Suffering from kidney disease? 7 ways to slow down its progression
While chronic kidney disease cannot be treated, its progression can be slowed down. Here are expert tips.
Chronic kidney disease can gradually damage your kidney function and prevent them from filtering out waste and toxins which could play havoc with your health. Diabetes, high blood pressure, certain inherited diseases, congenital malformations, autoimmune diseases or even eating too many painkillers can lead to chronic kidney disease. Due to kidney disease, one is likely to suffer from anaemia, fall ill frequently, have low calcium, potassium and phosphorous levels, reduced appetite or suffer from depression. (Also read: Kidney failure: Top reasons why it happens; warning symptoms)
While chronic kidney disease cannot be treated, its progression can be slowed down with lifestyle changes, medication, controlling blood pressure, watching your weight and dietary changes. Without the necessary changes in the lifestyle, one's kidneys may stop working altogether requiring dialysis or transplant.
"There is an increasing prevalence of chronic kidney disease in our country. Recent data from community screening studies suggest that 20-30 out of every 100 persons in our country have some evidence of kidney disease. Early detection and treatment can significantly slow the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) if you already have it," says Dr Suman Lata, Director-Nephrology, Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh.
Once you know you have chronic kidney disease, follow these tips suggested by Dr Suman Lata:
- Consult Nephrologist (a kidney specialist): Carefully follow your doctor's treatment plan, including having regular blood and urine tests and controlling the risk factors for the disease, including high blood pressure (hypertension), coronary heart disease and diabetes.
- Control your blood pressure: Blood pressure within a healthy range may help show progression of kidney disease. Antihypertensive medications and lifestyle modifications are the cornerstones for treating high blood pressure
- Monitor your blood sugar: If you have diabetes, keep it under control by constantly maintaining normal blood sugar levels and following the diet and taking any medications recommended by your doctor.
- Use caution when taking over-the-counter supplements and medicines: Avoid taking large amounts of painkillers, especially drugs containing a combination of caffeine, acetaminophen and aspirin.
- Watch your weight: Limit high-fat, fried foods and rich desserts. Obesity is linked to high blood pressure, heart disease and CKD.
- Lifestyle intervention: Encourage health-promoting behaviours such as smoking cessation and physical activity. Although people with CKD tend to be less active, the goals for physical activity are the same as in the general population - at least 20 to 30 minutes every day. To improve or prevent deconditioning, both aerobic and strength training should be encouraged.
- Nutritional intervention: Limit dietary sodium to 2,300 mg/day to help control blood pressure. Provide adequate (0.8 g/kg body weight/day), not excessive protein intake which may help reduce albuminuria and slow progression.