I see patients every day who are told by their primary care physician that they have chronic kidney disease (CKD). Sometimes, the patients are confused by this news because they rarely show any symptoms, but solid lab evidence clearly shows that damage is underway. Of course, the conversation always leads to the most natural and obvious question: “How do I control CKD and stop it from getting worse?”
First, we must quickly understand how CKD begins to take shape in our bodies. In most cases, CKD stems from some combination of the following: high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and tobacco use.
Now, whether these conditions are genetic – diabetes, high blood pressure – or brought on by lifestyle choices – smoking, poor diet – is a grey area. Nonetheless, two or more of those factors always work together to create CKD. Once CKD is manifested, the best way to control the disease is to control the lifestyle causes. This, of course, is easier said than done. Yet it must be done to preserve the patient’s health.
Diet, without debate, plays the most vital role in the progression or limitation of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol. If we work and help to educate our patients about better eating habits and exercise, we can often prevent kidney disease and heart disease from progressing.
Here are five rules to follow when it comes to eating to prevent CKD and other diseases:
By practicing these five relatively simple changes to your lifestyle, you can prevent the root causes of CKD, or manage your CKD and keep it in check. Further, by adding minimal amounts of exercise into your lifestyle, something as simple as walking around the block three days per week, you can counteract and further prevent CKD from damaging your body.
Small changes in lifestyle can lead to big results in the your health. For more information and education about kidney health, visit our education page. If you have questions, contact Reliant Renal Care.