This article is for people who are suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and for those who are interested to know on how to improve the condition of kidneys when diagnosed with CKD.
Complications brought about by CKD can be reduced if CKD patients like you will follow the eleven tips in protecting your kidneys.
For you to recall these tips, all you need to remember is SAVE KIDNEYS.
Things that CKD Patients Should Do
S – Stick to your diet plan
Follow a kidney-friendly diet to ensure your kidneys from further damage. Make sure that your diet is prescribed by your dietician. Keep in mind that the food that you are eating will affect your kidneys.
A – Aim for an ideal healthy weight
Avoid being overweight because this will overwork your kidneys and may result in worsening its condition. Count your calorie intake and plan a workout routine to maintain your healthy weight.
V – Value your blood pressure and blood sugar
The main culprits of having a CKD are diabetes and high blood pressure. You can improve your kidneys’ condition by making sure that your blood pressure and blood sugar are stable. Your goal is to have a blood pressure that is less than 140/90 mm Hg. Why? Because more than 140/90 mm Hg signifies a high blood pressure. In order to achieve this, you need to quit smoking, get at least 8 hours of sleep, exercise, and eat a low-sodium meal to keep your heart healthy. You need to be aware of these tips because hypertension does not only cause CKD but the worsening of CKD can lead to high blood pressure.
Aside from blood pressure, you also need to check your blood sugar regularly. Do not allow your sugar to spike because this can cause Diabetes. You may ask assistance to your healthcare providers to help you maintain your ideal sugar level.
E – Exercise regularly
A study conducted by Dr. Seliger proved that exercising is safe for older patients with advanced CKD. Exercising is beneficial for CKD patients. It can reduce cholesterol, improve insulin resistance, control blood pressure, helps you maintain your healthy weight, and improve sleep. Talk to your nephrologist to help you decide what exercise can suit you.
K – Know more about your disease
Understanding more about your disease will help you protect your kidneys. It is important to know what substances you should avoid in order to prevent your kidneys from being damaged. Keep in mind that learning your disease means better care. It gives you more control over your disease. Plus, educating yourself about your disease will help you understand what the doctor is doing to you.
One of the key factors in improving the function of your kidney is reading health guides like this. If you need some verification about what you’ve learned, do not hesitate to approach your health professionals.
I – Ingest prescribed medicines
It is important to take the prescribed medicines of your doctors especially if these normalize your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Speak to your healthcare team if you are experiencing side effects with your medicines.
D – Do not eat to food that are high in sodium, potassium, and phosphorous
As a patient diagnosed with CKD, modification of lifestyle and diets are highly suggested. A kidney-diet plan includes a low intake of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus. Excess amounts of these elements can hurt your kidneys.
Here are the following reasons why you need to limit the intake of these minerals:
- Too much sodium, which is commonly contained in table salt, can cause your kidneys to be damaged. As a result, kidneys could not filter too much sodium and can lead to increased blood pressure. The recommended amount of sodium is 2,000 mg per day.
- In terms of potassium, your kidneys might not be able to filter too much of this mineral as well. A build-up of potassium in the blood may lead to hyperkalemia, wherein you will feel malaise, palpitation, nausea, and weakening of muscles. According to the National Kidney Foundation, the ideal daily dose of potassium ranges from 1,500-2,700 milligrams.
- Phosphorus intake should be cut-off as well. Excessive doses of it may pull out calcium from your bones. Too much calcium and phosphorus might lead to a heart attack or stroke. Experts suggested that CKD patients are limited to less than 800–1,000 mg per day
N – No to Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Bear in mind that you should not be taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), commonly used for colds and pain reliever medicines. Be careful with Ibuprofen and Naproxen because they are NSAIDs. These substances can damage your kidneys. Always ask your doctors if your medicines are safe to use.
E – Evaluate your kidney’s health
Checking your Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and the amount of protein in your urine will help you assess the condition of your kidneys. Know that GFR is a test that evaluates how well your kidneys are working. With these assessments, you will know how well your kidneys are responding with the modification of your lifestyle and medication. These will also help your healthcare providers to identify the next steps to consider.
Y – Yearn for positivity
Did you know that most patients with CKD suffer from depression? Apart from being physically healthy, it is also important to have a healthy mind. Look for someone you can talk to like your healthcare team, other patients with CKD, friends, and family. Talking to patients with CKD will not only help you to cope up with the anxieties brought by the disease but will also help other patients to embrace positivity.
Even more, reading your favorite books, meditating, and listening to your favorite music will uplift your mood and will help you cope up with stress.
S – Stop Smoking
Smoking weakens your kidneys. By quitting this habit, you will be able to improve your health and prevent other health problems caused by smoking.