I am a type 2 diabetic, and a veteran exposed to agent orange. Recently my blood work showed an eGFR of 58. Should I think about changing my diet?

Published on December 11, 2017

I am a Type 2 diabetic with A1c tests ranging between upper 6’s and lower 7’s. Recently my blood work showed an eGFR of 58. I realize this is border line between Stage 2 and 3 CKD. I am wondering if now is a time to be more concerned about my diet. Do I need to get with my dietitian and change my diet?

PS: When I examine my genealogy, I know of no other evidence of diabetes. I am a Vietnam War veteran and unfortunately had exposure to agent orange. I can say that with exposure, diabetes is a preemptive condition for the VA. While there is a clear connection between diabetes and CKD, I can not say with certainty what the connection is between exposure and CKD.

I am a Type 2 diabetic with A1c tests ranging between upper 6's and lower 7's. Recently my blood work showed an eGFR of 58. I realize this is border line between Stage 2 and 3 CKD. I am wondering if now is a time to be more concerned about my diet. Do I need to get with my dietitian and change my diet?

PS: When I examine my genealogy, I know of no other evidence of diabetes. I am a Vietnam War veteran and unfortunately had exposure to agent orange. I can say that with exposure, diabetes is a preemptive condition for the VA. While there is a clear connection between diabetes and CKD, I can not say with certainty what the connection is between exposure and CKD.

Your serum eGFR value of 58 suggests early kidney disease, although other labs such as creatinine and urinary microalbumin will provide additional information about how well your kidneys are working. Worsening renal function usually occurs as a result of elevated blood sugar, blood pressure, or both. At this point, a renal diet (low protein, low sodium) isn't necessary. Although your A1c suggests fair blood sugar control, I would recommend testing your blood sugar 1-2 hours after eating to make sure it remains below 140 mg/dL.

I'm not aware of a connection between agent orange exposure and CKD; however, as you state, it has been linked to type 2 diabetes, which can lead to CKD if not well controlled.

Answered By dLife Expert: Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian living in Southern California.

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