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Published on October 20th, 2020 | by Katherine


Diabetic Kidney Disease | How to Break the INSULIN CIRCLE

Hello, my name is Katherine and this is 00kidney! Welcome to our journey together to a better kidney health.
Today I’ll tell you everything you need to know to beat diabetic kidney disease.
Diabetic nephropathy is a complication of type 2 diabetes. Out of control diabetes can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys, causing long lasting loss of kidney function.
But don’t lose hope: with the correct diet, lifestyle and maybe some home remedies, you can reverse type 2 diabetes and even repair the damage to your kidneys.
Actually, science has proven that reversing diabetes remains possible for at least 10 years after the onset of the condition.
So today we are going to see the winning strategy to get rid of diabetes and ultimately reverse diabetic kidney disease.
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We’ve got a lot to get through, so let’s get started.

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Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure, so it’s normal to ask “How can I keep my kidneys healthy if I have diabetes”?
The best way to prevent or stop diabetes-related kidney disease is to reach your blood glucose and blood pressure goals.
So, this is the big picture. The goal we should focus on is getting our blood pressure and blood sugar levels as close as possible to the right values.
First value is fasting blood sugar.
The ideal number is below 100 mg/dL and also and hemoglobin A1C level below 7%.
These numbers may need to be individually calibrated, not everyone may be able to reach 100 mg/dL or less.
But the lower you can get, the better.
Same for blood pressure. It’s not always easy to stay below 120 over 80 but, again, the lower you can go, the better.
There are ways to do this and… no, it’s not all about losing weight.
Because, while it’s true that Approximately 90% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese, there are some good reasons why the standard advice of “eat less, exercise more” doesn’t always deliver results for people living with type 2 diabetes.

Actually, the problem is just one hormone:


Now, when it comes to reversing type 2 diabetes, insulin is everything. This is our fat storage hormone. When it goes up, it’s not just bad for our kidneys, heart and blood vessels.
Because insulin also makes us hungry, and the food we eat, is much more likely to be stored as fat, now.
Insulin is produced by your pancreas, and insulin has many functions in the body.
Having chronically elevated blood sugar levels is dangerous, so your body needs to do something about it.
Your body responds by making more and more insulin to try to get the job done.
But insulin has many functions, alright?
Insulin also works to promote the storage of fat and to block the release of fat from fat storage. So instead of losing weight, you just keep gaining, thanks to all that insulin.

And many people don’t know this, but that’s also why it’s normal for people with diabetes to have cravings for sugary foods.
Ok guys, if you think this info is interesting, share this video with anyone you know who may need a new, more positive attitude towards the right lifestyle to beat diabetes.
Because now, we are going to find a way to break this vicious circle.

How do you break the insulin circle.
People living with type 2 diabetes are insulin resistant, meaning their tissues are not responding as they should to insulin. Insulin moves sugar from your blood into your cells.
If your body does not respond to its own insulin, then your blood sugar will remain chronically elevated, and your body will produce more insulin.
The most direct solution is to decrease the source of high blood sugar itself-carbohydrate consumption.
By eating fewer carbohydrates, we both reduce the glucose load in the blood, and decrease the release of insulin.
But that doesn’t mean you should avoid all carbohydrates if you have diabetes.

Dietary guidelines from around the globe traditionally recommend that you get around 45-60% of your daily calories from carbs. And this also works for people with kidney disease. Just with less protein.
But if you also have diabetes, multiple studies have shown that a daily carb intake of 20-150 grams, or 5-35% of calories, not only leads to better blood sugar control but may also promote weight loss and other health improvements.
A healthy diabetes diet looks pretty much like a healthy diet for anyone: lots of fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and lean protein;
less salt, sugar, and foods high in refined carbs (cookies, crackers, and soda, just to name a few).
We have seen that the daily carb intake is very low when eating to fight diabetes.
This is essential to keep your blood sugar levels in your target range, which will also prevent more damage to your kidneys.
And this also means that we should find the best carb sources possible.
It’s not always easy, because many foods that are very healthy for people with diabetes, are dangerous if you have CKD.
But there are some exceptions, some incredibly healthy superfoods that should be your preferred source of carbs.
They include

Healthy whole grains such as
Barley, Buckwheat, Bulgur, Popcorn.
These are my favorite whole grains because they’re not just the perfect carb source, meaning that they have a low glycemic index, but they’re also very rich in healthy fiber and low in potassium and phosphorus.
Now, if you don’t have to limit these minerals, also consider adding to your diet brown rice, oats, whole rye and other whole grains. these are usually not recommended for ckd patients in the advanced stages, though.
All these whole grains are great sources of fiber, very useful to avoid blood sugar spikes. Fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance that helps slow the absorption of carbs in the gut.
This results in a steady rise and fall in blood sugar, rather than a spike.

The other source of carbs you should consider is fruit.
This is a debate topic, because many people believe that fruit is a source of sugar that should be avoided.
But, is it true?

Well, believe it or not, the notion that fruit is not safe when you need to watch your blood sugar levels is a popular diabetes myth that has been debunked.
So, here some fruits you can indulge on

Whether you love blueberries, strawberries, or any other type of berry, you have the go-ahead to indulge.
According to the ADA, American diabetes association, berries are a diabetes superfood because they’re packed with antioxidants and fiber.
Also great for people with kidney disease.
Extremely low in potassium compared to many other healthy fruits, apples should be your go to snack if you care about your health.
Eat them with the skin to get more fiber and a lower glycemic response.
Citrus fruits
While oranges are great for people with diabetes, they’re also too rich in potassium if you have CKD.
The solution? Tangerines and grapefruit! Very low in glycemic index but with less potassium than oranges.
And also
Because pears are an excellent source of fiber, even better than apples, they make a wise addition to your diabetes meal plan.
But, consume fruit in its whole, natural form, and avoid syrups or any processed fruits with added sugar.
There are many foods that are sold as healthy but contain a lot of hidden sugar.
Yes, the practice of marketing “sugar packed nightmare foods” as healthy is still alive and well.
Actually, what brands are doing better these days is shifting the blame onto the consumer.
If you Walk through any supermarket, you’ll see low- and reduced-fat versions of your favorite foods lining the shelves.
For example

Diet yogurts… no fats dairy in general, but also Low-fat candy bars or similar food items marketed towards health conscious people or people on a diet.
Yes, marketing is the keyword here.
Years and years of aggressive marketing campaign by food brands ended up instilling in the consumer a fake sense of what’s actually healthy or suitable for a diet.
Actually, you may end up eating the unhealthiest things just when you think you are eating healthy.
Example: diet yogurt.
If we take a 0 fat yogurt and we check the label, we can see that there’s actually no fat in it.
And while this may look like a good thing for someone wanting to lose weight, there’s a problem here.
Fat tastes good, and it’s not unhealthy.
So, they artificially removed fat from the yogurt and replaced it with …. Sugar.
Tons of very dangerous sugar in a product that’s supposed to be healthy. Check the labels.
So, be very careful with diet products.

But also, sauces and condiments.
Not all the sauces are unhealthy, ok, but condiments like ketchup, ranch dressing, barbecue sauce, Teriyaki sauce, pancake sirup and most salad dressings definitely are.
This picture represents how much sugar there’s in a bottle of ketchup.
Yes, Ketchup, for example, is up to 30% sugar. And it doesn’t even taste sweet because… well, just one tablespoon of ketchup contains up to 200mg of sodium.
So basically, if you eat ketchup, you’re just adding salt, sugar and a bit of tomato to your meal. Better avoid it.
But the biggest risk for someone with diabetes are liquid calories.

Soft drinks, colas, cokes but also fruit juices are a really, really fast way to damage your kidneys.
If you’re drinking a cup, or 250 milliliters of a soda or a fruit juice, you’re ingesting up to 30 grams or 8 teaspoons of sugar!
And that’s a lot of calories, that will go in your blood real quick, causing a INSULIN spike.
But if we look at the efforts brands make to make us think that fruit juices, for example, are healthy… well, it’s scary.
Now, luckily the fda has started forcing brands to list the added sugar on their labels. This is very very useful, but you have to double check the label of everything you buy.
You may have heard added sugars referred to by other names-or seen one of these listed in the ingredients in a food label.
Common high-sugar sweeteners that are often labeled FARE GESTO CON MANI “healthy” include:

Agave syrup
Birch syrup
Coconut sugar
Maple syrup
Raw sugar
Cane sugar
Sugar beet syrup

If you see these sweeteners on a food label, remember that they’re still sugar, ok? none of this is healthier than regular sugar.
The only healthy sugar is the fructose you naturally find in fruits.
Be vigilant about your intake of added sugar-it finds its way into many food items, as we have seen.

Now guys, there’s one thing many of you keep asking me in comment section about diabetes.
I get a lot of questions about exercising. Is this exercise healthy? Can I go to the gym if I have high blood pressure?
can exercise cure diabetes?
My answer is almost always the same

Exercising is maybe the single most important step in protecting the health of your kidneys from diabetes and other risk factors. I can’t stress how important this is.
Exercising has so many proven benefits that everyone will get from it
First of all, exercising will prevent and fight disease, not just diabetes and kidney disease.
It will help preventing heart disease, the number 1 cause of death in the world, but also the risk of falls.
Exercise improves strength and flexibility, which also help improve balance and coordination, reducing the risk of falls. Seniors take much longer to recover from falls, so anything that helps avoid them in the first place is extremely important.
Then there’s immune function. These days is the most discussed topic, isn’t it? Well, do you know that exercising regularly, even light exercise, such as walking, is the best thing you can do to have a more powerful immune system?
Exercise is good for you; it’s just a matter of making it a priority and a habit in your daily life.
Patients with late stage chronic kidney disease may have more problems finding the right routine.
So consider that even walking for 30 minutes a day is a good way to exercise.
As an added bonus, Muscles become more sensitive to insulin with exercise, and people can reverse insulin resistance with an active, healthy lifestyle.
Again, this is proven by science.
And I know that it is a lot easier said than done, but you don’t need to become a gym buff by tomorrow, ok? just take it easy, start gradually, find something you like and find ways to do it safely.
And just try to do this consistently over time, week after week.

Now the last step, the home remedies. While you don’t need to rely on home remedies to beat diabetic kidney disease, there are some supplements that can really help.
Let’s see.

First there is

Chromium is the master mineral in stabilizing and reducing blood sugar levels.
If high blood sugar is a problem for you, this is a nutrient that treats the root cause of your condition.
Chromium works by facilitating the action of insulin, whether it is naturally produced by the body or taken as insulin injections.
Food Sources of this nutrient include whole grains, beef, mushrooms, legumes and especially liver
Chromium is usually supplemented in the picolinate form and, while there are studies confirming that it may help improving insulin sensitivity, there is no recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for chromium.
But some researchers suggest that 1,000 micrograms a day should be considered the upper limit.
So consider that when choosing a supplement and, also, if you want to take a chromium supplement, always consult your doctor. This nutrient can have interactions with the insulin you may be taking.
Because it’s what it does, right? It makes insulin more effective.
And also consider

Bitter Melon
It’s a vegetable used in Asia, South America, India, and parts of Africa. It looks and tastes a little like a cucumber, but is very bitter.
Traditional medicine uses the fruit and seeds to treat many illnesses, such as diabetes, skin issues, asthma, and stomach problems.
You might hear it called by many other names, such as:
Bitter gourd
Bitter apple
Wild cucumber
In the Philippines we call it Ampalaya.
What matters is that it has several chemicals that seem to act like insulin and help to lower blood sugar levels.
Some studies suggest that they do this by causing more glucose to enter the cells, and then helping your body process it and store it in the liver, muscles, and fat.
Bitter melon may also prevent your body from changing the nutrients that it stores into glucose and then releasing it into the blood.
Some studies show bitter melon can lower blood sugar and A1c levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
How to Use Bitter Melon
You can find it at many Asian grocery stores. It might be fresh, dried, canned, or pickled.
But I usually prefer the extract, because you will know exactly what dosage you will get.
Standardized extract dosing ranges from 100 to 200 mg 3 times daily.
Bitter melon has a long history of safe and effective use, but blood glucose monitoring should follow. So, again, consult your doctor.
This is a powerful remedy, just like

Alpha-Lipoic Acid
Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that’s in many foods, and it’s made naturally in our bodies.
We have strong evidence that alpha-lipoic acid supplements help with type 2 diabetes.
Several studies have found that they can improve insulin resistance.
Studies also found that alpha-lipoic acid supplements can help with neuropathy — nerve damage — caused by diabetes or cancer treatment.
They seem to reduce symptoms like pain, tingling, and prickling in the feet and legs.
It may also help protect the retina from some of the damage that can occur in people with diabetes.
And to slow down the progression of diabetic kidney disease.
Studies have used between 600-1,800 milligrams daily for diabetes and you should be able to find this supplement easily on or in other stores.

Now, I also want to address a question I often get when talking about diabetes related issues. Many people want to know if the ketogenic diet is the answer to diabetes.
And you may have noticed that I haven’t talked about the ketogenic of keto diet in this video.
And this is because, especially for people with kidney disease, the ketogenic diet may have some hidden dangers. But it has also a lot of benefits to help diabetes.
I’ve talked about the keto diet in depth in this video up here, so if you want to know more, please watch it.

And, by the way guys, a new video is coming next Friday, stay tuned.
In the meantime, keep taking good care of your kidneys and be good to yourself.
This is all for today, thank you for watching!

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About the Author

Hello, this I Katherine, welcome to 00Kidney! Here you will find how tos and guides for kidney disease patients, how to lower creatinine, how to improve kidney function, the best recipes for you kidney friendly diet and... much more!

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