Home ยป Q&A + garden + renal failure

Q&A + garden + renal failure

Gooooooooood morning, Friday!

I have a 7am hair appointment (weird time, I agree) and then I’m off to Houston to see my BFF for the weekend! I’m really excited! I don’t know that we have anything in particular planned other than a day trip to Galvelston. I will bring my beloved laptop and try to check in at some point!! But if you don’t hear from me, I’m enjoying the Houston sun! 😀

But not before a Q&A…!

Heather of Get Healthy with Heather: I used to have big issues with lactose but now it seems to only happen with non fat dairy products. Do you know why that could be?

Prevention RD: Okay, I’m making a deduction here. RD’s chime in if you have any ideas on this! When fat is taken out of products – sugar is put in. For example, whole milk has less “sugar” (carbohydrate) than fat-free milk. This sugar is in the form of lactose in dairy products. All products are going to vary based on the brand, so start checking out the carbohydrate content on your whole fat versus low-fat versus fat-free dairy products. I’ll bet this is the issue! While only a small change, chances are your body has its “happy zone” for lactose tolerance. GREAT question…got me thinkin’! 😉

Bridget: I just discovered your site recently, and I have a topic request: my husband (who had not had a physical for nearly 10 years) and I got back our annual physical results today. It turns out that he has a shockingly high triglycerides count: 574! Our doctor is going to start him on nicotinic acid medication to get his triglycerides down, since she says that it could cause pancreas damage at its current level. She wants to check his blood again in 6 weeks. Obviously I don’t want him to be on medication forever, so I am going to research what we can do from a dietary standpoint. She says to decrease sugar intake in his diet–do you have any other info on what might help him?

Prevention RD: So glad you found me! While 574 is a high value and he does risk pancreatitis with such high levels, I have seen much worse! Like…5,000+!! Crazy, huh? More like scary, really. Triglycerides are largely influenced by the diet because the value represents the lipid (fat) found in the blood. Weight loss, lower calorie intake, limited alcohol intake, and reduced carbohydrate (simple carbohydrates – i.e. sugar, white flour, sodas, juices, sweets, etc.) intake help lower triglycerides. A low saturated and trans fat diet should be implemented and healthy fats (mono and polyunsaturated fats) should be increased (e.g. nuts, seeds, natural nut butters, avocados, canola oil, olive oil, etc.). Additionally, I recommend 3,000 milligrams of omega-3/fish oil supplementation a day. Omega 3’s work beautifully to lower triglycerides. Good luck to your hubby! Great question!

Kenya: Does water maintain its health benefits if I add one of those sugar free sweeteners like Crystal Light or does it really just become more like a ‘kool-aid’ type of drink?

Prevention RD: I am not opposed to these beverages because they encourage calorie-free, caffeine-free beverage choices. Is it preferred to water? Nah (because of the artificial sweeteners and preservatives). But I think it’s WAY better to consume those products to help stay properly hydrated versus not consuming enough liquids each day. I think a good rule of thumb is to have at least half of your water needs each day coming from water and the rest from caffeine-free, calorie-free beverages (i.e. flavored waters, Crystal Light, Fit and Active, etc.), if needed. Good question!!

John of Challenges 2010: I came across something where it’s said green tea can block testosterone and that black tea would be better for males. What do you think?

Prevention RD: I checked with the ADA, MayoClinic, and WebMD which report nothing of the like. I’ve never heard of this before so I also ran it past our medical providers. None of them batted an eye in recognition of this as an issue. A Google search turned up nothing but body building and supplement sites. Sketch! I’m going to suggest an “everything in moderation” approach. 🙂



I have some growth!!! 4 days later and we’re in gardening business!!! 😀


Today’s NNM Topic: Renal Failure

Today’s topic is renal failure because so much of the renal failure in the US is secondary to uncontrolled diabetes, yesterday’s topic. Elevated blood glucose can cause scarring to the delicate and intricate renal nephrons which comprise the kidneys. During the beginning stages of renal failure, protein, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus may be limited to help preserve kidney function. These electrolytes are closely monitored to ensure proper fluid and pH balance, among other things.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, 30% of type 1 diabetics and 10-40% of type 2 diabetics develop kidney disease. Once the kidneys fail transplant or dialysis are required to live. When the kidneys can no longer clean the blood of waste and fluid, dialysis must be initiated. Dialysis sessions typically last 3-4 hours and must be completed several times a week.

Kidney failure due to uncontrolled diabetes is a very scary reality.

Question: Where was the last vacation or getaway you took? Any fun weekend plans?

Enjoy the weekend!!

Share With Your Friends!


  1. March 12, 2010 / 7:16 am

    Yay!! Grow, garden, grow!

    I love Galveston– we took some family vacations there when I was little…it’s actually where I learned to swim! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great time!

  2. March 12, 2010 / 7:45 am

    Thanks for the info on renal failure. I didn’t realize it was such a serious thing in the US.

    Congrats on your garden success!

  3. March 12, 2010 / 7:48 am

    Renal failure is such a huge problem indeed – so many of my patients have renal failure secondary to diabetes. Thank you for increasing awareness!

    Your seedlings are soooo gorgeous! Awesome!

    Have a wonderful, wonderful trip this weekend! Hooray! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. March 12, 2010 / 7:57 am

    I can not believe you already have so much growth after only 4 days!!!! You must have one green thumb ๐Ÿ™‚
    The last vacation I took was sadly 2.5 years ago and between work, raising my kiddo and going to school, it may be many more years before I see a vacation.

  5. March 12, 2010 / 7:59 am

    Love your answer about Crystal Light. You just described me exactly. Half of my water intake is plain and the rest comes from caffeine free diet soda or crystal light. The way look at it is, if that’s my only vice, I’m doin pretty good!

  6. Kenya
    March 12, 2010 / 8:25 am

    Thank you for answering my question! My colleagues and I were brewing over that question about 2 weeks ago as we were dumping our respective flavors into our water bottles! I passed the info along.
    Have a safe, yet fun trip!

  7. March 12, 2010 / 8:40 am

    I’ve had that convo with my mom so many times about flavorings for water. She’s against it, but my argument is that my husband is now drinking flavored water instead of soda during the evenings, so I’m on board. Do I think plain water would be even better? Of course, but the flavor packets are helping him move in a healthier direction so I’m thrilled with them (of course personally I can’t stand the taste but that so doesn’t matter). I think when people are trying to make changes, it’s really about supporting the small changes for the better – even if there are healthier versions, a move in the right direction is still just that – a move in the right direction!
    Congrats on your green thumb, can’t wait to see them in the big garden!

  8. March 12, 2010 / 8:42 am

    Your garden is so exciting! I wish I had room to have one! I have been thinking about growing some herbs indoors this spring/summer…do you have any suggestions on how to do this?

  9. March 12, 2010 / 9:11 am

    Love that your plants are sprouting! Spring is here ๐Ÿ™‚

    Your hair style is SO CUTE !!! ( i noticed it in the background of your plant picture )

  10. March 12, 2010 / 9:41 am

    wow your garden is becoming beautiful day by day and was nice reading your Q & A

  11. March 12, 2010 / 10:22 am

    Wow..your garden looks awesome. You must certainly have a green thumb as they say.
    Great Q and A! I would agree with you on the lactose.
    Have a great weekend!

  12. March 12, 2010 / 10:55 am

    Thanks again for answering my question (this is Bridget btw)! I am running a 10k and hosting a dinner party this weekend…fun times! Have a good trip!

  13. March 12, 2010 / 11:04 am

    The last getaway I had was over 5 years ago, how sad is that lol.

    Awwww congrats on the garden!!!! Have a great weekend with your bff!

  14. March 12, 2010 / 11:55 am

    Hi Nicole!

    For the lactose question: whole milk and nonfat milk (and everything in between have virtually the same amount of carbohydrates and lactose per volume (12.8 and 12.4 g lactose per 8 ounces).

    Thus I don’t feel this explains why many people (I hear it often too among my clients) feel a difference in LI symptoms with fluid milks. More likely, it is the contribution of the fat. Fat slows gastric emptying and movement through the small intestine, giving the body’s lactase (or lactase pills) more time to split the lactose molecules. So less intact lactose reaches the colon, resulting in less gas, cramping, and all the other fun sequelae. ๐Ÿ™‚

    While this may seem to imply that choosing higher fat dairy foods would help, this effect can also be achieved by simply choosing your dairy foods (lowfat or not) with a meal (preferably containing heart-healthier fats!) An ounce of almonds with your nonfat yogurt may do just the trick, without the cholesterol and saturated fat from dairy fat.

    Hope this helps!
    Georgie Fear RD

  15. March 12, 2010 / 12:05 pm

    Happy Friday Nicole!!!

  16. March 12, 2010 / 12:52 pm

    I am wondering if the trouble with the low fat dairy could have to do with a potential “artificial” product in it, maybe there are sugar alcohols, maybe a fat replacement that causes GI upset, and may just that the higher fat products she chooses are hard cheeses, which naturally have less lactose. Just some ideas. For all we know it could be something not related at all to the dairy, but something else she consumes at the same time.

    The garden looks great! Keep at it, I am so impressed.

    As for vacations, I think sometimes life is a vacation when you live in another country. I do have some trips coming up, and I am even going to be in the states in a few weeks.

  17. March 12, 2010 / 3:18 pm

    The weather is beautiful here in Houston! And is supposed to be warm and sunny all weekend!

  18. Leslie
    March 12, 2010 / 7:01 pm

    I’m not sure what your milk is there, but in Iowa our whole milk has the same carbohydrate content as fat free milk. No additional carbohydrates are added, just the vitamins. You can check the manufacturers’ websites. One example for a local (large) dairy: http://www.robertsdairy.com/products/milk Compare the ingredient list and carbohydrate content of what people buy in Iowa: Vitamin D Whole Milk vs Fat Free Skim Milk.

    I’m a dietitian that also has heard this (very few times, most people handle one kind as well as the other as far as I’ve seen). I’ve talked to my coworker RDs about this too and nobody has an answer. I haven’t found any research about it other than that having lactose in combination with other foods tends to help prevent symptoms… so having the additional fat might work as one of those other “foods.” Fat would maybe dilute the lactose and maybe decrease the dosage amount in the intestine. Fat tends to cause digestion to go a little slower. (Maybe if it’s mixed with fat it goes through at one gram per minute instead of 3 grams per minute – as a bad example). Many people can small amounts. Does this make sense?

    • Leslie
      March 12, 2010 / 7:02 pm

      * I had a typing error and left out a word… “Many people can HANDLE small amounts.”

  19. March 12, 2010 / 8:52 pm

    I love the Q & As! For Heather’s Q: I’ve noticed that nonfat diary products (specifically skim milk) have more lactose per cup than full-fat products, although I’m not sure why. Your explanation makes total sense, though – since the fat is removed from skim milk, the remaining “liquid” is more concentrated with sugar (lactose). Food is so interesting!

    Yay sprouts! I can’t wait to see the garden as it grows!

  20. March 13, 2010 / 7:03 am

    Great answers to the questions. Wow, high triglyercides. It’s funny I was actually JUST looking up some ways to decrease triglycerides. People ask me that a lot lately, so it’s good that you posted about it.

    Your garden is really looking good! In one of the houses we looked at yesterday, Nick and I were already planning our garden. So fun!

    No vacations lately, other than Philly, which was a BLAST! HAve a great time this weekend!

  21. March 13, 2010 / 7:53 am

    I hope you are having a great time in Houston with your friend! I am in SF this weekend at a really neat seminar for guiding myself to do bigger and better things ๐Ÿ™‚
    How cute is your garden, you should be so proud. Now you are a momma to those little green plants and Lily….awesome!!

  22. March 13, 2010 / 9:21 am

    You got some tough questions here! I would have really had to think hard about that TG question…but it makes sense to stay away from simple sugars since insulin increase TG absorption and storage.

    Have fun this weekend! Enjoy the sun and your friend time!

  23. March 13, 2010 / 9:45 am

    Great info, as always!

    Love the garden pics!

    Have a wonderful weekend, and don’t get into too much trouble! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  24. March 13, 2010 / 10:32 am

    Wow, your garden growth is incredible! I hope you have a fantastic time in Houston with your BFF!

  25. March 13, 2010 / 2:54 pm

    Damn I guess there’s no reason for me not to try green tea the unbottled way ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. March 13, 2010 / 3:29 pm

    My last vacay just happened last week in Chelan! Hope you have fun with your BFF.

    Thanks for the info about looking into the carb counts, I’ll have to check them out and make notes about which ones work well for me. If I try to remember without writing it down it just leaves my brain forever ๐Ÿ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get my newest recipes
Follow Me