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  • Just diagnosed with stage four kidney failure. Newbie here; and feeling overwhelmed!

    Had stage 3 for several years and my doctor seemed very unconcerned, his only advice was "Just make reasonable choices." I'm borderline diabetic, have a long cardiac history (2 heart attacks, bypasses, etc.) was once morbidly obese but had lap band surgery and a 94 pound loss, etc., long list of medical problems. Now suddenly I'm in stage 4 and everyone including me is upset! I saw a renal dietician last week who gave me mountains of material to read, and I'm wading through it. But what strikes me first is What CAN I eat??

    Protein is 25 to 35, no salt, low potassium, you know the drill. I've seen some of the recipes and think some of them will work, but what do you eat on an average day? Breakfast, lunch and dinner? Are there any convenience foods like a bag of chips or some cookies to snack on? Those were the days! Can anyone throw some ideas my way? Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    Hello Kathi,

    I have been on dialysis for several years now, I know how you feel. I asked myself the same question about what can I eat. a typical day for me includes eggs and fruit for breakfast, meat salad (tuna, chicken, ham) and baked meat and tossed salad for dinner. If i need a snack during the day usually fruit and in the evening air popped popcorn. I hope this helps !

    Feel free to email me and know you are not alone!

    seneca_beep@yahoo.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi kathi, Hope that today starts on a good tone. I was diagnosed with stage 4 in 2010 after a stay at the hospital for diverticulitis. Wow!!! That was a shock. Back to you; I will give you site that will show you things that you should and should not eat or eat in moderation due to the high phosphorous and or potassium content. The kidney is unable to process phosphorous and or potassium. Keep away or eat in moderation with binders like Renvela, Calcium acetate or if the dr, has not yet provided the pills take ant-acid pills just before you eat (pills to suck up all those unpleasant phosphorous). There are things that I enjoy eating every once in a while that I am not suppose to eat, but as long as I only eat them once a blue moon and in moderation; I kind of get my fix. It's like Chinese food, I love it, but got to just get it once every one to two months and of course, in moderation. I skip the fried rice for white rice and eat the vegetable with meat or sea food with that tasty black bean sauce. Yummmy! Hope that this will help you get the info you are looking for. [SIZE=5]http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/phosphorus.cfm

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      • #4
        Hi! I am a DaVita teammate, and see this problem ALL OF THE TIME!!! There are protein bars, smoothie recipes (often use protein powder, I like the vanilla), and even a Dialysis section at some pharmacies (our walgreens has a small one) that has small bags of chips that are low phosphorus and high protein, and only a dollar for a small bag, so not much more expensive than normal ones. I do not know your specific restrictions, but I know that many of our patients were psyched to learn that they can have root beer!!! I pray that you have the strength to make this lifestyle change, if you need anything we are here for you! It's not a "spill" im at home, off of work, and on here because I have been there (not kidney disease but I weighed 335 pounds and had to diet fast!), so I try to help as I can Your team is there for YOU, so if you go to a clinic ask what other patients do, talk to them during treatment if you area hemo patient, and welcome to our community!

        One for all!!
        Brandy Graham

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you for your replies, it's comforting to hear back from folks who are familiar with some of the issues. Tonight we went to Olive Garden
          for dinner (we had a gift cert). I tried my best to concentrate on the salad (no tomatoes) and also skip the marinara sauce. It's a learning experience,
          I did okay, but wondered "What do you do if you eat sensibly and are still hungry?" What I did was eat my leftovers as soon as I got home.
          Hopefully I'll do better next time!

          Comment


          • #6
            What CAN I eat? Wow, its nice to see someone else feels that way too. I struggle soooo bad with trying to be good with food, it's very stressful

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            • #7
              just got diagnosed with stage 3 also a newbie scared and anxious cant sleep worried if i am drinking plenty of water also on meds for chronic pain and depression have lower back pain alot and measuring my urine everday. I have muscle cramps wondering if that is with the ckd confused dont see a nephologist until july 23 my family phys. is the one who diagnosed me had to get a cat scan found out my kidneys were enlarge. Now just waiting to see what the neph. doc. says. I have done some research on the foods we are allowed to eat which I am a sweet tooth and chips kinda of person. So I am trying to eat healthy so I can go down to stage 2 my family phys. said drink plent of water and thats what I have been doing. I need to stay away from my chips ahoy and oreos. So I eat angle food cake and whipcream fat free with strawberries and i use the nutura sugar hopefully thats ok. Plus gramcrackers low fat, and icecream sherbertand of course chicken chicken and more chicken with mrs. dash seasoning. And I just read on one of the sites you can drink root beer.

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              • #8
                louzawy,'sounds like you are doing the right things you may need a little more potassium for the cramps,bannana,orange juice,kiwi ect.hope you do well,if possible do PD dialysis you will like it better,

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                • #9
                  Hi Kathi. Pam here with stage 3. Yes it is extremely hard to diet. I find I M hungry all the time. HX to give up broccoli (loads of potassium) and restricted protein. Hang in there,try to be positive.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BrandyGraham View Post
                    Hi! I am a DaVita teammate, and see this problem ALL OF THE TIME!!! There are protein bars, smoothie recipes (often use protein powder, I like the vanilla), and even a Dialysis section at some pharmacies (our walgreens has a small one) that has small bags of chips that are low phosphorus and high protein, and only a dollar for a small bag, so not much more expensive than normal ones. I do not know your specific restrictions, but I know that many of our patients were psyched to learn that they can have root beer!!! I pray that you have the strength to make this lifestyle change, if you need anything we are here for you! It's not a "spill" im at home, off of work, and on here because I have been there (not kidney disease but I weighed 335 pounds and had to diet fast!), so I try to help as I can Your team is there for YOU, so if you go to a clinic ask what other patients do, talk to them during treatment if you area hemo patient, and welcome to our community!

                    One for all!!
                    Brandy Graham
                    I worry about advice about diet from people on Dialysis.... or sections of pharmacies that have Dialysis-friendly foods. The "high protein" is paramount for people on Dialysis, but not for people with Stages 3 and 4 CKD. High protein is not a good thing! The kidneys (without the benefit of the "blood cleansing" effects of Dialysis) cannot handle high proteins. I have seen an average around 4 oz. of protein a day (that is about the size of a chicken thigh!) for CKD4 people.

                    I will have to ask my Nephrologist about the Root Beer. I thought I was not to have ANY dark-colored sodas (I don't drink sodas at all, and have not for years, but if I wanted one "in a blue moon," I would choose root beer).

                    Be careful what you read on here and try to get a Nephrologist with whom you feel very comfortable asking any question of!

                    With caution,
                    Marcia

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by louzawy View Post
                      just got diagnosed with stage 3 also a newbie scared and anxious cant sleep worried if i am drinking plenty of water also on meds for chronic pain and depression have lower back pain alot and measuring my urine everday. I have muscle cramps wondering if that is with the ckd confused dont see a nephologist until july 23 my family phys. is the one who diagnosed me had to get a cat scan found out my kidneys were enlarge. Now just waiting to see what the neph. doc. says. I have done some research on the foods we are allowed to eat which I am a sweet tooth and chips kinda of person. So I am trying to eat healthy so I can go down to stage 2 my family phys. said drink plent of water and thats what I have been doing. I need to stay away from my chips ahoy and oreos. So I eat angle food cake and whipcream fat free with strawberries and i use the nutura sugar hopefully thats ok. Plus gramcrackers low fat, and icecream sherbertand of course chicken chicken and more chicken with mrs. dash seasoning. And I just read on one of the sites you can drink root beer.
                      My Nephrologist said that the muscle cramps can be related to too much phosphorus in the blood. My doc says all commercial cereals are packed with phosphorus. The only dairy product he said I could eat "with abandon" is cottage cheese. I don't know why, but I try to watch my consumption of that too because there is sodium in cottage cheese. Breakstone makes a low-sodium small curd cottage cheese. [Too much phosphorus usually is the culprit if you have itchy skin as well!]

                      My Nephrologist says that I can have 2 qts of liquids a day (and foods with high content of liquid count!), plus whatever amount I eliminate in the toilet. So "drink lots of water" is quite vague and really not accurate! You put more stress on the kidneys to have too much water intake (according to what I have read and what my Nephrologist says).

                      My sister is a Therapeutic Massage Therapist and she says to put a bar of Ivory soap (with the paper removed) under your bottom sheet near the bottom of the bed. I don't know if it works or if my change of diet contributed, but I don't wake up with terrible leg cramps since I took her advice!

                      Hope this helps.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by neilrogovin View Post
                        Hi Kathi. Pam here with stage 3. Yes it is extremely hard to diet. I find I M hungry all the time. HX to give up broccoli (loads of potassium) and restricted protein. Hang in there,try to be positive.
                        Pam: When I was first diagnosed with CKD4 (I didn't know I had CKD 1-3!), I went to the extreme and cut out everything that had high potassium, but have since learned that we need SOME potassium, so I am conservative about my intake. I would eat broccoli, but not as much. My Nephrologist says I can have 2,000 mg of potassium a day (2,000 phosphorus and 1,000 mg of salt). I use the DaVita Food Analyzer a lot to find out how much of those minerals are in certain foods. I can't say I've had a banana since I was diagnosed, but I would take a bite or two if I was offered. I don't buy bananas because I am single and have no one in my home to give the rest of the banana to and hate wasting food!

                        I hate the restricted protein too... as well as the salt thing. My Nephrologist now says "no salt, no salt" whenever I leave from my appointments with him. But then he says to have chicken soup or a Chick-fil-a sandwich if my blood pressure goes too low, so go figure!

                        I wish that all the kidney patients would unite and petition the FDA to require that ALL COMPANIES label the amount of phosphorus in foods in the Nutrition Listing! It is currently not required by the FDA to list it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Do make an appoinment with an RD - will help tremendously

                          Not to be biased here (I am a Dietitian) But do make an appointment with a Renal Dietitian? Nephrologists are great, but limited in their nutrition knowledge. A Renal RD will be able to work out exactly how much of what you need, which will probably give you more freedom and variety in your daily diet. Most food can fit, as long as you know the amounts you can have and how to work it in.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi! I am stage 4 with low potassium restrictions as well. It can be challenging. I keep the small baby bel cheeses in my refrigerator for a quck grab. I love apples and they are low potassium. One thing I can tell you is to take the low potassium very seriously!! I loved orange juice and bananas, potato chips and kiwi, but they are no longer a part of my life. Find other things that you enjoy that are on your lists and then EAT them within reason. I am not pre-diabetic so I don't know about the sugar part. Someone else can probably help you more on that. I do eat a higher potassium treat (with drs. permission) every once in a while. This week it was a small ice cream cone from the Dairy Queen. I don't keep chocolate or high potassium foods in the house so I am not tempted. My husband takes those types of foods to his "area" in the basement, and since I am seldom down there, it isn't a problem. Try to think of it not as what you can't have, but what you can!! I have found new founds that I didn't really think I liked that are low potassium. It takes time.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Pardon the thread necromancy, but I had to respond. I don't think I've ever seen more restrictive, confusing dietary recommendations in my life!

                              "Limit protein, try high quality protein from fish."

                              Later,

                              "Try some protein powder."

                              What?

                              I also loved "eat chicken salad cold." Does this mean I can only eat it outside during the winter? Even if I rearrange the wording to "eat cold chicken salad," what if I dare to eat it at room temperature? Am I doomed?

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