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
(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
Being overweight or
can lead to high blood pressure and
. If you’re overweight, speak with your doctor or a dietitian about how to lose 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
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.