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  1. #1
    Reba's Avatar
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    Question about foods and blood phosphorous levels

    Primal Fuel
    Hi, I'm not sure if this is the correct forum, but I hope somebody can help point me in the right direction, if not help me answer this question outright. Apologies in advance for the length of this post!

    I myself have been following a HFLC diet since 2008, diagnosed Celiac in 2009, and then have been pretty much Primal since then (very few packaged foods, and grains and legumes only occasionally, I can count how many times in a year on one hand).

    I have tried all this time to get my Mother to go Primal as well, but the best I could get her to follow is just eating fewer packaged foods, but she still eats bread and bagels and thinks I don't know. She did lose some weight when I insisted she go HFLC after she had a massive heart attack and almost died in 2009. She's now almost 66 y/o and always had food issues, and is grossly obese. Up until recently though, her doctor said she's healthy, other than carrying around almost 100 extra pounds. (!!)

    Recently however she suffered catastrophic kidney failure, which was caused by myeloma (sp?) blood cancer. She is on dialysis 3 times per week, and chemotherapy once a week. Her kidney function is about 10%. And of course, she has a nutritionist up on the dialysis unit who gives her information, and another nutritionist in the oncology department who gives her conflicting information, because they don't seem to talk to each other at all.

    The kidney doctor and nutritionist have said her blood levels of phosphorous and potassium are too high, so she has to avoid foods that are high in phosphorous and potassium. This is of course a double whammy, because the cancer she has is causing this, and also caused the kidney failure, which causes the body to not be able to process phosphorous, potassium and calcium.

    My question is though: is avoiding foods high in phosphorous and potassium really doing much or anything? She has her blood tested every time she's in, and they keep telling her it's too high, but she's been avoiding the foods they told her to avoid. (which is a lot!). Or, is it like blood cholesterol levels, not caused by eating foods high in cholesterol...?

    They also said "yeah, go ahead and eat all the white fluffy bread you want, and low fat meat, and cookies and sugary junk are ok as long as they're low in phosphorous" ugh...so let's just feed the cancer and make her fatter eh? uh...no...

    I checked on the Nutrition Facts & Analysis website for the list of foods they've told her is ok to eat, and some of them have phosphorous levels the same or higher than some of the foods they've told her to avoid. It's all very frustrating. She looks at the list and says "they said to drink juice and eat bread, but don't eat vegetables or fish..." She's a junk food junky, and sometimes I just want to shake her!

    So, can anyone point me in the direction of some non-conflicting information about what to feed my Mother? She's currently not well enough to do a lot of cooking or food prep on her own, so she'll have to eat what I make, and of course I want to make the best decisions to get her as close to healthy again as possible. Without feeding the cancer, which is doing all the damage to begin with.

  2. #2
    Paleobird's Avatar
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    As a cancer survivor myself, this is the best book I can recommend o the subject.

    Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer: Thomas Seyfried: 9780470584927: Amazon.com: Books

    You are right that the sugar and carbs are just feeding the cancer but your Mom's going to have to be the one who puts down the bagel.

    I wish you well.

  3. #3
    Reba's Avatar
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    thank you for that, I will see if I can find it somewhere for less than $100! That's a bit out of my price range unfortunately, but it looks like an awesome resource

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reba View Post
    thank you for that, I will see if I can find it somewhere for less than $100! That's a bit out of my price range unfortunately, but it looks like an awesome resource
    Dr Georgia Ede on her website "Diagnosis: Diet" did a very good summary and explanation of the book that could get you started.

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    CarbDodger's Avatar
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    firstly is she having haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis?
    secondly she needs the diet written down clearly and some just aren't. its easy to get confused about what she can eat on dialysis days and non dialysis days for example and they are often quite different. She needs to get this from the dialysis team and take it with her to the oncology team.

    avoiding potassium is quite probably keeping her heart beating regularly and if it becomes too high she is at risk of cardiac arrhythmia and heart attack
    uk advice Potassium and Dialysis Patients- Kidney Dialysis Information Centre
    I'm surprised fruit juice is on her list and are you sure its not only a dialysis day treat? also check the list doesn't have a section where shes supposed to tick off the fruits she eats and swap them for lower K options- ive seen ones like this that add to the confusion
    When I'd had enough of the grain and starched based 'diabetic eating for health' diet (eating for health, my ass!) my weight was 242.5 lbs. On starting primal- 18th April 2013 weight : 238.1.
    27th July 2013. weight after 100 days 136.9 weight lost 101.2lb ; that's 105.6lbs since I stopped the 'diabetic eating for health'
    new journal http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...ml#post1264082

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    Reba's Avatar
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    she has a list of foods she's allowed to eat, and a list of foods she's not allowed to eat, they haven't specified particular days on or off, just allowed, avoid, and occasional. She's on haemodialysis. She was told fruit juice is allowed at any time, within her daily fluid amounts, which is maximum 1 1/2 litres per day. Most of the foods she's been told to avoid are vegetables, all fruits are allowed, except bananas and avocado, all grains are allowed as much as she wants (this is where I'm struggling with her to try and explain how grains affect inflammation, she ate an entire box of cornflakes in less than a week gross). The cancer diet and the kidney diet conflict with each other somewhat, and certainly conflict with an actual healthy diet, because they both suggest low fat, and high carbohydrates from fluffy white bread, and even allow sweets like cakes and cookies, as long as there's no chocolate (high phosphorous).

    I just wonder though if blood levels of phosphorous and potassium would be high anyway, just because her kidneys don't work, and because of the type of cancer she has, so does it matter what she eats? (given that she has stuck to the prescribed diet fairly well, but her phosphorous is still high) Similar to what we know about blood levels of cholesterol not caused by eating eggs every day for breakfast, but by other factors.

    I will check Dr. Eades blog. Thanks

  7. #7
    Paleobird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reba View Post
    she has a list of foods she's allowed to eat, and a list of foods she's not allowed to eat, they haven't specified particular days on or off, just allowed, avoid, and occasional. She's on haemodialysis. She was told fruit juice is allowed at any time, within her daily fluid amounts, which is maximum 1 1/2 litres per day. Most of the foods she's been told to avoid are vegetables, all fruits are allowed, except bananas and avocado, all grains are allowed as much as she wants (this is where I'm struggling with her to try and explain how grains affect inflammation, she ate an entire box of cornflakes in less than a week gross). The cancer diet and the kidney diet conflict with each other somewhat, and certainly conflict with an actual healthy diet, because they both suggest low fat, and high carbohydrates from fluffy white bread, and even allow sweets like cakes and cookies, as long as there's no chocolate (high phosphorous).

    I just wonder though if blood levels of phosphorous and potassium would be high anyway, just because her kidneys don't work, and because of the type of cancer she has, so does it matter what she eats? (given that she has stuck to the prescribed diet fairly well, but her phosphorous is still high) Similar to what we know about blood levels of cholesterol not caused by eating eggs every day for breakfast, but by other factors.

    I will check Dr. Eades blog. Thanks
    That was Dr. Georgia Ede's blog I was talking about (not Dr. Michael Eades although he has a great blog too).

    I can tell you about cancer but I do not know what to tell you about the phosphorous/kidney angle. I really have no expertise there.

  8. #8
    CarbDodger's Avatar
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    its very different to dietary advice for haemodialysis given in the UK
    http://www.uhb.nhs.uk/Downloads/pdf/...sPhosphate.pdf
    http://www.uhb.nhs.uk/Downloads/pdf/...hPotassium.pdf

    her kidneys cant excrete the phosphorous and potassium so the diets to stop them climbing too high.
    When I'd had enough of the grain and starched based 'diabetic eating for health' diet (eating for health, my ass!) my weight was 242.5 lbs. On starting primal- 18th April 2013 weight : 238.1.
    27th July 2013. weight after 100 days 136.9 weight lost 101.2lb ; that's 105.6lbs since I stopped the 'diabetic eating for health'
    new journal http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...ml#post1264082

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