Monday, November 7, 2016

Blog Nephrologist Dr. Veeraish Chauhan

Came across the interesting blog of the nephrologist Dr. Veeraish Chauhan today while trying to find evidence supporting nettle seed extract for kidney regeneration. He also investigated nettle LEAF treatment and could find no evidence for it, though some of his readers swear it seemed to reduce their creatinine levels. In any case it's a very interesting source of information for anyone struggling with kidney disease as it comes directly from someone with medical training engaged in treating people day in day out:
http://www.kidneydoctorbradenton.org/2013/06/can-certain-herbal-medications-treat.html

Friday, September 23, 2016

Stinging Nettle Seed Extract

Here's an interesting, supposedly unbiased, article that suggests that Nettle Seed Extract (urtica dioica) may help restore kidney function. The author claims to have used it successfully in two patients.

http://jonathantreasure.com/evidence-research-testimonials-case-history/case-histories/nettle-seed-kidney-function/

The extract he used was the following:
http://www.herbalist-alchemist.com/item/Stinging-Nettle-Seed-NTS--683

Has anyone tried this? Sounds like it would be worth a shot...

Friday, April 29, 2016

Another video from Dr Greger comparing animal protein to vegetable protein on kidney health:
http://nutritionfacts.org/video/which-type-of-protein-is-better-for-our-kidneys

Monday, March 21, 2016

An interesting video suggesting a plant-based diet may be beneficial in the treatment of kidney disease:

http://nutritionfacts.org/video/treating-chronic-kidney-disease-with-food/?utm_content=bufferc8bce&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

I have had a basically vegetarian diet since childhood and unfortunately it didn't stop me developing kidney disease but it may well be a factor in maintaining a steady level of kidney function loss since diagnosis 7 years ago.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Acid load damages kidneys?

The following video explains how animal proteins increase acid load compared to plant proteins and this seems to be damaging to kidneys. Interesting. The message, as always, is "eat more fruit and vegetables"!

http://nutritionfacts.org/video/protein-source-an-acid-test-for-kidney-function/

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Test results 2016

About 15 months have zoomed by since my last lab tests and so I was delighted to find no significant change in today's test results. My blood creatinine level remains at 2.0mg/dl, which is right where it was when I was first diagnosed with chronic kidney disease almost seven years ago. Kidney disease tends to progress so I consider avoiding progression an achievement!


I can't say if my attempt to live a healthy lifestyle has been a factor in avoiding progression of the disease but it probably doesn't hurt (and has other benefits), so here's what I do:

Diet

  • Relatively low protein (protein is believed to damage kidney nephrons). In my particular case this means no meat; fish about once or twice a months; eggs once or twice a week; dairy a few times a week; tofu a couple of times a month; rice and beans quite often, etc.
  • Very little sugar or salt (my theory is that these encourage unhealthy eating by making undesirable foods seem tempting).
  • Very little wheat. Around the time of my diagnosis with kidney disease I would often have large, hard, balls of gas in my intestines (these were visible on an ultrasound but the doctor I saw at the time couldn't think of any reason for them so just told me to chill out more). Avoiding wheat and/or too many simple carbohydrates seems to keep the problem at bay.
  • Light breakfast: Bananas and almonds usually.
  • Snacks of fruit and nuts (especially pure cacao).
  • Filling lunch (dinner): Usually a small amount of protein, some carbs, vegetables and salad. Avocado and beetroot feature quite often.
  • Light supper: Sometimes amaranth and yogurt, sometimes humus and carrots, sometimes an apple.

Exercise

I still don't do as much exercise as I think I should but probably more than most people as I cycle about 40 minutes a day and generally try to go out of my way to be active (despite having a desk job). I manage to maintain a reasonably slim physique but could probably lose a couple of pounds around the waist...

Sleep

I don't sleep as well or as much as I would like to but do get close to at least 7 hours of sleep a night.

Meditation

Have tried and failed several times to incorporate some form of meditation into my day as many people seem to enjoy great benefits from this. New habits are hard to form!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Blood test results 2014

After over a year with no tests, I decided to subject myself to the needle again and have my blood analyzed.

The good news: no change

The tests show no signs of kidney function degradation. Serum creatinine is 2.0mg/dL, exactly what it was when I was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease over five years ago. All other parameters are pretty consistent with the results obtained over the last five years and are within, or close to, the normal healthy range.

This either means that:
a) My hard work watching my diet and trying to live a healthy life is paying off and protecting my kidneys from further damage, or,
b) None of my lifestyle changes have made any difference whatsoever!

Truthfully I don't know which statement is correct but there are other benefits to being healthy and I'm convinced that in the long run it will help me extend my life. In any case my dietary choices are more about moderation and avoidance rather than total exclusion... though I haven't had any pizza in a really, really, really long time...

View lab results (5 year history)

GFR: Glomerular Filtration Rate

Kidney function is measured by their GFR, basically how much filtering power they have. Normal is over 90mls/min/1.73m2 and "failure" (inability to filter sufficient toxins from the blood) is 15mls/min/1.73m2.

Previously I've a few creatinine clearance tests to estimate my GFR. These tests require collecting ones urine over a 24 hour period so the lab can measure how much creatinine has been filtered from the blood, compared to the level remaining in the blood, and use this to estimate the GFR. Unfortunately it's apparently not all that accurate and my own lab tests have shown a lot of variance: as high as 52.5 and as low as 30.0, which frankly is a bit an emotional roller coaster ride. Given the questionable utility of the results and the inconvenience and cost of the process, I decided to give it a miss.

This interesting article suggests that estimates based on serum creatinine levels adjusted for body weight, etc. have proved to be more accurate than creatinine clearance tests and I believe it given the that my serum creatinine level has been fairly constant: 1.8mg/dL to 2.4mg/dL. Variations in the serum creatinine level are probably due to variations in protein intake. Unfortunately they say the estimation formulas may not work well in cases where the subject differs significantly from the population used to develop them, giving the example of a vegetarian diet. I don't eat any meat or chicken but I do it fish and eggs, so hopefully the formulas will be somewhat accurate.

In my case the MDRD calculator gives a worst case estimate of GFR of 30mls/min/1.73m2, which is consistent with the creatinine clearance tests.

Apparently GFR tends to decrease by around 1mls/min/1.73m2 every year. If this happened to me it would imply that I have around 15 years of  healthy life left before reaching kidney failure (15mls/min/1.73m2). Hopefully I can beat the "average" and extend my mileage by looking after my body.

Lifestyle

As a reference, my current lifestyle, which may or may not be optimal, is as follows:

Exercise:
  • Sedentary office job 8 to 10 hours a day. I try to get up and move around during the day however to avoid sitting for long periods.
  • Cycle everywhere. About 40 minutes a day.
  • Occasional moderate exercise (body weight exercises, swimming, etc.). I should probably do more of this.
Diet:
No meat or chicken. Occasional fish and eggs. No gluten (I feel I may have sensitivity to gluten, though I'm not 100% sure). Very limited consumption of products with added sugar and salt. Limited starch, mostly rice and potatoes. Lots of nuts (almonds, pecans, cacao), fruits and vegetables.

Sleep: Try to get enough sleep so I wake naturally shortly after dawn. For me this is around 8 hours.

Medications

I've been taking 50mg/dL of Losartan (Cozaar), an ARB, fairly steadly since diagnosis of CKD. This was initially prescribed to reduce my blood pressure. A month ago I fasted for a day as a kind of  "body reset" and found that my blood pressure dropped to around 100/60 so I stopped taking the medication. Since then I have been checking every day and my blood pressure has remained below 120/70 even without medication (or further fasting). I will probably start taking the medicine again at some point, as the experts seem to think that it is beneficial to conserving kidney function for reasons other than blood pressure reduction.