Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Kidney Health and Marfan Syndrome - Processed Food Challenge

O.K. Here are two more items I am booting out of my diet and medical regime.
Marfan Syndrome, kidney health and processed foods.
Oatmeal and Emergen-C are gone.  Yep, I was just as surprised as you are right now, but let take a moment and quickly explain why.

First of all I am not suggesting anyone eat a certain way.  My diet is special and so is the information here on this blog.  What works for me may not be right for you.

Because I went into renal failure during my open heart surgeries, I have to really treat my kidneys with special care.  Learning about a renal diet has been a challenge, what foods to eat and which ones to avoid.  It is all so very complicated but important, for without my kidneys functioning at their present level I could end up on dialysis.  Yep, dialysis is right around the corner for me possibly.

But I never received any real help from the myriad of doctors who treated me over the past three years when it came to learning what foods to eat and what grub to shun.

My cardiologist did comment on the Coca-Cola I was drinking one day during an office visit, telling me I must avoid dark sodas at all cost.  He went on to explain that the dark colas contain forms of phosphorous and that any drink with 'phos' in any form in the ingredients was bad for my kidneys.  For that matter, anything at all that contains a 'phos' for an ingredient should be abstained from, warded off and shirked.  I never did mention to him that it was his nurse who gave me the dark cola.  Today though I do avoid all sodas, dark or clear as the National Kidney Foundation recommends!

Sugar in any form hurts my kidneys.  Sugar and salt are two of my most hardest for substances to avoid, primarily because I like their taste.  It is easy for me to tell when I've had too much of either.  Excess salt raises my blood pressure almost instantly.  Sugar makes me very, very sleepy - almost comatose-like.  I don't need to read a medical textbook or have a doctor tell me when I've eaten too much sugar or salt; my body tells me loud and clear.

So the other day when I noticed I was getting sleepy after a dose of my favorite vitamin C powder - Emergen-C I read the packet's ingredients.  First on the list was fructose.  Good grief!  No more Emergen-C.  I thought I was drinking vitamin C, turns out I was imbibing mostly fructose. Sugar, sugar, sugar.  Ugh.

Now for the hard part.  Everyone has always told me oatmeal was good for me but lately, after eating Judy's homemade granola containing mostly old fashioned oats and very, very little processed sugar - she uses dried fruits to sweeten her granola - after a small handful of crunchy granola the same sleepiness would sweep over me.  Yawn.  Here comes an insulin spike.

As usual Mr. Google pointed me in the plentiful information path and my mouth fell as I read article after article about how oats cause insulin spikes and are really not so good for many people's blood sugar issues.

Finally, I am beginning to listen to my body.  Most of the time I know when a food or medicine is not good for me long before I read about it on Google.

Avoiding added processed sugar and those foods with glycemic indexes affecting my insulin levels and kidneys is really easy if I watch for the comatose feeling after ingesting the substance.  I knew even before reading about oatmeal that it may not be good for my kidneys because of the way the oats made me feel.

Yes I know oatmeal is full of fiber and has a lower glycemic index than other cereals.  Too bad.  Broccoli and many nuts are full of fiber and don't hit my bold sugar the way oatmeal does.

So goodbye to two more old friends.

If I could just stay away from processed foods……..

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