Sunday, November 29, 2015

The latest on the medical front: watching my salt intake

Upon the recommendation of my pharmacist brother, I have seen a nephrologist (kidney specialist)to try to see if the root cause(s)for my high level of calcium in urine can be determied and whether or not a different approach than what my rheumatologist (arthritis/bones) has taken, should be considered. The RX from the rhumatologist while improving matters, is far from making a significant impact. My calcium levels dropped to about 406, the normal range is under 200. Note that I am a less is more person when it comes to medication, but also am very compliant when it comes to following MD's orders.

My new MD has me on the DASH diet, as of Saturday. Rather than running out and purchasing books, I have turned to my library and requested various cookbooks, a DVD set, an informational/educational DASH book. No cost to me. Additionally, I am taking another RX which often helps the rhumatologist prescribed RX work better. Luckily, I am pretty much a scratch cook, don't add a lot of salt to my cooking/foods. That said, while the few convenience foods such as the 2 sauce pouches I recently acquired (pictured above) that do enter the home are anticipated to contain high levels of sodium (640 in aforementioned), salt/sodium is hiding in a lot of foods. I am keeping a journal of everything I am consuming, sometimes guestimating the salt content, based on labels, "googling" information. I am to aim for no more than 1500 mg/day, if not less. Yesterday, I met goal, today may be close.

Brunch today: water, coffee w/ 1/2 & 1/2 and sugar; home fried (used canned in sea salt that I rinsed off)potatoes, onion, fzn peppers/onions, 1 TBSP ketchup ( a reduction for me) 1 1/2 strips of lurking cooked, crumbled bacon-all cooked in reserved bacon fat and seasoned with black pepper, Paprika; 2 fried eggs in aforementioned fat (no additional salt added but I did sprinkle with pepper), 2 slices toasted Rye with butter.

Lunch snack come mid afternoon will be organic yogurt, a banana or Clementine. Lots of water continuously taken during the day, as recommended.

I already have the goal of significantly reducing our food stores due to an impending move come Summer, now I have to carefully orchestrate the more salt ladden foods to meet an additional health goal.

More blood/urine tests and a renal scan in 2 weeks, I return to the neuphrologist in 6 weeks.


slugmama said...

There are lots of low salt recipes online now.
I went l/s 2 years back and still am very conscious of reading labels. It takes about 2-3 weeks to adjust your palate to a no-salt diet depending on how salty you were before. lolz

Try the no-salt Heinz ketchup, it's available most grocery stores nowadays. Pretty good and I prefer it to reg. ketchup now.

Good luck!

CTMOM said...

Sluggy, luckily (?) I've always been careful about salt, turning to herbs, vinegar, etc. Just ever more vigilent

NAN said...

Good for you! I gave up processed foods a long time ago. You can do it too. One bit of advice is to stop with Dollar Tree food- might be cheap but generally loaded with sodium. Your grocery bill might increase a bit but the benefits are great! I'm making a big pot of lima beans now- just added some onions and garlic to it. I might shred and add some carrots later.

CTMOM said...

Nan, While I understand your comment to stop buying DT sold items, I also buy gift supplies, tissues, cleaning supplies as well as healthy items there. Case in point: I recently bought 4 two lb bags of dried pintos there. 50 cents/lb!-unbelieveable! Frequent items I buy are: white vinegar, fzn fruit (plain), fzn veggies (plain), flour tortillas, catsup, mustard, spices, oatmeal, salad dressing (salty) fzn pork-veg pot stickers, med sized eggs, candy, baked beans (agree-salty), brown rice, etc. Yes, there is a lot of junk there in all aisles, one has to know what to look for. : )

Arden said...

Be very careful with sodium levels. My father in law made himself very ill when he eliminated sodium and spent two nights in the hospital. You can go too low fairly easily and the results are serious.

CTMOM said...

Thank you, Arden, that is why I am journally and tallying as close as possible what sodium I am getting. Aiming for 1500/day.

Dee said...

Carol, Has your doctor checked your parathyroid? One of it's functions is to control the calcium in your body. Several people in our family have parathyroid issues. Just a thought. Dee

CTMOM said...

Dee, thanks for sharing that tip. Yes, it's been checked several times, will be again. As the nephrologist said, "This may eb a tough nut to crack." meaning figuring out why I have this condition.

Kearnygirl said...

I grew up with a dad who had high blood pressure and so my mother hardly ever used any salt. She didn't buy canned stuff because of that and I was used to not having much salt in food. When I got married, my husband didn't have that background and salted everything. We are both on BP meds and we do watch our salt intake. If I use a canned item like beans, I try to remember to rinse the beans. It's hard to have to read every label but it's worth it. I don't buy any processed foods at all. I wish you success in your new "low sodium" cooking and eating. I hope you get to the bottom of what's causing your high calcium. I'm sure your doctors will find the reason. It just takes time. Have a great day.