Kidneys Affected, told by Doctor this Morning

By Latest Reply 2008-10-23 12:34:22 -0500
Started 2008-10-22 05:36:47 -0500

I was told my kidneys are damaged
By high blood sugar,as I was told this morning by my Doctor. Does anybody know anything about what diet to eat or stay away from? I am so concerned about this problem. I guess we never think it will happen to us, but it does.

42 replies

Lee Ann - 22107
Lee Ann - 22107 2008-10-23 05:36:04 -0500 Report

What exactly did your doctor tell you?. I was told I had kidney damage about 10 years ago because I had microalbumin. That progressed to proteinuria, but since I've put more effort into managing my BG's, I'm back to just barely being over the threshold for abnormal microalbumin. If you get your BG's under control, some of the damage can be reversed. None of this means you're destined to have kidney failure, and I know it sounds scary, but plenty of people live the rest of their lives with microalbumin and proteinuria without it ever progressing to kidney failure. you should be on an ACE inhibitor if you aren't already because that will protect your kidneys from further damage. Unless you're kidneys are starting to fail, you don't have to do anything special with your diet other than limit sodium. Like I said, it's not as bad as it sounds. The important thing is to get your BP in a healthy low range, limit sodium, and get your BG's managed.

Anonymous 2008-10-23 07:22:14 -0500 Report

I did dialysis and never had high blood pressue even to this day. I think she should watch the protein intake until she heres whether or not where she stands. Its not going to hurt her either way. The doctor informed her she has some type of kidney damage. And I do agree with you, she must watch sodium intake because she says she has high blood pressure.

Lee Ann - 22107
Lee Ann - 22107 2008-10-23 08:55:37 -0500 Report

I've never had high BP either. They put me on an ACE inhibitor solely to protect my kidneys even before I had microalbumin. Since I've been on a BP med for 12 years, now I probably would have high BP if I stopped taking it since my body has adapted to it, but technically, I've never had high BP.

I've asked my nephrologist a bunch of times over the years, and she's always told me that low-protein/low-phosphorous diets were for advanced stages of nephropathy. I don't and never did high-protein either though. I subscribe to the all things in moderation nutrition approach.

I've heard lots of people freak because their doctors told them they have kidney damage. They start imagining the worst - dialysis and transplant - and it turns out they only have some microalbumin/protein in their urine, which as I suggested, is something to pay attention to, monitor, and take those steps I identified, but nothing to panic over either. Unless someone hasn't been getting regular labwork done to monitor these things, one doesn't just go from healthy kidneys to kidney failure overnight. It's a relatively slow process.

Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2008-10-23 09:08:00 -0500 Report

I agree with both of you. I too did dialysis. I was fortunate to get a kidney transplant. Even with my transplant I am told to follow a renal diet. At this time It don't bother me anymore because I've been doing it for 5 yrs. I think she has to find out from her MD is shehas kidney damage and what stage the damage is at. She could prolong it for a long time with the watch of certain foods. But if it turns out to be nothing I would still watch the sodium intake. I think everyone should watch their sodium intake. Make sure your MD says you have kidney diease and ask him what he suggest and then ask him to see a dietition for further instructions for that diease.

Leigh Marsden
Leigh Marsden 2008-10-23 09:20:45 -0500 Report

I agree that one shouldn't freak out about it either. Although, it is scary when you are first diagnosed and the only thing that you know about it is that this can kill people… Now, that the initial diagnosis is over, you can gather,research, and prepare to apply to your life the things you learned.
When I was first told that my diabetis was damaging my kidneys I was terrified. It wasn't until I researched and found that there are some preventative measures that can be taken to help, even possibly repair the damage to the kidneys…
No matter what you decide to do, and what is comfortable for you… I'll support you. Write anytime that you need and I will try to assist you if I possibly can. Even if it is just to listen. Your friend, Leigh

APSMom 2008-10-23 09:43:15 -0500 Report

It sure is scary at first. I remember being terrified. Wondering, "What am I going to do?", "What's going to happen to my daughter?", etc. Yet, I looked up every bit of information I could on it, via the internet, and that's when I realized that diabetes was much more complicated to contend with.

Sure, the combination of having both chronic diseases is scary and there's truly not a cure to it. However, the wonderful part is you can slow it down so much so that it's not a big deal. Should it ever become one… the medical industry has made a lot of headway in regard to how to deal with it in a more beneficial way.

With that said, continue to have your blood work done about once a year to determine your progress, or lack thereof, with your GFR. It's as important as your A1C for your blood sugar.

Just remember to breathe, not to let it consume you and keep talking to others in support groups such as this one.

Another bit of advice I can give you is to possibly find a medical alert bracelet/necklace you can where that also identifies you as a Kidney Disease patient. I combined both on one necklace (it's a pink dog tag for the girl in me LOL) that reads, "Type II Diabetic, Insulin dependent, Kidney Disease (Stage 1) plus my name, Doctors name and number and my ER contacts. There's a guy who sells them on eBay for 9.99 (free inscription too boot!).

I got it done because there are certain things you can not have done having kidney disease - such as the fluids they use in certain types of MRI's, etc.

Albeit, I'm slightly paranoid and figure if there is no room for errors… there will be none LOL

BTW, I'm relatively new to this site and you all are truly impressing me. Not only supportive, but friendly… can't beat that! :)

2008-10-23 12:34:22 -0500 Report


Leigh Marsden
Leigh Marsden 2008-10-22 18:13:29 -0500 Report

Hello Penny,

I just be bopped around the net and I found this link was informative:

The name of the site is:
National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse.

Good luck researching!

2008-10-23 05:22:05 -0500 Report

Thanks Leigh,
I don't know what I would do without
Friends like you in our Diabetic Connect.
I really do not have a support team around me except for my Husband and
the Diabetic Connect Family. That you and
the others for being there. I am going to check the website, you gave me,
Hugs Nancy

APSMom 2008-10-22 17:14:17 -0500 Report

Hi there, I too have kidney disease as a direct result of diabetes. Please know the first thing you need to do is get your blood tested to find out what your GFR is. THAT will tell you what stage you are in. Your Nephrologist will probably do that as opposed to your Family Doctor. Dependent upon what stage you are will depend on what diet you need to follow; so don't jump the gun just yet. Keep the sodium low - that's the biggest thing until a professional can determine what is best for you.

Buy yourself a blood pressure monitor (buy one on eBay - they are much more reasonable in price) and check it several times a day for a couple of weeks. Give that to your Nephrologist.

Lastly, the medication that they give most is what they call an Ace Inhibitor. This is medication that others take for high blood pressure. What it does, essentially, is slows down the damage to your kidneys. There are side effects, but nothing detrimental.

It's not so bad. We already had a chronic disease and now we have another to contend with. However, the fabulous thing about these particular chronic diseases are they can be controlled better than most. So chin up, ask a lot of questions and you'll realize that diabetes is more complicated to control than kidney disease :)

I hope all of this has put your mind more at ease. Good luck, love!

Edit: Please note that metals of any kind are not good for people with kidney disease. In fact, if you go look at your deodorant it will have a warning on it that says not to use if you have it. Weird; isn't it? LOL

Anonymous 2008-10-22 19:34:26 -0500 Report

There are 5 stages to kidney diease, 5 being you need to go on dialysis. Like APSMom say find out where you stand now.

2008-10-23 05:17:39 -0500 Report

Thanks Anonymous,
You are a great person to have as a friend. You are showing me the care you have for me and others. Please continue
to have replys for me.

2008-10-23 05:14:26 -0500 Report

Thank you for your input, The Doctor took more Blood Test yesterday, which
where tell me what stage I have. She is giving me the Ace Inhibitor now. She will be calling or have come into her Office to tell me where I am at. I will
keep you in touch. I am sad to hear about your Sisters, My heart goes out to them. (((Hugs)))

Red-roses56 2008-10-22 17:06:33 -0500 Report

Hi, I have two sisters that had kidney damage due to diabetes. Both went on Dialyis, one got a kidney transplant and is doing well. the other sister is at the top of the list. You can avoid dialyis if you watch your diet very closely. Go on a Low Carbohydrate and Low Protein diet. There are a wide selection of foods to choose from. Ask your doctor for a diet plan or buy a Low Carbohydrate Book such as Dr. Atkins. Don't forget to pray, it works wonders.

Anonymous 2008-10-22 19:30:20 -0500 Report

Dr. Akins diet is all Protein.. You can't eat much Proein for kidney diease…That must be low and Phospherous must be low to on diets.

2008-10-23 05:07:53 -0500 Report

Think you for your reply, I have already
been on Akins diet for my Diabetes, and
went off it yesterday as it contained to much protien. I am going with small Carbs
and less salt. Protein once a week,like fish. Thank you for your caring.

Avera 2008-10-22 17:02:35 -0500 Report

I was going to suggest the same thing that J. Crowley did. That site is great for the kind of information that you need. Hang in there and good luck!!! Keep us posted!

2008-10-23 05:01:34 -0500 Report

That is what I am goingt do today.Thank you for the caring.

Jh862 2008-10-22 10:26:48 -0500 Report

Sorry to hear about your kidneys being affected. I don't blame you for being scared and wanting a little support, that is such a big thing to find out. You need a big hug, so I'm sending one to you now…catch it! Good luck with your visit to the Dr/specialist - hopefully they can answer all your questions. The not knowing what to expect I'm sure is the hardest part.

2008-10-22 12:48:01 -0500 Report

Thank you for your caring thoughts. I really needed support when I found out
this morning, All the support from you and others made it a lot easier for me to
look at things in a different way. I will send a Hug right back to you. Thank you

DiaBetty 2008-10-22 09:46:32 -0500 Report

You should see a dietician. I did and it helped me a lot. I have had kidney problems for 5 years now.

2008-10-22 12:43:44 -0500 Report

Thank you, DiabBetty,
I am going to alot of things now to help me. My Health is the most important issue
in my life plus my Prayers.

GabbyPA 2008-10-22 09:05:19 -0500 Report

You must be scared. I would be. You will get thru it, we are here to support you in anyway we can. John has a great link to check out and yes, ask a lot of questions of your doctor. Are you going to go to see a specialist for it? Perhaps some answers are there. This is out of my area to help, but I always have an ear if you need to share.

2008-10-22 09:19:22 -0500 Report

Hi Gabby,
Yes I am going to see a Specialist soon,
When I can afford it, some Specialist
do not take Medicare, but I will get through this. It just hit me today, I
am fine now and have collected my thoughts. Thank you for your reply.

GabbyPA 2008-10-22 09:26:46 -0500 Report

Hey Penny,
If you have Debe Pence on your friends' list, drop her a note. She has lived thru more than you want to know and she can help you too, first had experience. She is a great listener and she will be able to calm your heart down.

Goddess 2008-10-22 08:08:30 -0500 Report

Have you had high blood sugars, pain when urinating, blood in urine?

Anonymous 2008-10-22 08:53:26 -0500 Report

Your explaining an urinary tract infection. That is so different from kidney diease.

2008-10-22 09:10:34 -0500 Report

No, It is not a Bladder infection! It
is damage to mu Kidneys, The Doctor has
been taking all different tests on me.
I will be going to a Specialist, I am a
retired Nurse so I know it is not a Bladder Infection. Thanks

Anonymous 2008-10-22 09:13:45 -0500 Report

Your right, I'm saying what Misery is describing is a bladder infection. You need to get a dietition to give you a renal diet and start from there.

2008-10-22 09:15:07 -0500 Report

Anonymous, I am sorry I meant to send the reply to Misery, I put your Name on the reply instead of Misery. Thanks

2008-10-22 09:13:10 -0500 Report

Hi Misery,
No it is not a Bladder Infection, I wished it was, I know about how to take of that infection. Thanks

John Crowley
John CrowleyCA 2008-10-22 07:40:08 -0500 Report

So sorry to hear of your diagnosis. Here's what I found on the National Kidney Foundation site:

What is the diet like?

In general, the diet used for the early stages of kidney disease controls the amount of protein and phosphorus you eat. Usually, sodium is also controlled. Getting enough calories to maintain a healthy weight is very important at this time. The following information tells you where these nutrients are found in foods.

And here's a link for more info.

All the best.

Anonymous 2008-10-22 08:12:10 -0500 Report

The kidney foundation is a good place to start but type in the search engine kidney damage and you will get all kinds of things. do not rely on just this site to treat you. As far as I know there are very few Doctors on this site. we are all people living with diabetes in one stage or another and there have been some really bad things suggested and some really good things. And always talk to your doctor before starting anything. They know your history and what could be damaging more or life threatening.Just like articles and reviews, unless you have had this problem or used a product you do not know everything. Kidneys are nothing to fool around with. If you are not extremely careful you will be on dialysis. So research, research and ask questions to your doctor or specialist. They are the more qualified. Too much medical advice by non-doctors going around these days. And it is dangerous. What works for one may not work for you. Please be careful and good luck to you.

2008-10-22 09:06:46 -0500 Report

Hi John,
Thank you for your reply. I am going to the website you spoke about, change my diet, take my meds, and go to a specialist, in the months to come. You
always direct people in the right way.
Thanks again John,

Sparrow - 16557
Sparrow - 16557 2008-10-23 12:00:46 -0500 Report

Web sites are fine, but you doctor is your best resource. If they don't have the time or don't seem "interested" in going into detail, get another doctor!

Anonymous 2008-10-22 07:21:36 -0500 Report

first you need to find a really good dietion whos specialty deals with diabetes and stick to your diet no matter how hard it is , I also agree that you do have to do alot of the research yourself . there are plenty of web sites out there .

2008-10-22 09:02:20 -0500 Report

Hi Anonymous,
I am going to do all that is right for me at this time and hopefully years to
come. Thanks

Sparrow - 16557
Sparrow - 16557 2008-10-22 06:41:21 -0500 Report

How is your blood pressure? (I'm not a doctor, so you don't need to tell me what it actually is.) The main thing is to keep your blood sugar AND your blood pressure under control. Some doctors have you cut your salt intake to keep your blood pressure down. But it is important to do whatever your doctor says to keep them both under control. If you think it's necessary, you should probably see a nephrologist (kidney specialist).

2008-10-22 09:00:10 -0500 Report

Hi Sparrow,
My Blood pressure has been very High
for a year and I did not take any Blood Pressure meds. And My Blood sugar iswell over 500 before this week, I am now on blood pressure meds and Insulin, I am really watching myself at this time. I guess I was not taking my condition
seriously before. I have always been so healthy. Thanks again sparrow

Anonymous 2008-10-22 06:21:57 -0500 Report

didn't the doctor tell you. did you ask him questions. did the doctor set you up and appt with a specialist. Do your own research on Web Md. Instead of here, I always research what my doctor says and what meds he prescribes. If I am not comfortable with it I tell him. You have to take control of your own care. Do not solely rely on the Doctors. They can only help you so much the rest is up to you

2008-10-22 08:55:21 -0500 Report

Hi Anonymous, Yes< I am going to research
on the websites and am going to go to a Specialist., but I was frightened and the first thing I wanted to talk to my Diabetic Connect Family.

Next Discussion: Gas & Bloating »