Diabetes and Your Kidneys

Do you know how terrifying it is to learn about diabetes? Learning about it and knowing there are millions out there that aren’t making the necessary lifestyle changes that can help them avoid the complications could befall them with this diagnosis.

We have gone over what diabetes can do to your teeth, your eyes, your feet, and now we’re looking at what it can do to your kidneys.


Diabetes can cause diabetic nephropathy, or diabetic kidney disease (DKD). Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease amongst adults. About 1 in 3 adults with diabetes has kidney disease. About 30% of those with type 1 diabetes will develop kidney disease and about 10-40% of those with type 2 diabetes will do the same.

The main job of your kidneys is to filter wastes and extra water out of your blood and create urine. Your kidneys also help control your blood pressure and make hormones that your body needs to stay healthy.

Diabetes can damage the small blood vessels in your kidneys causing your kidneys to not be able to clean your blood properly. This can cause your body to retain more salt and water than it should resulting in weight gain and ankle swelling. Waste material can start building up in your blood.

Diabetes can also damage the nerves in your kidneys that can lead to difficulty emptying your bladder. Pressure from your full bladder can back up and injure your kidneys. You can also develop an infection when urine remains in the bladder for too long.

You are more likely to develop DKD if you are a smoker, are not physically active, are overweight, don’t follow your diet plan, eat foods high in salt, have heart disease, or have a family history of kidney failure.

Some early signs of kidney disease include weight gain (from water retention), ankle swelling, frequent use of the bathroom at night, and high blood pressure.

Some late signs of kidney disease include nausea, vomiting, leg cramps, loss of appetite, weakness, anemia, increase fatigue, and itching.

Those with diabetes should have their blood, urine, and blood pressure tested at least once per year. Your kidney doctor, nephrologist, can plan your treatment with you, your family, and your dietician.

End stage renal failure, or kidney failure, is when your kidneys are no longer able to support you in a reasonably healthy state. Your kidney function has fallen to 10-15% leading to drastic measures. This will be either dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Dialysis is the process of removing excess water, solutes, and toxins from the blood in people whose kidneys can no longer perform these functions naturally. They will remove the blood from your body, put it through a machine for cleaning, and put it back in to your body. Most patients require 1-3 dialysis appointments a week.

To keep your kidneys working in proper functioning order, you need to work with your healthcare team to control your diabetes and high blood pressure (if applicable), get treatment for any urinary tract infections, correct any problems in your urinary system, and avoid medications that can damage your kidneys.

If you have a suspicion that something is going wrong with your kidneys like frequent or infrequent urination, go to your doctor as soon as you can to have it checked out. Better to be safe than sorry.


References

NIDDK
National Kidney Foundation
Mayo Clinic

AHC: Emmett Till

Our first topic of discussion for the American History Challenge is the murder of Emmett Till. His was not the first nor was it the last lynching, but he was one of the youngest victims at just 14 years old.

Born July 25, 1941 in Chicago, IL to Mamie Carthan Till-Mobley and Louis Till. He died on August 28, 1955 while visiting family in Money, Mississippi.

Emmett grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Chicago and had attended a segregated elementary school. However, the level of segregation in Mississippi would be nothing like he encountered at home. His mother warned him to be careful because of his race. He loved pulling pranks.

He arrived in Money, Mississippi on August 21. He stayed with his great-uncle, Moses Wright. He spent his days helping with the cotton harvest.

On August 24, Emmett, his cousins, and some friends were outside a grocery store in Money. Emmett bragged that he had a white girlfriend back home. The others, not believing his claims, dared him to ask the white woman sitting behind the store counter for a date.

He went inside, bought some candy, and on the way out was heard saying, “Bye, baby” to the woman. There are other accounts that he may have flirted with her or touched the hand or waist of the woman. The woman alleged that he grabbed her, made lewd advances and wolf-whistled at her as he sauntered out. Whatever events had transpired, he hadn’t told his uncle about the encounter.

The 21-year-old white woman was Carolyn Bryant. She told her husband, Roy Bryant, about the alleged incident. Several nights later, in the early morning hours of August 28th, Roy and his half-brother J.W. Milam, went to Moses Wright’s house, forced their way in and abducted Emmett Till at gunpoint.

Bryant and Milam made Emmett carry a cotton gin fan down to the Tallahatchie River. They then proceeded to beat him close to death, gouge out one of his eyes, and put a single gunshot to the head. The two men tied the teen’s body to the cotton gin fan with barbed wire and dumped his corpse into the river.

Emmett’s uncle reported the kidnapping to the police and Bryant and Milam were arrested the following day. On August 31, 1955, Emmett’s corpse was discovered in the river. His face was so unrecognizable that positive identification was only able to be made because he was wearing a monogrammed ring that belonged to his father.

His body was sent back to Chicago via train. It arrived on September 2, less than two weeks after he had embarked on his journey south. Emmett’s mother kept his casket open so the world could see the brutality behind the lynching of a teenage boy.

The trial for Bryant and Milam began on September 19, 1955. They were identified by Emmett’s uncle on the stand. After four days of testimony and a little more than an hour of deliberation, the all-white, all-male jury acquitted Bryant and Milam of all charges, explaining the state had failed to prove the identity of the body. Many people around the country were outraged by the decision.

In 2017, Tim Tyson, author of the book The Blood of Emmett Till, revealed that Carolyn Bryant recanted her testimony, admitting that what she had alleged was a lie. “Nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him,” she said.

Emmett Till’s death became a rallying point for civil rights activists across the country. Don’t think this was a long time ago. My grandma was born three years later and she’s still with us today. Emmett Till should still be with us today.


References

History.com
Britannica
The New York Times
AP News


Topics to Come…

Henrietta Lacks
Sundown Towns
Black Wall Street
and more…

If you have other topics you want me to research, please feel free to comment below or contact me. What has happened in your state or hometown that should be remembered in history? I want to know.

Season Three: Episode Five

FEBRUARY 13, 2022

For the 15th year in a row, my Super Bowl luck has come through. For the 15th year in a row, the team I rooted for LOST. Without fail, I root for the loser. I tell my family, “If last year was any indicator, if you want a team to win, tell me to root for the other team!” I really was hoping the Bengals would win.

Now I’m sitting in my room at 10pm recounting the past Super Bowl halftime shows. This year’s was great it was like all the concerts I’ve always wanted to see rolled in to one. I wish it was longer though. Last year’s was awesome even mid-pandemic. Maroon 5 though. I’ll leave it at that.

Let’s see, I still haven’t set an appointment with my endocrinologist because I only just got my insurance cards a couple days ago and I have to update my profile eventually and see what’s available, probably nothing in the near future.

My foot doctor appointment went well. Nothing strange or crazy with my feet thankfully. I hope I can keep my appointments annually for a long time. Not gonna lie, I do get some pains and tingles. I have a suspicion that my big toes are losing some feeling but I can still feel and the pains aren’t long lasting and they aren’t frequent. So until they get worse, I’ll keep going. If something changes, I will head straight to my doctor.

So far everything else is going okay health-wise. I have gained a couple pounds since the year started. But I have plateaued and I haven’t gained anymore weight thankfully. But I’m not losing it either. I’m at 191lbs now. And I wanted to badly to be at 180 by now. My weight loss goal is to lose 15 pounds since starting which was a start of 195. If I reached 180, then I would be rewarded by my husband. He was gonna build another Gunpla model for me to display and it’s a pretty one.

But alas, I didn’t lose the weight. I’m still trying though. I think I stopped when I left my job and started working from home again. With access to food at my fingertips instead of being too bust to eat, I’ve gained some weight back.

I’m still making the time to walk my dog every day, but with the rainy season and all the slippery sidewalks and roads, I’m pretty limited but I still try to stay active by walking around in my house every so often. So I’m not sitting and vegetating. I’m also drinking water with the occasional juice and staying away from soda completely.

It’s a work in progress, but I’ll keep working at it. I can and will get down to 130 lbs and make healthier choices. Also remember to tell your loved ones that you love them. Life’s too short not to love the people closest to you. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Lore

Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Hyperion
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5


January 2022 Book of the Month!


What a fantastic read! I’ve always been interested in Greek mythology. It’s a really interesting topic to study. This story brings the Greek gods in to the modern world. There’s Greek language, fighting scenes, betrayal, and a little bit of love. I was in love with the story from the beginning but don’t get me wrong, there were still some points that were frustrating, like the characters. But as far as the story goes it was so well written and there were twists and turns that felt like a roller coaster. It was great.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes reading stories based on Greek mythology and fantasy reads set in modern times. There’s a ton of action and there’s a ton of great interaction between characters. No spice but there’s a bit of love. There is a lot of dying though and gore if you’re okay with that. But I recommend this book whole-heartedly.

This book is definitely in my reread pile. As a matter of fact, it was my Book of the Month for January. My top pick for the month. I’d reread it in a heartbeat if I wasn’t so busy trying to read 50 books this year. Once I hit that goal, I don’t mind rereading my 5 star picks.

I really enjoyed the author’s writing style. There was suspense and I was hanging on to every word as I was going. I took 7 days to read because I was reading it for a reading challenge and needed to read at least one hour every day. If I had my way I think it would have taken me two or three days tops. It is definitely a page turner for me. I had to physically stop myself from continuing on to the next chapter most times to drag out the story.

As far as characters go, Lore was a great main character. Her tragic past and the story building up the past seven years of her life. Castor was surprising and also a bit annoying to me. I’ll leave it at that. Miles may be my favorite character, I was really worried about him throughout the story. Athena was so frustrating and I have really strong feelings about her. She’s so wise and yet so dumb.

All in all, I think it’s a great read and I don’t like to give away too much about some stories. I think you just kind of have to read the synopsis and read the story for yourself.


2022 Reading Goal

Book #4 out of 50

Diabetes and Your Feet

Diabetes can lead to many complications that affect other parts of our body, like our eyes, teeth, and even feet. With feet, it is very important to check them daily. Why?

About half of all people with diabetes have some kind of nerve damage, or neuropathy. Nerves in the feet and legs are most often affected. This nerve damage can cause you to lose feeling in your feet and legs. If you can’t feel anything in your feet and you step on something sharp and penetrate skin, how would you know you’re injured? That’s why daily checks are so important for those with diabetes.

Symptoms include numbness, tingling, or pain, but also you may not be able to feel pain, hot or cold.

Other diabetes complications like slow healing can lead to cuts and wounds on your feet to become infected. If infections don’t get better with treatment, it can lead to amputation to keep the infection from spreading.

Factors that can increase your risk of neuropathy include, blood sugar levels that are hard to manage, being overweight, having high blood pressure and/or cholesterol, and being older than 40 years old.

Some ways you can keep on top of your foot health is:

1. Check your feet every day for cuts, redness, swelling, sores, blisters, corns, calluses, or any other changes.

2. Wash your feet every day in warm (not hot) water. Don’t soak your feet, it can dry your feet and cause your skin to crack. Dry your feet completely after you wash them and apply lotion. Don’t put lotion between your toes.

3. Never go barefoot. Always wear socks and shoes.

4. Make sure your shoes fit well and don’t rub your feet too much. Also before putting on your shoes, check them to make sure there’s nothing sharp hiding in them.

5. Trim toenails straight across and smooth any edges with a nail file. If you can’t do them yourselves, have your doctor or a trusted pedicurist help you.

6. Don’t remove corns and calluses yourself. See your doctor to have them removed.

7. Get your feet checked at every health care visit.

8. Keep the blood flowing. Put your feet up when you’re sitting and wiggle your toes for a few minutes several times per day.

9. Choose feet-friendly activities like walking, riding a bike, or swimming.

10. Protect your feet from hot and cold.

You should see your doctor if there are pains or cramps in your legs, thickened yellow toenails, dry or cracked skin of your feet, or if you have a callus with dried blood inside it. If you have a cut, blister, or bruise on your foot that doesn’t heal after a few days, you should seek medical help. If you have a foot infection that becomes black and smelly, you definitely need help.

If anything looks funky with your feet, give your podiatrist a call and get it checked out. Check your feet every day and make sure they’re okay. Also, remember to get your blood sugar under controlled levels to decrease your risk of neuropathy.


References

CDC
NIDDK

What is the American History Challenge?

The American History Challenge is a list of topics in the United States of America’s history that is not normally taught in school. It’s a list of topics that I will be going through, researching, and sharing with you. I hope it will make you want to learn more about these topics as well.

We can have a healthy discourse on these topics, especially if I have gotten some things wrong. I will be using the internet after all, but I will try my best to find good reputable sources. I don’t want to control the narrative, I want to learn more about it.

Here are some topics I have so far:

– Emmett Till
– Henrietta Lacks
– Sundown Towns
– red line areas in town
– Birth of a Nation and the KKK
– Black Wall Street
– Red Summer
– Mount Rushmore
– American Buffalo extinction
– American army and indigenous people’s horses
– Tuskegee study

If you have any suggestions for more topics, please feel free to contact me with your suggestions. You can leave comments in the posts but I will not tolerate any hate. If my research is incorrect, you can let me know as an adult human should, not as a whiny, terroristic baby. Thank you.

I look forward to sharing what I find out about these topics and more.

Season Three: Episode Four

FEBRUARY 6, 2022

Happy Black History Month!

Something a little different for a journey update this week. I have mixed feelings on Black History Month. I don’t think we should relegate African American history to only one month. We shouldn’t highlight black history and black businesses and just general blackness to one month. It should be celebrated every day of the year. Black history is American history and we should all know this history.

I saw a TikTok a while ago that was upset about how our education system doesn’t tell all of the United States of America’s history, the good AND the bad. Always focusing on the history as if there are winners all the time in this country. Trying to erase all of the bad. The TikTok user had issued a challenge, the American History Challenge.

In it, she challenges you to research the topics, learn about it, and share it with others. So I’m going to take this month to learn about America’s history and share it with you. Feel free to do your own research and I would love some suggestions on things you think I should research and learn more about. I will create a new page just for the American History Challenge.


As an update on myself though, I am doing a challenge for myself this month. I am going to read every day this month and I will only drink water this month. The water drinking is a little hard because I’ve been having sugar cravings off the wall, but if I ignore them and just keep drinking water, they go away.

This year I decided to get back in to bullet journals. January’s layout sucked. So for February I decided to change it up. I love the appointment book style planner so I can keep track of times easier so I incorporated that. I’ve also added a ton of habit trackers that I didn’t have in January and I’m trying it out in February to see if I’ll continue them on. I’m keeping track of how much water I drink and how much rice I eat. I’m also tracking if I eat breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner, as well as how many steps I’m taking and if I’m doing my facial routine.

It’s a lot more fun to do than January’s spread that’s for sure. I’m still very bad at taking my blood sugar though. I haven’t taken it in quite some time. But I’m trying to figure out my habits so I can make changes to them.

I’m still waiting for my insurance cards to come in so I can set up an appointment with my endocrinologist. I have an appointment with my foot doctor tomorrow. I have a eye appointments coming up in the next couple of months and a dentist appointment in April. I’ve gotta call my PCP to schedule my next appointment to refill my prescriptions and birth control. Our healthcare system seriously sucks. Hopefully I’ll be able to get insulin again. Fingers crossed.

One Of Us Is Lying

Author: Karen M. McManus
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Think the Breakfast Club + Murder. A nerd, a jock, a bad boy, a popular girl, and the school’s gossip all find themselves in detention one afternoon. All seems normal until a loud crash and a dead body. The school’s gossip is dead. And there were only four students and one teacher in the room with him. Who killed him and why?

The four students aren’t supposed to be interacting with each other, but this one event changes their lives forever. Now they’re connected through tragedy. All of them are about to get their deepest secrets exposed. High school sleuths, they find key evidence that help solve the murder, even though they know they should stay out of this and keep their mouths shut.

There was ONE plot twist, which I didn’t see coming until about halfway through. It was an interesting read for sure. I couldn’t relate with the high school students because it was nothing like my high school as far as I experienced, not until late senior year really.

I don’t normally read mystery books because sometimes they’re trash or sometimes they’re so easy to solve it’s no fun, but this one was surprisingly a great mystery. It was a great mystery and I wasn’t expecting the outcome that’s for sure.

I recommend this book IF you like young adult mysteries. I was really just here for the mystery to be solved. All the plot surrounding it, I wasn’t too interested in much. But to each their own.


2022 Reading Goal

Book #3 out of 50