New diabetic with stage 3 CKD and pretty confused

Hi all
Just found this forum and hope I have found the right place.
Recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and in the same breath informed I have stage 3 CKD.
A little background…
I’m almost 61. I smoke heavily for the better part of 42+ years. In February of 2013 I was diagnosed with advanced COPD after an 8 hour ER visit.
I quit smoking Feb 24, 2013 at 8 PM.
In the summer of 2015 I was told (after many tests and MRI’s) that I had high grade Bladder Cancer. I’ll spare the details, but had a malignant tumor removed in Oct 2015 just befor it would have penetrated the bladder wall. Currently continue quarterly exploratory checks to be sure cancer hasn’t returned. Told 40%-50% chance it won’t). Caused by smoking.
Fast forward to now…Type 2 and CKD.
I know there are many foods I can eat as a diabetic, but then add CKD and the list narrows. Been told salt is now my enemy, but lots of food have a high food content.
Have seen a nutritionist and also looked online for info on food.
Never really cooked much or ate regularly. Now I have to. I hate it. I used to cook and eat a lot of Pasta, now pasta and any and all potato products are off my list, as I’ve been sternly told.
Getting tired of Chicken, fish, salads. What can I do? Is there some cookbook or easy recipes for people with both diseases? Don’t see any written. Bought a few diabetic cookbooks, but most things I wouldn’t eat (or cook) and many other I could eat I can’t because of some ingredients have high sodium, fats, and carbohydrates (which I now have limits for.
Life was supposed to be good after 60. When does that start.
I haven’t read through the forum yet, but expect I am one of many with these same issues. How do you cope.

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Kale’s good.

Followed by lots of meds.

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Okay, my dear. First of all —you have absolutely come to the right place. Give us all a day or two to find out what we know, what we have in common, what resources we can pull up to help you.!..

For my part—my mom died of CKD—but that is hopeful for you—she was 89 years old and had lived with it for years and years…I smoked for almost 40 years (I and my husband are near 70). My COPD is not as advanced as yours, but I am living with it and learning to use my inhaler before exercising daily. My husband has emphysema, but doesn’t need an inhaler yet—his doc told him that smoker or not, 90% of human beings will have some form of COPD by their 70s because of pollution and bad air…This is all just to say—You are Not Alone!..

I cannot speak to bladder cancer, except to say that you Will find support here and folks who have direct or indirect knowledge…

As you read around, you will see that there are many of us who eat very low carb a la Dr Richard Bernstein. But many, many find success controlling their diabetes with only moderating their carb count. Now—the only way to determine what works for you is to test a lot—keep a little food journal that tells you “when I eat this food, my blood sugar does this at two hours post-prandial.” That and your fasting # will help guide you a lot…

I had to train myself to eat regularly when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2006—otherwise I would get a case of fibro-fog—cognitive difficulties and nausea- I won’t lie to you–it was not easy—BUT—at this remove, it was totally worth it…

One place to start on learning to eat better for your particular “issues”----start with foods you like and look for healthy substitutes. There are ways to minimize the carbs in pasta Sauces, for instance, which then you can put on “zoodles”–zucchini noodles—a great conveyer belt for all old pasta sauces…Sweet tooth?—You substitute various nut flours and sugar substitutes like stevia and voila—you’ve got yummy almond “sugar” cookies, almond flour pancakes and coffeecakes and brownies and fudge!..I’ve adapted lots of old family recipes–from holiday cookies to fall quick breads like zucchini bread and cheesecake with a ground pecan crust to walnut cake…

Yes you may need to cook stuff, but you will be getting great advice here on how to make this easier!..

I gotta get to bed now, but I will check back tomorrow—you Can do this, my dear, and we are ALL here to help. Just, please keep us posted so we can help!..

Many blessings of the universe to you and yours…Judith in Portland…


If you click on the horizontal bars shown on the top RH corner of the page you will find a recipe section. There are lots of tasty low carb recipes here that our members have shared.

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Wish that was on my list of foods that I like, but unfortunately it ranks up there with broccoli for me. Least favorite.
Anything tasty out there which is good to eat and I’d want to eat, compatible with failing kidneys?
Appreciate the thought though.

Hi Judith
Glad to know I found the right place. I looked at a variety of forums which I didn’t find user friendly or was just a tool to try to sell me something.
When I quit smoking, it was an online forum which was my lifeline and made the struggle bearable. You might even say saved my life as my doctor told me I had 3 years to live at best had I not quit.

Now all this.

Glad to know there is hope for me, but in the event there isn’t, I have everything in order. I totally agree and understand about the 90% COPD. Never knew or heard about it until I was diagnosed. Who knows how long I’ve had it since it was probably 10+ years prior since I had seen my doc. Since then, I can’t turn on the TV without seeing a commercial about it. In fact, I know a few people who were recently diagnosed, but survived only due to being brought in to the ER and treated for pneumonia only to be told it was caused by her COPD (which she never knew she had). The first few days she was given a 50-50 chance to live, but ultimately pulled through. There are so many people out there who have it but not yet diagnosed.

Now that I’ve gotten older I am finding I’m not alone, then again, I know so many in my group who are healthy for the most part, but look like they are in worse condition than me. This is not a why me moment. And besides, the COPD and cancer were my own doing, probably this too. Now I have to start over with a new Urologist as my current one retires in a week. He told me this when he scheduled my recent exploratory surgery earlier this month.

As far as the food goes, I’ve always been a pick eater. There are probably more foods that I don’t like (most of which you suggested) or don’t want to eat than those I like. I have been using Trivia as a sugar substitute. I have also come to realize that most of the foods I do like, I can no longer eat, either due to diabetes or CKD or both. Unfortunately, Foods they list I can eat as a diabetic are on the Do Not Eat list for CKD. I am totally confused by all this.

Checked into whole wheat pasta (not really appealing to me), but noticed the extremely high sodium content. Doctor and dietician have told me no pasta at all. Haven’t had a sweet tooth since I was young. Don’t eat a lot of deserts, but almost everything has some sugar in it. In the store I check all the nutrition facts and even low fat, sugar free and others claiming to be good are either high in sodium or carbohydrates. Beef told seafood is good. Got shrimp (frozen) the other day sodium listed at 300 p/serving. Serving size 4 shrimp. I’ll starve at this rate.

I weigh in now at 191 (was 198 2 weeks ago). Don’t know the reason for the loss, but probably because since I hate cooking and can’t find enough easy variety, I don’t eat much. Dock wants me to lose another 30 pounds. He’s got to be crazy. I haven’t been that light since my college days and I had to be careful on windy days or I’d be blown over.

I guess my confusion (not panic) is becoming more evident. I look forward to browsing a bit and seeing what bits of info will work for my particular situation. I do appreciate all the help, support, suggestions and advice I have and will receive. Especially since I’ve only been here a very short time (less than 24 hours). I can’t talk to people around me as they don’t understand. They just feel sorry for me (which I don’t want).

Like the smoking cessation forum, it’s good to know I can come somewhere where people understand my situation and allow me to vent when I need to especially with others who are living with the same or most of the same issues as me.
Thanks all.


Thanks. I will look through them. There has got to be something more out there for me.

I think you need to understand the difference between low carb and los GI foods. A lot of diabetics eat low carb, so foods such as brown rice, wholewheat pasta, wholemeal breads are found to raise blood sugars albeit more slowly than their white counterpart.
We all have different carbohydrate limits and the only way to find out how your body responds is to test, test and test.
Good luck.


Trying to understand, but it’s still all so new to me.
The complication as I’ve been told by my doctor and nutritionist is the CKD. I don’t know what effects what anymore. Been reading so many contradictions.

I don’t know how to monitor my kidney disease. If I eat the wrong things and the disease continues, then there is no turning back. It can’t be cured or reversed.
I think that is the scary part for me. Not really knowing at this point. That’s my problem with testing is possibly more kidney damage, but you are right, I should test. I’m sort of between a rock and a hard place.

I don’t want to wake up on dialysis thinking I shouldn’t have eaten this or I should have eaten more of this. I have the kit to test my blood sugar, but nothing to see where my CKD is at any given point. There are no physical symptoms I am aware of at this time.

I’ve been told that each meal should consist of no more than 45 grams of carbs (15g=1 carb, 3 carbs p/meal), Less than 4g total fats (less than 1g saturated), less than 300mg sodium and less than 6g sugar. To do this it seems that serving sizes would just barely fit in a thimble.

I could be all wrong. That’s why I’m so confused at this point. I wish I only had to concern myself with diabetes.
Yes, I probably still don’t really understand, but wanted you to know where I am in my mind at this point. So many things to try to figure out. I’m not giving up, but there are times…

I will consider everything and hope to find the answers that work for me.
Thanks again. I do appreciate it all.


I could comment on some of the points here, but I’ll hold off a bit. You’re already getting a lot of info and there is more coming. Information overload is a common “symptom” of the early early stages of Forum participation . . . :wink:

But that segues nicely to the one thing I will say right now: don’t try to learn it all (or figure it all out) at once. You can’t. Eventually the brain gets saturated, won’t absorb any more, and needs to rest. Everyone who goes down the path we’re all on learns incrementally, a bit at a time. Eventually enough of the bits are fitted into place that things come into focus. You’ll get there.


Greeting, welcome to the group. This is a good link:

Eat local fresh when you can. I like bags of vegetables you cook in the microwave. Batch cook meat, say cook 10 chicken thighs. Bag 2 to a bag and freeze… You would have 5 meat meals you just have to thaw. This site has lots of information. Hope this helps. Nancy


Good advice.
I completely understand. I don’t like to wait in supermarket lines either. Overload just comes natural, but I will slow it down and absorb.

Thanks. I’ll check it out.
I actually and cooking up many portions of chicken breasts at 1 time and eating them throughout the week. I also sauté a mix of vegetables when I get more energetic.
Still hate cooking though.

Alright my friend, hold the horses! I can’t speak to COPD and cancer, but your diabetes is definitely not “your doing.” All the evidence points to genetic susceptibility combined with environmental factors for all types of diabetes, and even in cases where people are obese it seems that compromised metabolism often comes first (and is somewhat responsible for weight gain).

So, shelve the blame game (you have what you have, but you aren’t a bad person for having diabetes, or lazy, or sloppy, or a glutton, etc.), it’s almost certainly never useful to a diabetic. Now, that being said, once you are diagnosed, diet is one of the ways that we have to help control our blood sugar (as you’ve found out). And yes, I certainly feel for you! Having apparently “competing” diets has got to be terribly complicated. So, let me suggest a couple of things to think about diet wise:

  1. The easiest way to eat low-carb (which is great for diabetes and isn’t going to hurt CKD) is to stick to meat, green veggies, eggs, butter, and oils. If you get really low carb (like below 50g per day), it can often help with cholesterol as well.

  2. You already mentioned Omega-3 I think. Good. Get some other good oils in your diet on a daily basis, because they are full of calories, good for you, and won’t do much to your kidneys or your blood sugar. Avocados, olive oil by the bucketload, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, flax seeds, walnuts and pecans, and fish are full of “good fats.” They help you to feel full, can provide energy to the body when not eating a lot of carbs, and can help to raise “good cholesterol” and lower the “bad cholesterol.” Also good for the brain and the heart.

  3. You might have to get used to eating some things you don’t prefer. I certainly have. Two years ago, I would have told you that almonds are the only nut I like to eat. Today, I eat pecans, walnuts, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts on a daily basis. Probably 1/4 of my calories come from nuts and seeds. Also chia seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, etc. Do I like eating like a freaking squirrel? I do not. Do I like the consequences of eating like a bird? I most definitely do.

  4. “Healthy foods” for normal people aren’t “healthy foods” for diabetics, often times. Whole wheat and multigrain products, sweet potatoes, potatoes, rice (even brown!), and beans have all been systematically stripped from my diet. Why? Because that might work for healthy young 20 somethings on the beach in San Diego, but that diet is going to kill me dead. Having a compromised metabolic system changes everything.

  5. Test, test, test! You’re going to have to figure out which foods (and combinations of foods) work for you, and it’s going to take time to figure that out.

  6. Start simple and then branch out. Find something (or two somethings) and stick to it while you do further research. I started by eating big salads with chicken and blue cheese or “Zesty Italian” dressing (no croutons) and broccoli and chicken breast for dinner. A LOT of broccoli and chicken breast. You don’t like broccoli, but how about spinach? Buy it raw and steam it. Try not to get prepared meals or products because, as you’ve found out, they often are full of sodium. You have to cook to control your sodium intake.

  7. Find some simple “snack foods” that work for you. For me those are nuts (you can get them cheap from bulk sections of stores with or without salt) and seeds. For you it might be different. What I found did not work for me was my normal snacks pre-diagnosis: apples, grapes, tomatoes, carrots, and other such sweet fruits and veggies. Despite how often we’re told these are healthy foods and we should eat more, they don’t work for me. I’m strictly a brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus guy these days.

  8. Keep asking questions, keep reading answers, and you’re going to figure it out! This is a great place to ask questions: there is an enormous amount of advice to be had here.

Welcome. Sounds like you’ve got a rough combination of diseases to deal with, but I’m confident you’ll find solid experience and support here in these forums.


Hi Garry, I have stage 3 CKD and I’m also Type2 but I’m in no way new to diabetes. We have much in common since I am also 60 years old.

The best way to manage your CKD is to control its causes to help prevent further damage. In my case its type2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

Stage 3 CKD is not yet time to go into full blown panic mode but it is time to take it very serious. My mom is 85 and has been stage 3 for many years without progression, she follows her doctors advice to achieve this.

One piece of advice given to me was to avoid NSAID type pain relievers along with excessive salt. For me giving up NSAID’s is hard since I suffer from lots of joint pain in my knees, hips and back.

Your diseases may seem insurmountable but they are manageable.



Thanks Gary.
I too, have lots of joint (knee, ankle, back) issues but I don’t take any pain meds.
I’m on so many meds for all my other conditions that I don’t think I have room left for them in my system.

Really well said, David!

Hi David
Thanks for the reply and advice.
I have been eating a lot of sautéed mixed vegetables (onion, Green, red, yellow peppers and mushrooms) along with baked chicken breasts. Some time I mix it up for variety, maybe a chicken breast and no salad or a salad and no breast. I am a poor cook and will probably kill myself that way. I have also been eating Cod, Flounder and salmon, tuna too (canned).

Like you, whole wheat and multigrain products, sweet potatoes, potatoes, rice (even brown!), and beans have all been eliminated. I will miss potatoes mostly.
I like the different nuts (most) you mentioned, but an article I downloaded on CKD says don’t eat nuts, but my doctor told me a while back to eat the. I will have to check with my nutritionist on that one.
Not big on Avacados, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower or spinach. They are out, but I seem to cook everything in virgin olive oil.

My nutritionist has me on no more than 45 g carbs a meal x 3 meals a day (= to 3 carbs). I never ate 3 meals a day before. I ate when I was hungry. No doc says I must eat 3 a day and take meds with them.

I just have to find out what foods (I like or can tolerate) I can actually eat for the combined conditions. I guess the priority would be for the CKD knowing that anything I can eat for that also works for diabetes.

I gave up so much during the early years when I quit smoking. Just seems like I keep having to give things up.
Eventually I will hit the combination.

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Exactly how I feel sometime.

Hi Garry with 2 r’s, Whittney with 2 t’s :slight_smile:

Your story reminded me of when my dad had a quadruple bypass at age 50, he’s 72 now & still going strong! He too met with a nutritionist and, after listening to everything she told him about his, “newly-adopted-lifestyle-because-we-don’t-call-it-a-diet-anymore,” spiel he replied, “So basically, if it tastes good I have to spit it out.” He never lost his sense of humor through the whole ordeal! :slight_smile: Similarly, you’ve just been given a pretty strict, new way of living/eating and, pardon my language, it kinda sucks! But, like others have said, don’t try to perfect it in a day, week, month, etc. And, go ahead and be upset, be sad, but then move on from that and show it who’s boss!

I’m going to guess you don’t frequent the site Pinterest but that sight has TONS of recipes for every chronic disease under the sun! And, not sure if you’ve read up on the sodium to magnesium connection but you might want to look into that. I think Dr. Moore is the doc who has done a lot of the resesrch…

I’m not a doctor by any stretch but I’ve learned a lot from reading different things & if there is research to back it up and it seems logical I’ll try it. Some things have worked & some haven’t but our bodies react differently to different things & you have to see what works for you!

For example, upon hearing another mother talk about the benefits of melatonin for her disease free, healthy, competitive dancing DD I started reading about it and there’s a lot of research on melatonin and blood sugar; some pro, some con but it seemed like something my T1DD might benefit from so I implemented it to her nightly routine (and mine too - I’m her mom, not a mad scientist using her as a guinea pig for my own research; if there are side effects I want to have them too!). We’ve been taking melatonin for a couple months now & so far, so good, for both of us! It’s really helping stabilize her numbers throughout the night. Quite a feat for an 8yo girl whose CGM stats usually look like a roller coaster ride at an amusement park. :slight_smile: At first I tried the gummie version but those sky-rocketed her numbers so then I tried the fast melts and “Bingo! We have a winner!!”

My point being, yes, plesse do what you’re doctors & nutritionist are telling you but realize, they’re looking at it like building a dam for you, and quickly, so they can contain & prevent further damage. But, you can read & empower yourself with things too!

And, I agree with the others. Don’t give yourself such a hard time! My dad never had high blood pressure, was never overweight by more than a few pounds & his cholesterol wasn’t ever over 200 but, guess what?!?! His ratio of ldl to hdl was seriously out of whack. That’s not his fault, nor anything most old blood tests noted to his GP but he had his 1st heart attack at 47. :frowning: Thankfully, over the years we’ve learned ldl to hdl ratio is important. Just like you are learning and being told it’s not your fault - It’s not your fault Garry. :slight_smile:

Like my dad your first lesson was, “If it tastes good, spit it out!” Now you’re on the road to debunk that instinctive thought process and retrain your brain and your taste buds. Like I tell my daughter when she looks like she’s about to lose it because she had to test for the 20th (more like 5th) time that day, “We got this!” Quickly followed by, “You can stick me with that thing & test me first if you want!” I don’t have diabetes so kind of a moot point but she knows we’re in this together.

Garry, you’ve got this! And, as someone who doesn’t cook, or I should say, as someone who has been asked not to cook, I know there are things you can eat & will like eating! Give kale a chance (Blech!) Lol

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