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Changing lifestyle for better management of chronic kidney disease

  • Posted on- Aug 25, 2015
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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) doesn’t necessarily have to deprive you from living the life you’ve always dreamed of. By making a few smart changes to diet, making sure to stay active, and forming some overall healthy habits, patients with chronic kidney disease can keep enjoying the things that inspire them. The types of changes that may be necessary can benefit everyone, regardless of whether they have CKD. It can be helpful to have a friend or family member commit to living the same healthy lifestyle, to give them both better health and encourage the person with chronic kidney disease along the way.

Changing bad habits for good ones

Because chronic kidney disease increases the risk of other serious complications such as heart disease and stroke, it’s important that CKD patients start making healthy choices as soon as possible. The most significant changes include changes in diet and daily activity levels. When it comes to determining an appropriate diet and exercise regimen, it is recommended that patients speak with a dietician or nephrologist. But, to get you started here are a few general suggestions.

Guide to a healthy diet
  1. Choose foods that are low in -A diet low in sodium can aid in managing blood pressure. Although the amount may vary from person to person, it is a good idea to try and limit your sodium intake to about 1,500 mg each day.
  2. Choose the right type and amount of protein- Eating small portions of foods high in protein will help protect the kidneys. Lean proteins such as chicken and fish are recommended.
  3. Choose heart-healthy foods- Avoid fried foods because they tend to contain a large amount of fat. Instead, bake, roast, stew, or broil food.
  4. Choose foods with low amounts of phosphorus- Normally functioning kidneys will remove extra phosphorus in the body. Damaged kidneys are unable to rid the body of excess phosphorus, causing levels to rise.
  5. Choose foods with the right amount of potassium- Eating too little or too much potassium can cause your muscles and nerves to work improperly. Talk to a dietician to find out what amount of potassium is recommended.
  6. Choose drinks that are low in potassium and phosphorus- Apple, grape, and cranberry juice are good choices when tying to limit potassium. Likewise, light- coloured sodas may contain less phosphorus than dark-coloured sodas.
  7. Limit your alcohol intake- Alcohol can damage the liver, heart, and brain. Some patients with chronic kidney disease may be able to have very small amounts of alcohol, but they should consult a nephrologist before doing so.

Exercises that help manage chronic kidney disease
  1. Exercise can help patients with chronic kidney disease feel better, strengthen muscles, and have more energy.
  2. Exercises that keep the heart rate up such as walking, bicycling, swimming, and more can help work large muscle groups at once.
  3. Weight training with low weight and high repetitions can also keep your heart rate up. Avoid heavy lifting during your exercise routine. Before starting a weight training program, you should consult a dietitian to ensure you are healthy enough to do so.
  4. Working up toward the goal of a 30-minute workout is recommended. Remember, this is a change in lifestyle, not a quick fix, so don’t try to do too much too fast.
  5. Exercise 3 days a week and mix up your routine to keep your body guessing.

Eliminate these bad habits
  1. Alcohol consumption-Speak with a nephrologist about whether you can drink alcohol.
  2. Smoking-Smoking can have a major affect on kidney disease.
  3. Eating fatty foods-Lowering your body weight can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
  4. Living a high-stress lifestyle-This can lead to hypertension.

Implementing the lifestyle changes above, as well as supplementing with probiotics may help patients with CKD live a better quality of life and support proper kidney function.