Animal protein is hard on the kidney
Hi everybody. My name is [Ariella Safer 00:00:07]. I'm a retired nurse practitioner and I have stage three kidney disease.
I originally started having problems when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and subsequent to that, I had a left nephrectomy, so I have a solitary kidney. And everything was fine until 2014 when I had blood work done and my primary care physician saw what my GFR was and she referred me to a nephrologist.
I was trying different diets because my nephrologist wanted me to lose 20 pounds. I tried a high protein diet. My GFR really took a plunge. So I was looking across the internet to see what I could find and I came across these book. When I first started the diet in the middle of November and I already had blood work scheduled the beginning of December, and so that was, after two weeks on the diet, this is only two weeks and I wasn't perfect. I'm not perfect now either, but I really was learning then, and after two weeks, my GFR increased by three points. And I was really impressed by that.
So I stayed on the diet and I kept refining it and adding more things in and going to the health food store. And slowly but surely, I've been doing that now since last November of 2018 and after three months, my GFR went up 18 points, but I had restricted my protein too much. And I suffered from terrible fatigue. So I increased my protein to 40 grams per day, so I pulled out of my fatigue and my GFR dropped by eight points, but it was still 10 points higher than it was originally. So my nephrologist is very happy, I'm happy, and I'm continuing on as instructed by Lee's book.
The diet is really good for someone with GERD and I was on a really high dose of the H2 blocker pepsin. So I decided to wean myself off of the H two blocker and lo and behold, it worked and I really don't need it anymore. And in addition to that, I'm currently weaning myself off my cholesterol medicine because I'm not eating any cholesterol.
The chapters that were most helpful to me were the first eight where he describes exactly how too much protein can be deleterious to your kidney and it's better not to have animal protein. Also, the chapter on phosphorus was very helpful. My blood work didn't come back high in phosphorus and so I came home and immediately started looking at my supplements, and lo and behold, my supplements had phosphorus, so those went in the trash. Then my next blood work showed my phosphorus was within normal limits.
When you first start out, everything seems so overwhelming. None of us was born knowing how to read lab results, knowing how to track our potassium and protein.
Take it day-by-day. This is a journey. Rome wasn't built in a day and then keep referring back to his book. Even though I've read it twice. When some things come up, I use it now as a reference manual and it's been really helpful, and it's paying off.
The only thing else I can say is that I feel like Lee has given all of us kidney patients a gift. He's given us a chance to take our health in our own hands, in our control, and to work with a diet that's not only going to help us live better, but probably longer. So, read the book. Talk with your nephrologist, talk with Lee if you need to, because he can explain things to you and tell you how to do things, and just take it day-by-day. Slow, but sure, and eventually you'll get there.