The other day, an American Type 1 diabetic on Facebook wrote to me asking if I could help them in finding more information for a low potassium diet and recipes to go with the foods they’re allowed to eat. They’d seen their kidney specialist and told to go this route. What really got to me was when I asked if they were going to see a dietician or at least a nutritionist was that they'd received a paper – with what they could eat / not eat. That was it!
Not that I’m an expert, but I sent them some links from the National Kidney Foundation that at least explains more than what their doctor had given them.
I managed to link them up within a few hours with another Canadian diabetic mate of mine, who has been on a low potassium diet for a decade, and hopefully that will help. It really amazes me how these days, we often have to go this route, not via our medical system. What really surprised me more with my American friend was that his health care insurance doesn’t cover for a dietician / nutritionist (they are covered though for an insulin pump/CGMS pump). It's like, WTF, won't more cost be involved from the insurance company if the person has kidney failure? Urrhhhh.
I’m sorry, but as Canadian, who may pay higher taxes, may have bit of wait time to see doctors/surgery at times compared to the USA. I know that the province I live in (Quebec), I can make an appointment, upon the recommendation of my doctor, to see a dietician. I had to at one point, when I needed some help with losing weight (still am trying to shed – that’s a never ending story). The main thing, I can go to local government run clinic or hospital, and get the help I need. If I have work insurance coverage, often to see someone FAST, the most you'll pay out of pocket is 20% for that faster service. Either way, n-between the wait time, I do my own research, and of course, don’t leap to any conclusions due to … not everything you see online is the gospel truth!
Of course, no health care system, whether public like Canada's is or in the USA is perfect. Actually, no health care system world wide is perfect … people gripe about paying more taxes to fund them, but you always hope that that extra you are giving to the government isn’t being used for admin and other nonmedical needs.
Take for instance, my recent PAP smear test - to be analysed in Quebec system, takes 6 months. Other provinces are 1-2 weeks. The reason for wait time in my province? Smaller population, less tax dollars going into the medical system. Of course, healthy individuals that don't use the health system, would get upset to fund the kitty with extra tax dollars, but that's the way our system works, and usually for the better.
Anyway, before I rant more about health care - and make this an epic blog that it wasn't supposed to be - on closing words - check out this latest report from the nonpartisan health organization, the Commonwealth Fund … this will get you debating together at the dinner table, if it doesn't get you commenting here on my post!