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Tony Grist

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Low Sodium [Jul. 11th, 2010|01:42 pm]
Tony Grist
Ailz's father has been told his kidneys are in a bad way and he needs to eat less salt. His response has been to give up crisps. Ailz went over there at lunchtime today on a mission to persuade him that a diet that's heavy on processed food, bacon, salami and strong cheese might need a little further pruning.

We were looking at low sodium diets on line. There's nothing arcane about them. Trust your commonsense and you won't go too far wrong. If it tastes salty it's got salt in it. QED. Cut out the worst offenders and you're left with fresh meat and fish, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, pasta, yoghurt.  Not so bad, really.

But no, they couldn't possibly change the way they eat.  It is written in stone that there shall always be processed meats. Now lets talk about something else.

Today's menu chez viellards ennuyeux? Bacon for lunch, sausages for tea.

[User Picture]From: baritonejeff
2010-07-11 03:15 pm (UTC)
It is also written in stone that they who ignore failing kidneys shall partake greatly of the bounty that is dialysis, wherein well-meaning, but slightly imcompetent, strangers shall shove huge, painful needles into their arms. And lo the process shall be three times a week, each time of five hours duration, and shall continue for the rest of their days.

Once I was diagnosed with kidneys that were "in a bad way", I was able to forstall dialysis for five years by watching many things like a hawk; most importantly my diet.

At dialysis, I am surrounded mostly by people who STILL don't take this, or other "inconveniences", seriously. One of them died a couple of weeks ago. She was younger than I.

*slaps Ailz's father up side the head*
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-07-11 03:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you for that. Ailz's father seems to be in complete denial as to the seriousness of his situation.

He's in his 80s of course- and I could understand it if he were saying, "Well, I've had a merry life and I've no intention of cutting down on the merriness in return for
surviving a few more years"- but that's not his attitude at all. He doesn't want to die- he's got a tenacious grip on life- but on the other hand he's not willing to make these quite small adjustments that might (a) extend his life and (b) make its quality better. Having eaten his meal of salty bacon he was complaining about a fearful headache- and when Ailz tried explaining there might be a link between the two he simply walked out the room.
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[User Picture]From: baritonejeff
2010-07-11 06:02 pm (UTC)
Thats sad. It *is* a lot to take in. But it is his doctor's responsibility to adequately communicate the gravity of this to him in no uncertain terms. Unless I miss my guess, he is probably also at grave risk for either heart attack or stroke, or both. The main reason he has been instructed to curtail his salt intake must be blood pressure related. And high blood pressure is murder on the kidneys, in addition to the heart.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-07-11 08:33 pm (UTC)
I think your diagnosis is correct. This latest problem with his kidneys comes on top of a long history of heart trouble.
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[User Picture]From: endlessrarities
2010-07-11 04:16 pm (UTC)
It must be hard to change the habits of a lifetime, though. Surely they could still have the bacon or the salami once a week or something, and then they'd be able to look forward to it?

My father's diet is terrible - he's in the meat three times a day school. Sadly, mine probably isn't much better - quorn's pretty processed...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-07-11 04:26 pm (UTC)
If I get to 80 I'll probably be as annoyingly fixed in my ways as he is- if not more so.
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[User Picture]From: qatsi
2010-07-11 04:21 pm (UTC)
You make it sound funny - comical, in fact - but of course it isn't.

Still, I have learnt something new from your post. Not about diets, but about French.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-07-11 04:28 pm (UTC)
I'm actually quite angry about it all. Ailz is worried sick about the old duffer- and he won't do a single, bloody thing to help himself.
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[User Picture]From: oakmouse
2010-07-11 06:31 pm (UTC)
*nods* Like my granddad, who continued in spite of high blood pressure and heart trouble to salt his steak until the salt stopped dissolving in the meat juices, on the premise that his daily breakfast banana would sort it all out (due to the potassium in bananas).

Poor Ailz. It's really hard to have a loved one who behaves so badly.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-07-12 08:15 am (UTC)
I'm conscious- even as I complain about him- that I'll probably turn into just such a pig-headed old person myself- if I live long enough.
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[User Picture]From: methodius
2010-07-12 03:46 pm (UTC)

Low sodium

Having been told somethiung similar by a doctor (reduce salt to lower blood pressure) I eat less bakon, and if I have a fried egg (once a week or so), put one slice of bacon on it instead of putting salt on it) as I did before.

After a few months of this, some foods that used to taste normal before now taste excessively salty, so that I can't eat them any more.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-07-12 03:56 pm (UTC)

Re: Low sodium

I've cut down my intake of salt over time and my palate has adjusted too. The modern western diet has way too much salt in it.
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[User Picture]From: jubal51394
2010-07-13 01:30 pm (UTC)

I, too, am on a low salt diet...

In the beginning I would have said "salt-free" but in the time that has past I have come to realize that salt-free is nearly impossible. Truth be told, if it tastes "edible" odds are it's got at least some salt in it.

Tell the old man to try lemon juice in place of salt. It's not the same but it's swallow-able and after several months it does become acceptable... sort of.

And cut the guy some slack. This really, truly is NOT FUN!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-07-14 08:15 am (UTC)

Re: I, too, am on a low salt diet...

The difference is you've embraced a low salt diet, whereas he won't even think about it.
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[User Picture]From: mokie
2010-07-19 03:24 am (UTC)
Is he amenable to substitutions? Cold turkey is imposing, but swapping out an unhealthy ingredient for a better one would be a step in the right direction, at least.

If snacking's an issue, tomatoes sate the craving for something salty.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-07-19 03:55 pm (UTC)
Since I wrote this entry, he's been seen by the doctor and the news is his kidney trouble was being caused by one of his medicines- and they've taken him off it.

I don't think he's amenable to a change of diet. He's very old and very set in his ways and trying to bully him into eating sensibly would- I have concluded- be cruel.
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