Kidney Class Week #13

Hello, and welcome back! Have you been following along? I missed last week because we had family in from out of state and I was at the beach. You can find all previous weeks in the archives. This Kidney Class is the property of the American Kidney Fund, for which I am a volunteer Kidney Coach. Before Covid, I would present the whole class in group sessions in person. I was given permission to share the information here on this blog with my life experience, as someone with CKD, and my nursing background. Just like I would in person. Plus, now it is always here, and anyone can read it for years to come, forever even. I encourage you to ask me questions in the comments, or if you would rather it be private you can email me at healthbuddymelissa@healthbuddymelissa

This week for slide #13 is still talking about blood pressure and kidney disease. The last class was more about how high blood pressure can cause kidney disease, whereas this week it is about how kidney disease can actually cause high blood pressure. The kidneys are complicated organs and do way more than most people realize. One of the functions of the kidneys is to regulate blood pressure by reabsorbing sodium, producing renin, and managing water in the body.

Personally, I am right at the cusp of being considered high blood pressure. This is strange because my kidneys have improved back to stage 2. However, I may be consuming more salt than I should, and I know I don’t drink enough when I am at work. That is one of the reasons I refuse to work full time is because I can’t just stop and constantly drink water. I can’t have water at my med cart in the facility I currently work, so it just is not healthy for me. I know when I am dehydrated because I will get a headache, and almost every time I work I get a headache. I also get cloudy urine, a sure sign of dehydration. If you have CKD or want to reduce your risk of getting it, keeping your blood pressure in good control is vital. I have a whole page of stuff just about blood pressure. You can read them here. There are probably others in the archives too.

Read the slide below, leave me a comment with your questions, and then check out this PubMed article on the topic of high blood pressure caused by CKD.

Only these slides are the property of AKF. All other posts on this blog, are mine unless otherwise stated.

Disclaimer

Kidney Class Week #12

Happy Thursday! I am a day late and a dollar short again this week, lol. I guess it doesn’t matter which day I post these on, but I do try to stay consistent for my readers.

This week we are on slide #12 which has to do with HTN in relation to Kidney Disease. This slide is very self-explanatory, and if you want some videos and other information, the past two weeks also were about this topic. I have tons of posts in my archives on the topic of blood pressure, so you can browse there as well. High Blood Pressure is the #2 cause for Kidney Failure, right behind Diabetes at #1. It is imperative that you monitor your blood pressure routinely, even if you don’t have the condition. Catching and treating it early will help prevent long-term effects. I recommend you learn to take your own blood pressure with a manual cuff, or someone in your family, if you have CKD, already. If you can’t technology has improved the electronic monitors greatly. Just be sure and follow the instructions in the packet, and get a cuff size appropriate for the size of your arm. Keep a log of your blood pressure and share it with your doctor, whether you visit yearly, monthly, or weekly.

I am an AKF Kidney Coach. These slides are theirs. As a Kidney Coach I run the class, take comments, and answer questions based on their program, my experience with CKD, and my experience as a nurse. This is not medical advice nor should it be taken as such. It is informative and educational. This applies only to my Kidney Coach status with them. All other blog posts are mine and have nothing to do with AKF Kidney Coach classes.

Please leave me a comment if you have CKD, love someone who has CKD, have High Blood Pressure, or just have questions about the topic. I will answer all valid questions, and spam is deleted. If you would rather not make public comments, you can use the contact form below to send me an email and I will answer you there.

Scroll down to read this week’s slide.

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.

Kidney Class Week #10- How To Prevent Diabetic Kidney Disease

Hello, and welcome back to week 10 of the AKF Kidney Classes. I can’t believe we are on week 10 already. Please, if you have not read the other posts, from the beginning, please go back and read them. You will find them in the archives under the CKD category. My name is Melissa and I am a Health Coach and a volunteer AKF Kidney Coach. Since covid, I have not attempted to do these in person, and it was approved for me to share the slides and information here on my blog, just like I would if it was in person. By doing a slide each week it gives more time for people to read and ask questions. These posts will always be here, for years even. Please leave me comments, or ask me questions and I will answer, except spam I will not answer spam. I also have CKD and my kidney journey has brought me back to hovering right at stage 2. I am passionate about helping people to learn how to keep their kidneys healthy both before and after they have CKD. I love it when I find an AKF video on the topic I will be discussing. Their webinars are kind of boring, I will admit, but they are chock full of good information. If you have kidney disease, cares for someone with kidney disease, or want to prevent kidney disease these classes are for you. Each week I share another slide in the class series, there are 39 I think altogether, I give my perspective as someone who has CKD, and then I share my medical experience as a nurse. The slides belong to the AKF and please do not copy or share them outside of sharing this blog post.

March is National Kidney Month be sure and support the American Kidney Fund as a leading organization in the support of people with kidney disease.

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease by 40%. Learning to either prevent Diabetes or keep your blood sugar under good control once you have Diabetes is vital to keeping your kidneys healthy. Please read the slide below, and then watch the webinar. I do not have Diabetes, but it runs in my family, so I am always alert to trying to keep it at bay. I am tested at least twice a year to be sure my blood sugar levels are normal. I take care of lots of patients with Diabetes and while it is a very hard disease to live with it is very manageable. When you have blood sugar spikes and your body does not produce enough insulin, or you are insulin resistant, the tiny nephrons in your kidneys become clogged and damaged and the nephron can die. This leads to the kidneys not being able to filter the waste out of your blood and a backup of waste occurs because these tiny nephrons are filters. As the waste backs up and can not be removed from your body you will have all kinds of unpleasant symptoms and complications.

Kidney Class Week #9. How Does Diabetes Cause Kidney Disease?

Hello, and welcome back to week #9 of the AKF Kidney Education Class. I am a volunteer Kidney Coach and each week I share one slide from the class, with my own experience with CKD, thoughts, and experience as a nurse sprinkled in. Before Covid I would do this class in person, now I have decided to upload the slides, and allow people to ask questions and leave comments. As long as this blog is here these posts can remain for many years. If the AKF gives any updates to the slides, I will update them.

This slide, see it below, along with a video that explains it, even more, discusses how Diabetes causes kidney disease. Almost 50% of all kidney failure cases are caused by Diabetes., and Diabetes is the leading cause of Kidney Disease. Controlling your blood sugar is the best thing you can do for yourself if you want to avoid kidney failure, and you have Diabetes.

I don’t have Diabetes, but it does run on my father’s side of the family. I am checked for Diabetes at least yearly. So, far I have had no issues with that. I try to follow a low-carb diet, about 100-150 grams of carbs per day because I don’t want to get Diabetes, either.

Please check out the other weeks in this series, there are a lot more to come. I generally post them every Wednesday. Feel free to leave me comments and questions. I will allow all legitimate comments and questions. I will not allow spam.

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The Many Faces Of Kidney Disease!

Good morning! Have you been following along each week in my Kidney Classes? I am an AKF Kidney Coach and each week I share another slide in their kidney education program. I have not done an in-person class since before Covid. This week I am sharing two slides #7 and #8 because just sharing #7 would make no sense.

You will notice in the short video below that there are many faces of kidney disease. Not just old people get kidney disease and it is becoming more prevalent in younger people.

Read each slide, below, and then I will give my thoughts, and experiences after. These slides are from the AKF Kidney Education Class. I share each slide and then talk about my experience with CKD, and my thoughts as a nurse. I am an AKF Kidney Coach. I had to take their training class and pass their exam to be able to present this information to my readers. This is a complete volunteer position. Other posts on this blog are not AKF posts and are through my Health Coaching service.

My face is one of the many faces of Kidney Disease! In the video, they discuss 3 causes of Kidney Disease, Nephrotic Syndrome, FSGS, and kidney stones. But, there are many causes of Kidney Disease and two are the biggest High Blood Pressure, and Diabetes. Keep reading!

Playing to win to beat Kidney Disease through education, prevention, and better screening. But, who gets Kidney Disease?

Anybody can get Kidney Disease, at any age. It is true that as we age our kidneys begin to weaken, just like the rest of the aging body. So, being over 60 is a natural risk factor for Kidney Disease. But, having Diabetes and or High Blood Pressure are the two biggest risk factors for getting Kidney Disease. If you have Heart Disease you are also at a higher risk of getting Kidney Disease. Some cases are genetic, or can even be caused by infection, such as Covid with earlier strains that actually attack the kidneys. Dehydration, Anemia, and certain metabolic disorders can also possibly lead to Kidney Disease. There are studies being done on the effects of certain diets and foods and how they may damage the kidneys. It is already established that high salt content in the foods we eat, can lead to issues with kidney health, as well as a high-fat diet. Certain races of people are also at higher risk. Come back next week to continue the conversation.

Disclaimer

Kidney Class: Week 4

Hello, again, and Happy Wednesday! Of all the things I will discuss in the AKF Kidney Class, this is the one thing that gets under my skin. I don’t wholly agree with the premise that the kidneys can not heal. Read the slide, it is a short one, and then read my thoughts below.

You see they repeatedly make the point that CKD can not be reversed and there is no cure, and they won’t get better. Why does that bother me? First off, when you take away someone’s hope for a possible recovery they will just give up and not try as hard as they may if they had some hope. Now, I don’t believe in false hope, either, but why does everything have to wait for dialysis and you probably won’t get better. There are cases of kidneys healing, not a lot, but they exist. It is rare, I will admit, but what did the people with healing kidneys do differently? Was it diet, lifestyle, exercise, risk management to prevent further injury to the kidneys? I see all of the time on Facebook a topic about the things that injure the kidneys and people just scoff at it, despite it being true. Then, I see whacked-out quick-fix schemes for the kidneys that people sign up for in droves. The truth is somewhere in all of that minutia. There is no quick fix to heal CKD. If it can be healed or improved, it is through hard work and dedication through education, advocacy, better food choices and I am talking about the hard stuff like giving up added sugar, an exercise regime that is safe and healthy for CKD, weight management, no smoking, no alcohol, no HFCS, more organic and affordable food options, make the food industry stop poisoning people, only taking medications that don’t harm the kidneys, and I could go on, but I won’t.

I have said this before, and I will say it a million more times if I need to, do not let anyone steal your hope. Talk to your doctor, and your health team, and insist they teach you, and you be willing to learn to make the changes they recommend that can lead to an improved CKD. Be an advocate for yourself, and for others to prevent CKD in future generations.

It is very true as we age, the kidneys, just like any other human body part naturally will have some decline, that doesn’t mean we have to be relegated to chronic illness and suffering.

Please leave your thoughts in the comments. I answer all legitimate questions and statements. I do not allow spam, so don’t bother.

I live and I thrive with CKD. So can you!

Disclaimer

I am an American Kidney Fund Coach. I have been given the OK to share their education slides on this blog. I give my thoughts, opinions, and experiences independent of their information. They in no way are saying my opinions are facts. Please, always research the information you read on the internet. There are good sources and bad sources of information.

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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Pantry Food Challenge With CKD and My Very Small Haul

Welcome to another Healthy tip on Tuesday! Today, my healthy tip, especially if you are doing a food pantry challenge, is to do an inventory of your pantry. We seriously have way more food than I even thought we did. We did a complete inventory yesterday. I am almost embarrassed to say, but I have purchased so many protein bars that I absolutely don’t love, but now I have to eat them. My husband will eat some, I hope. Protein bars are very expensive and I absolutely refuse to waste them. They are convenient for when I work my long 12 hour days, but I just don’t really care for them. From a CKD perspective please be careful. Some of these protein bars can have 30% of your RDA for phosphorus. I made a Google document for my whole pantry supply and each time we use something I will change the count. I was doing this last summer, but then the 12-hour shifts came and I got out of doing it. The point of a pantry challenge is to have no waste and to save money.

Last week I was able to save 57 dollars by shopping in my pantry. For me, my pantry is cupboards and a freezer. The fresh stuff of course I use up, but it isn’t shelf stable. That 57 dollars saved will go to dog training lessons for my crazy dog, or for me, whatever perspective you think about it. The budget is 21 dollars per person, per week. So, for a family of three, that is 63 dollars a week. It is for food items only. The real challenge is to see if shelf-stable foods can be both affordable and healthy choices for someone living with CKD. So far I have still been able to afford organic options, but that may not last once my existing inventory is gone. I do not generally shop for quick, easy, processed-type foods, either.

Today, I went to Walmart to get a very small food haul for this week. This should be all we need, but you know how that goes. Milk, Tampico, bag salad, pretzels, coffee creamer, and the lunch meat all came to a total of $19.56. So, that means for the rest of this week, which ends on Sunday we have $43.44. My son and his wife may be coming to visit Sunday, and we may get some pizza. This will probably come from this fund. I did not buy Organic milk because the price has gone up quite a bit, and I don’t drink it. Tampico is for my teenager. The bagged salad was actually 40 cents cheaper than the app said it was, woot woot! We did not technically need lunch meat, but my husband does not want to eat tuna every day, of which I have a ton, so I picked up some lunch meat.

Tonight, for dinner from my pantry I am using some pasta, chicken bullion cubes, chicken stock, a whole chicken, carrots, and onion. I am making homemade crockpot chicken noodle soup. Everything in this recipe is organic and already in my pantry.

To keep organic carrots fresh longer I peel and slice them up, and then I put them in a jar of water in the fridge. This maintains their crispness for at least two weeks. I had to chop the peppers and freeze them because they were going bad faster than we could eat them.

I cook the whole chicken all by itself, with just water, in the crockpot for six hours. Then it is fall off the bone tender. Throw that water away. I know it sounds like such a waste, and maybe it is. But, in that water is a lot of the phosphorus from the chicken. This method reduces the phosphorus in meat and I use it often. I then take the chicken apart and put the meat back in the crockpot with organic chicken broth that does not have added phos in the ingredients. I do add bullion cubes for flavor, along with Rosemary, Thyme, Organic, and my secret ingredient Paprika. If this is too salty for you use low sodium broth. I cook it for a few more hours until the carrots are soft. Then I add some pasta and cook for about 15 more minutes or until the pasta is done. I only used about 1 pound of chicken in the whole soup. It is hard to measure the protein this way, but you can kind of guess.

There will be enough of this for lunch tomorrow, and I didn’t use all of the chicken so that will be another meal this week, either for lunch or dinner. There are also still some homemade meatballs with sauce in the fridge. My husband will most likely finish those off.

Tomorrow will be the 3rd slide in the Kidney Class. So, be sure and come back to see what it is.

Tomorrow, I have a late meeting, so I might make homemade bread in the morning and we can have grilled cheese and tomato soup on homemade bread. Yum!

Please remember my kidney disease is not the same as anyone else. We are all different. What I eat you may not be able to eat. Proper portions are always the key to any specialized diet, and I am not on dialysis. If you have any questions, there is tons of information already on this blog about me and my kidney journey, or you can leave me a comment. If you would like to learn more about my Health Coaching services please send me an email to melissa@healthybuddymelissa.coach

Disclaimer

Kidney Class: Introduction

Hello, and Happy Humpday. Below you will see an image which is the first slide in the AKF Kidney Class presentation. If I was doing this in person with you, this is the very first slide you would see. I will upload a new slide every Wednesday. Each slide will have an explanation, plus links to other websites, personal experiences of my own, and some things to research on your own. Since Covid, I have not done an in-person class. The AKF has given me permission to do it this way to help more people in a safe way.

At this point I would introduce myself and tell you a little about me and why I became a Kidney Coach.

My name is Melissa. I am 52 years young, married, with two almost-grown children. In 2016 my left kidney failed and in 2017 I was officially diagnosed with CKD. I became a Kidney Coach because I found the information given to me by my healthcare team to be inadequate at best and I knew there had to be better information other than watching your sodium intake and waiting for Dialysis. The AKF kidney presentation helped me and I am hopeful it will help others along with my own experiences with CKD. I am a nurse by profession and helping others learn about their illness, as well as learn to better manage it, is what I have dedicated my whole life to. If you are not new to this blog then you know I am also a Health Coach. I am currently enrolled in Medical Billing and Coding certification courses to move away from bedside nursing into a more relaxed type of nursing.

You may leave comments or questions for each slide. As a matter of fact, I encourage you to engage with me and others. I do moderate all comments, and spam is not going to get through so there is no sense to waste your time. I will answer all comments and questions to the best of my ability. The words accompanying each slide are the AKF slide wording. They are not mine and it is part of the class.

The information from the AKF class is not medical advice, nor is it meant to replace seeing a medical doctor. It is meant to educate the public about kidney disease, and promote the prevention of kidney disease and its many complications. My comments are my experiences with the disease. All kidney patients are different and just because something helped me does not mean it will help you. However, I am hoping my experiences, and those of others will assist people to advocate for themselves with their health team to ask better questions, gather information, and make good sound decisions. If I find good relatable videos about the topic I will share them.

Let’s talk about Kidney Disease!