Monthly Labs Do Not Tell The Whole Story Regarding CKD and Diabetic Patients Condition

"My Doctor and Dialysis Clinic Nurse tell me that my labs are great," a viewer with Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetes writes, "but I am feeling terrible. I am suffering a lot of pain all over my body and I have been feeling drained lately; NO energy. Is there anything that I can do about it?"

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Whether you have Chronic Kidney Disease, Diabetes or both, I am sure that you have been there. Would I be right? Your numbers are EXCELLENT but still you feel "off," or are suffering pain. Perhaps your blood pressure or blood sugar are just not where they are "supposed" to be or where you want to see them, and you just can't seem to correct it. So let's see what we can do.

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Those on Dialysis are at the most risk of having important numbers outside of range. Their ideal numbers should be as follows: Albumin (protein in blood) - 4.0 or higher, Protein levels - 1.1 or higher, Potassium - 3.5 to 6.0, Hemoglobin (oxygen in blood) - 10.0 to 11.0, Phosphorus - 3.0 to 5.5, Calcium 8.4 to 10.2. In terms of Diabetics, blood sugar readings vary, but most should have a reading between 70 and 130 mg/dL before meals, while their blood pressure should be no more than 140/80.

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If you are falling into the appropriate ranges and still have pain or fatigue, or you are finding it difficult to achieve your nutrition goals, then let's look at what is on your plate. For many people with Chronic Kidney Disease (especially those on Dialysis) and/or Diabetes, pain and low energy is a common symptom. No single food can completely stop chronic pain and sluggishness, but by adding certain gems to your day-to-day diet you can improve pain-management, strengthen bones, increase muscle development, maintain weight, and boosts your energy levels.

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  • Enjoying a piece of salmon is a good bet for managing chronic pain because it is rich in vitamin D which has been proven to help ease discomfort from pain. Also, Omega 3 is found in high doses in this fish which is tied to improved energy levels.
  • Olive oil is liquid gold when it comes to fighting pain. It is rich in antioxidants that helps to inhibit a common pain-causing mechanism in the body. Plus olive oil makes a great butter substitute for Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetes patients because it is much lower in unhealthy saturated fat.
  • Ginger contains four substances (Gingerols, Paradols, Shogaols, and Zingerone) that have pain relief qualities similar to aspirin or ibuprofen. Turmeric contains Curcumin which is another "ginger-family member" that may also help fight pain.
  • Strawberries are high in vitamin C which have been shown to improve energy levels and minimize pain. 

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So there you have it! By talking to your Dietitian about adopting these foods into your diet, you can help to promptly correct your pain and energy loss. If you are not seeing any results then talk with your Primary Care Physician. Certain medications, stress or inadequate sleep can contribute to fatigue as well as pain. But by addressing the issue Head-On you can fix your problem and improve your quality of life.  

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References: 

"Diabetes and High Blood Pressure." WebMD.com WebMD.

"Health Guides: Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain (CMP)." Best Diet for Chronic Pain Relief. Sharecare, Inc.

"Normal Blood Sugar Levels for Diabetics & Blood Sugar Problems." Http://www.webmd.com/. WebMD.

"Getting More Energy from Kidney-Friendly Foods." Http://www.davita.com/. DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc.

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