A large portion of Belize’s population is living with diabetes and some have developed kidney failure. As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure” and it is easy to see why with a disease such as kidney failure, where persons need to get dialysis treatment three times a week that has proven to be very expensive as well as time-consuming. Dr. Shazia Khan shared how a diabetic can avoid getting kidney disease.
Dr. Shazia Khan – Nephrologist
“If you are on a diabetic diet because that helps control your sugar better. Its a misconception that I’m going to take a pill or an insulin shot and I can eat whatever I want. The reason I’m mentioning it is that I had heard my patient told me that; it doesn’t work that way. You have to follow your diet and you have to take your medicines and you have to have a healthy lifestyle meaning don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol, have some sort of regular exercise on a daily basis to help control your diabetes and blood pressure so you don’t develop kidney disease down the road. So that is the prevention but if you have existing kidney disease then again besides controlling your underlying disease, diabetes, hypertension, heart failure whatever is the underlying disease diet also plays a role in it because again if you are not following your diet you are not helping yourself. When you have chronic kidney disease your kidney cannot handle too much protein, it is stressed out so I’m not saying you need to become vegetarian but portions of your meat should not be more than three to four ounces per meal. You should not be eating a whole lot of processed meats, like hams, sausage, and hotdogs. You should not be eating too much canned vegetables or putting so much salt in your food because it is going to make you retain more fluids, it makes you swell up, it makes your blood pressure go up and it is going to hurt your kidneys.”
Khan recommends that every Belizean re-think the way they eat if they are not eating healthy, in order to avoid getting diabetes or kidney failure. Khan added exercise to lose weight if you are overweight since obesity can also increase your chances of developing diabetes or high blood pressure.