Lifestyle Changes to Manage Chronic Kidney Disease
Certain lifestyle changes can help slow the progression of chronic kidney disease. These changes can also prevent complications of the disease. Depending on the stage of your disease and other medical conditions you have, your doctor may ask you to:
Maintain Normal Blood Pressure
]]>Hypertension]]> (high blood pressure) is a common cause of chronic kidney disease. See your doctor to find out if you have high blood pressure. If you do, take the blood pressure medications your doctor prescribes.
Lose Excess Weight
Control Blood Glucose Levels If You Have Diabetes
High blood glucose (blood sugar) levels make chronic kidney disease worse. Simple tests can tell if you have diabetes. If you do, take the diabetes medications your doctor prescribes.
Smoking makes chronic kidney disease worse. Ask your doctor for help in ]]>quitting]]> .
Change Your Diet
Table salt and dietary protein make chronic kidney disease progress more quickly. Phosphorus, a mineral found in some foods, builds up in the blood when the kidneys are not functioning properly. Phosphorus can make your bones lose calcium and become weak. Chronic kidney disease can also increase the amount of lipids (fats and cholesterol) in your blood. High lipids can lead to heart attacks and stroke.
Your doctor may recommend cutting down on salt, protein, high-phosphorus foods (dairy products, peas, cola, nuts), and high-fat foods. A dietitian can help you select healthy foods for your condition. If you lose your appetite due to chronic kidney disease, a dietitian can help you choose tastier foods.
Protect Your Heart
A common complication of chronic kidney disease is ]]>coronary heart disease]]> , which can lead to heart attacks. The lifestyle changes already listed will help reduce your risk of a heart attack. Exercising regularly will also help protect your heart.
American Academy of Family Physicians. Chronic kidney disease: patient information handout. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20041115/1929ph.html . Accessed July 30, 2005.
Are you at risk for chronic kidney disease? National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: http://www.kidney.org/atoz/atozItem.cfm?id=134 . Accessed July 30, 2005.
Luke RG. Chronic renal failure. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Textbook Of Medicine. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2004.
National Kidney Foundation. Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (K/DOQI) clinical practice guidelines for bone metabolism and disease in chronic kidney disease. Am J Kidney Dis. 2003; 42:S1-201.
National Kidney Foundation. Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (K/DOQI) clinical practice guidelines for chronic kidney disease: evaluation, classification, and stratification. Am J Kidney Dis. 2002;39:S1-266.
National Kidney Foundation. Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (K/DOQI) clinical practice guidelines on hypertension and antihypertensive agents in chronic kidney disease. Am J Kidney Dis. 2004; 43:S1-S29.
Snyder S, Pendergraph B. Detection and evaluation of chronic kidney disease. Am Fam Physicians. 2005;72:723-732.
Last reviewed November 2008 by ]]>Adrienne Carmack, MD]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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