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  Chat Transcript
Open Q&A and kidney health with Elva Parker, C.D.E., August 8, 2012
 Elva@Unity:

 Welcome to the Unity Diabetes Online Community! I’m Elva Parker, a certified diabetes educator, and I’ll be hosting today’s chat. We’re glad you could join us today. I’m excited to share information with you to answer all of your diabetes-related questions.
Before we get started let me just tell you how we’ll address your questions and comments today. I answer questions one at a time, in the order that they are posted to the site, and there might be a slight delay as I respond to each question. It may take a few minutes for me to type answers to your questions, so please stay logged-in to the chat to see my response, even if it takes a few minutes. And you might need to refresh every few minutes to keep up with the latest posts in the chat if you switch to another application on your computer. Let’s get started.

 lucyblue:
 Hi Elva, so glad to have your expertise here today - can you tell me why the kidneys are so important?
 Elva@Unity:
 Sure! Your kidneys are very important organs that do perform very important functions that affect every part of your body. Many other organs in our bodies depend on our kidneys to function normally.
 lyoung:
 Can you answer questions about diabetes pumps and if so, how do you feel about the Omni pod?
Elva@Unity:  
 The main jobs of the kidneys are to remove waste products and excess fluids from the body in the form of urine.
 Sharon@Unity:
 What is insulin resistance? Do I have to watch my carbs or fats?
 Ksavage:
 Hi, Elva! Is frequent urination a result of diabetes?
 Elva@Unity: 
 I would be happy to answer any questions about pumps, lyoung! The Omni pod is a pump without tubing which is a good option for some people. Not all insurance companies cover the Omni pod so be sure to check with your company.
 Elva@Unity:
 Insulin resistance is when your body is not using the insulin in your body properly. Often a small amount of weight loss can reduce insulin resistance. Therefore, it is important to watch your intake of carbs and fats, Sharon. Thank you for your question!
 lyoung:
 Do you think it has more advantages than Minimed?
 Elva@Unity: 
 Frequent urination can be a symptom of diabetes. If you are having this symptom along with increased thirst, you should consult your doctor.
Elva@Unity: 
 Not necessarily more advantages. It can vary from person to person. It can depend on your needs and lifestyle. Some people find not having tubing is very beneficial. It is always good to speak with your Endocrinologist and Educator to determine what is best for you.
Elva@Unity: 
 In addition to waste removal, your kidneys balance your body's fluids, regulate blood pressure, promote strong bones and balance certain chemicals in your body such as sodium, potassium, calcium and phosphorus.
 Sharon@Unity:
 lyoung, I have heard good things about the Animas pump also.
 sassy35:
 What is chronic kidney disease?
 Elva@Unity: 
 That's true, Sharon! Animas is another great option. Thank you!
 Ksavage:
 I asked my primary care doctor about the GFR (?) test for kidneys that you mentioned in class. He said that was only for dialysis patients and would not test me. Is there another test to see if my kidneys are functioning that I should have done?
 Elva@Unity:
Good question! Chronic kidney disease is kidney damage and decreased kidney function. Protein in your urine for more than three months or longer can be a warning sign of kidney damage.
 Elva@Unity:
 Your doctor can review your BUN & Creatinine with you.
 Elva@Unity:
 The two main causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure.
 sassy35:
 Can you explain what those tests are - BUN and Creatinine?
 Elva@Unity:
 Good question! BUN stands for Blood Urea Nitrogen. Creatinine is a measure of muscle mass and kidney function as well. A discussion with your doctor will help you determine what normal values are.
 lucyblue:
 Are potassium levels important if you have kidney disease?
lyoung:
My son has been refusing to take his insulin. He takes it here and there. How drastic of measures can his endocrinologist take to make sure he gets his insulin? Hospitalization? Also I have never heard of Animas. I will research that.
 Sharon@Unity:
 Thanks, Elva for all your help!
 lucyblue:
 Animas is another brand of Insulin pump - you can find them online.
 Elva@Unity:
 Yes, lucyblue! Potassium is a very important mineral that helps your muscles and heart work properly. Too much or too little potassium can be dangerous. With kidney disease, your body may not filter out potassium very well. A simple blood test can determine if your potassium level is normal
  Elva@Unity:
 Yes, lyoung that is a very difficult situation but one that you should discuss with your son and endocrinologist. Working with a diabetes educator can be very helpful, too. Contacting the American Diabetes Association can help you identify some resources that may help you and your son. There are camps and support groups available that may be helpful to you. Good luck with that difficult situation.
   Elva@Unity:
 Any last questions before we end for today?
 Ksavage:
 Thank you, Elva.
Elva@Unity: 
You are very welcome, Ksavage. 
 lucyblue:
Thanks Elva, very informative today! 
 Elva@Unity: 
Good to hear, lucyblue! 
  Elva@Unity: 
 That’s all the time we have for today. I’ve really enjoyed our conversation and hope that I was able to provide some insight for you. If we didn’t get to your question today or if you think of another question later on – feel free to jump into the conversation in the forum, or submit a question using our “Ask an expert” feature. Be sure to join us for our next chat Wednesday, September 12 at 8 p.m. – an open Q&A session with Cassie Wright, C.D.E., R.D. She will also be sharing tips on weeknight meal planning.
 
 
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