Lifestyle Changes to Manage Chronic Kidney Disease
by Diane W. Shannon, MD, MPH
Certain lifestyle changes can help slow the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). These changes can also prevent other health problems of the disease. Lifestyle changes will depend on the stage of CKD. They will also depend on other health problems you have. You may be asked to:
Maintain Normal Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a common cause of CKD. If you have high blood pressure, you may need to make changes to your diet. Medicines can be prescribed to help keep your blood pressure in a safe range.
Lose Excess Weight
Excess weight or obesity can lead to high blood pressure and diabetes. Your doctor or dietitian will help you find ways to lose weight safely.
Control Blood Glucose Levels
High blood glucose levels make CKD worse. Simple tests can tell if you have diabetes. If you do, your diet may need to be changed. Medicines can be prescribed to help keep your blood glucose in a safe range.
Smoking makes CKD worse. Your doctor will go over different plans that will help you successfully quit.
Change Your Diet
Table salt and dietary protein make CKD progress more quickly. Phosphorus, a mineral found in some foods, builds up in the blood when the kidneys are not working well. Phosphorus can make bones weak because of calcium loss. CKD can also raise the amount of fats in your blood. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Your doctor may advise cutting down on salt, protein, dairy products, peas, cola, nuts, and high-fat foods. A dietitian can help you select healthy foods. If you don’t feel like eating because of CKD, a dietitian will help you get the most out of what you eat.
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Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 6/18/2018
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