I’ve been doing a lot of studying on my own in terms of nutrition and kidney disease, but in the coming weeks, I plan on conducting my own research. My main concern was whether to do quantitative or qualitative research (an experiment with or without numbers, essentially) but I’ve realized that I don’t know what exactly I want to come from this. What question do I want to answer? What problem do I personally want to investigate? I want to contribute to the awareness or knowledge of kidney disorders and the renal diet in some way.
At first, I was thinking I’d interview people with kidney problems and ask about their struggles of diet, or even if they felt they had enough support and resources. That would let me prove the necessity for blogs like these, and would also hopefully prompt more support from medical professionals.
Another idea would be gauging the awareness of differing kidney-friendly dietary needs from those not struggling with kidney problems of their own, which would see how well known these issues are in the general community.
Neither of these ideas use quantitative methods, but maybe it’s better that I’m connecting on a more personal level to people, especially on a topic like this. After all, it isn’t really possible for me to test the effects of a renal diet without knowing patients’ medical nutrition (sodium levels, vitamin deficiency, etc.).
So I have a few ideas, but I felt like it was time to bring in the dad:
“You could talk with people who have kidney disorders who are on the renal diet and ask them if they feel better by being on the diet, if their blood pressure changes, do they have more energy, or those kinds of things. Maybe you could go to a renal blog site and ask questions of the people who use the site. You could do that just in the comments area. You could ask folks who don’t have renal disease their thoughts and opinions about what it’s like to have chronic kidney disorder or what their thoughts on whether a renal diet would be helpful to someone with the disorder.”
The website idea is interesting. I know there are pretty active forums on websites like DaVita, and since it’s not looking very feasible to find enough renal patients to create a real study, sticking with a website seems pretty reasonable and useful.
I’ll keep you updated.
Until next time,