I have a food allergy, overweight, kidney disease, and spine issues. Is there any help for me?

I’ve had help in the past from a dietitian before the thyroid doctor decided that she didn’t need one anymore. However, in the interest of being concise, I have a food allergy list (kills me dead), nightshades (all of them) -tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant) banana, cantaloupes, watermelon, kiwi, and mango.

I’m about 90 pounds overweight and I have stage 3 kidney disease  I’ve got spinal stenosis and several herniated discs plus a bad knee. All of these seem to wind up having left me with a diet of… nothing. I’m more frustrated than I can discuss. Plus I absolutely abhor fish. Is there any help?

Due to your complex diagnoses, I hesitate to give you suggestions. You need to see a dietitian who could read your medical chart, look at your lab results, and prescribe a nutrition therapy combining all diagnoses that have food-related issues. It would help if you could see the dietitian you had been seeing in the past as s/he would be familiar with you and you could have a level of comfort with her/him. Your health insurance should cover your dietitian appointment since most pay for people with a kidney disease diagnosis. You can discuss all your health issues with a dietitian, not just kidney disease. While you should not need a referral from your doctor, ask your general practitioner to give you a referral in case your health insurance requires a referral.

The highest priority is managing your kidney disease with foods you should eat because unless you limit how much protein you eat, your kidney disease will progress. People with decreased kidney function need to limit protein and possibly some minerals if elevated. Unfortunately, there is protein in every food except fat and fruit. You will be able to eat reduced amounts of high-quality protein like meat and poultry since you don’t like fish. Grains like bread, pasta, and rice are not complete proteins and are usually limited.  You may find low-protein bread in stores so ask your dietitian. You would also need an eating plan so you know what to eat at meals during the day. One of the issues can be water retention due to decreased kidney function. You may notice that your feet or legs may be swollen as a symptom of water retention due to kidney disease.

The next priority is weight loss which should help to improve any bone-related disease in your ankles, knees, and hips as there would be less weight stress on these joints. In order to achieve weight loss, your thyroid function would need to be checked periodically by your doctor and necessary thyroid medication prescribed.

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal often due to arthritis which puts pressure on spinal nerves resulting in pain and numbness. Unfortunately, this is not a diagnosis that nutrition therapy can resolve. You mentioned eliminating nightshade fruits, vegetables and the research on this is spotty.

You mentioned having a food allergy, but not what you are allergic to.  Talk to your dietitian about food allergies as well.

You need to have a supportive physician who compassionately works with all your health issues and will work with your dietitian. If you don’t have that now, I would suggest you find a new physician that accepts your health insurance.