it.

  1. Sign up for my Mailchimp mailing list below.
  2. Once you are signed up for my mailing list, and have received my welcome newsletter, simply message me via that newsletter, it will either go right to my Mailchimp email, or my Google email, and put blood pressure as the topic. Within 24 hours of receiving the email I will contact you via your email to see when you would like to receive the free health intake assessment. Once you have completed that and returned it to me we can make an appt for your free session. I am trying to make a sign up form that I can add right to my newsletter. If you see it, use it, otherwise follow the steps above.
  3. Once you have completed your intake assessment and are ready for your free session, we will set up a time and date that works for both of us. You do not have to do it in May, and the special runs until May 31, or until 10 people have claimed the free session.
  4. If you have any questions please feel free to use the contact form below to message me. Using the contact form below will not sign you up for a free session, it is for general questions only. You must join my Mailchimp mailing list to qualify for the freebie.

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Low Protein Vegetarian Mac n Cheese

Updated 5/8/2021 We are big Macaroni and Cheese lovers, at my house.  Because of my CKD, this is a hard meal to enjoy.  The cheese adds Protein, Sodium, and Phosphorus in pretty large amounts.  Plus the saturated fats.  So, I came up with my own version of Macaroni and Cheese, and I love it.  No one else does, but that is Ok.  The graphic below is for 1 serving.  This dish is also low in Phosphorus about 100 grams, but that may depend on different varieties of the items used.  I use Eat this Much to estimate Phosphorus levels in food.  If you use frozen, or fresh sweet potatoes, the Sodium levels are also low.  Canned sweet potatoes have a lot of sodium, rinsing them can help.  Potassium will be high due to the Sweet Potatoes, so be careful if you are watching Potassium levels.   You could half the Sweet Potatoes.  It is also low fat, and you could use a different kind of fat instead of butter to improve that even more.  It is, however, going to be higher in Carbs.  If you have a set Carb level due to Diabetes be sure and figure up the totals.  It is low in sugar, though.  Enjoy, and let me know if you tried it. The recipe is the image below. Remember all nutrition info is an estimate and you have to tailor your needs to your nutrition.

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pasta

Eat Beets For A Better Memory!

This is an older post, that was updated on 9/27/2021/ Did you know Beets are good for  you?  Doesn’t matter that they taste a lot like dirt, they are really good for your brain.  Taking care of your brain can help your memory. Helping your memory may help prevent Dementia, and or Alzheimer’s.

No one at my house will touch beets, except me.  I am reading a book on juicing, and I am supposed to be adding beets to my smoothie everyday.  Unfortunately, I have not convinced myself to do so, yet.  I have seen the commercials for beet powder, instead of grinding up a beet, and thought maybe I would try some of that.  Maybe it doesn’t taste like dirt.  I haven’t actually bought any  yet, but if you have tried it let me know if it tastes like dirt. 

Since, I have CKD, and many who read this may as well, it is important that I tell you about some of the nutrition of beets.  Beets have no fat, well that is awesome.  They do however have a bit of Sodium, and Potassium.  1 cup of beets has 106mg of Sodium, and 442 mg of Potassium.  They are a good source of Iron, and Fiber though, also.  I use the website, or app, Eat This Much, to find out how much Phosphorus is in foods.  Beets have about 28mg per 1 cup.  That is actually pretty good.  Now the powdered beets, I don’t know the nutrition could be different.  So, make sure you are reading the label to make sure it meets your intake requirements.  I have seen ads proclaiming beets as a Super Food.

Why are beets good for the brain?  Beets are high in Antioxidants, which fight cancer, and Nitrates. Nitrates help increase blood flow to the brain.  Increased blood flow will help you to think more clearly, and help with attention span.  Beets are low in carbs, but they may help increase exercise performance. Watch the short video to learn more about beets.

Are beets prevalent where you live?  Do you like beets? Please share a delicious recipe for beets, or how you add them to smoothies. I get a lot of readers from other countries, so I am curious as to their local food sources.  If you wouldn’t mind leaving me a comment, I would appreciate it.

If you would like to learn more about how to improve your memory, or meet your health goals, use the contact form below to message me for a free health coaching assessment.

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