When you have chronic kidney disease managing your kidney disease symptoms will help slow the progression of your disease and limit further damage. Learning what the most important points are, and the easiest ways to make the necessary changes, allows you to continue living a normal life.
"the two most important steps"
Perhaps the two most important steps that you should consider immediately are eliminating any possible infections and controlling any chronic disease.
Any kidney infections or urinary tract infections must be accurately diagnosed and treated with antibiotics. Even low grade infections that are left untreated may lead to scarring that will further impair your kidneys function. Follow-up studies and repeat urinalysis will ensure that your infection is resolved.
Managing your kidney disease symptoms also means controlling any chronic diseases, such as hypertension or diabetes, which may be damaging your kidneys. You can also protect your kidneys by avoiding foods and medications that cause additional stress on your kidneys.
Back pain is a common kidney disease symptom that will occur with conditions that cause inflammation or swelling of the kidney. There may be pain or tenderness at the mid back just below the ribs where the kidneys are located.
Pain from kidney stones may start in the back and then migrate around on to the abdomen and down into the groin as the stone passes through the urinary tract.
Pain or burning with urination from infection.
Swelling in the feet and legs from fluid retention.
Fatigue and weakness from anemia.
Arrhythmias may occur from electrolyte imbalances.
Mental status changes from inflammation of the brain tissues.
Chest pain from inflammation of the heart tissue.
Hypertension from decreased renin production.
"limit any further damage and prolong the life of your kidneys"
If you are living with chronic kidney disease it is important that you take steps to limit any further damage and prolong the life of your kidneys.
Work with your doctor to aggressively treat any chronic diseases that are contributing to the failure of your kidneys. If you have diabetes or hypertension they must be well controlled to prevent further damage.
"the effect they may have on your kidney is unknown"
Your doctor will evaluate you for any physical conditions, such as a urinary tract blockage, that may cause any further injury to your kidneys.
You must stop any medications, herbs, or diet supplements that may be harming your kidneys. Some over the counter pain medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen may cause kidney damage.
Many herbal medications have not been well studied and the effect they may have on your kidney is unknown. You should discuss your medications and any supplements that you might be taking with your doctor.
"Foods that cause extra work for your kidneys..."
Managing your diet will help avoid causing further strain on your kidney. Working with a dietitian and reading food labels will help you understand what is in the foods that you are putting in your body. Foods that cause extra work for your kidneys are foods with too much salt, too much protein or too much water.
Limit your sodium. Avoid foods that list salt or MSG as one of the first few ingredients. Foods that may be high in sodium include processed cheeses, and canned, pickled, or smoked meats.
Limit your protein. Learn which foods have protein. Besides meat, fish, and dairy products, certain breads, cereals, and vegetables may also contain protein.
Limit your fluids. But, it is also important to avoid dehydration. Work with your doctor to determine how much water and other fluids you should be getting.
The National Kidney Foundation has specific dietary guidelines for people with advanced kidney disease.
Keep Your Kidneys Healthy
Things that we all should be doing to keep our kidneys healthy:
Eat a healthy diet. A diet with lots of fruits and vegetables will help you avoid diabetes.
Avoid dehydration. Drink when you are thirsty. How much water your body needs depends on many things. If you drink when you're thirsty you will not overload your kidneys.
Avoid damaging your kidneys. Regular use of anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen may damage your kidneys.
Don't smoke Smoking can cause atherosclerosis, a disease that damages blood vessels and reducing blood flow to the kidneys. If the blood vessels in your kidneys become damaged or scarred they are unable to filter your blood efficiently.
Control your blood pressure Work with your doctor to keep your blood pressure under control.
Limit your alcohol consumption. Excessive alcohol consumption can contribute to hypertension.
Exercise regularly 30 minutes of moderate activity five days per week will help to avoid diabetes and control your blood pressure.
"Many people live active happy lives while managing their diet and exercise..."
Managing your kidney disease and kidney disease symptoms means doing everything possible to eliminate additional stressors to your kidneys. Get actively involved and work with your doctor to take the necessary steps.
It may be inconvenient, but is not impossible. Many people live active happy lives while managing their diet and exercise to control their chronic kidney disease symptoms, and you can too, but you must start today.