Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center - Health Library

Lifestyle Changes to Manage Chronic Kidney Disease

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.

Stop Smoking

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.

Regular Exercise

An exercise training program can help you get into or keep your physical fitness. This, in combination with other lifestyle changes, will also help to lower your risk of coronary artery disease and depression. Both of these are common health problems for people with CKD.

REFERENCES:

About chronic kidney disease. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/about-chronic-kidney-disease. Updated February 15, 2017. Accessed June 18, 2018.

Chronic kidney disease. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/genitourinary-disorders/chronic-kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease. Updated March 2017. Accessed June 18, 2018.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD). Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd. Updated August 9, 2017. Accessed June 18, 2018.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115336/Chronic-kidney-disease-CKD-in-adults. Updated May 14, 2018. Accessed June 18, 2018.

Eating right for chronic kidney disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/eating-nutrition. Updated October 2016. Accessed June 18, 2018.

Managing chronic kidney disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/managing. Updated October 2016. Accessed June 18, 2018.

8/26/2014 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillancehttp://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115336/Chronic-kidney-disease-CKD-in-adults: Heiwe S, Jacobson SH. Exercise training in adults with CKD: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Kidney Dis. 2014;64(3):383-393.

Last reviewed June 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD  Last Updated: 6/18/2018