What You Should Do After Being Diagnosed With Kidney Disease
Going to the doctor is rarely a pleasant experience, but if you've noticed some health issues and finally get the courage to talk to a doctor, you'll be better for it. If you're ever diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD), it's definitely not a good diagnosis, it's not the end of the world. In addition to treatment options such as dialysis or transplantation, there are things you can do to mitigate the harmful effects of CKD. Since symptoms don't surface until stage 3, there's a good chance that it's already progressed to that point or worse, so getting immediate treatment and taking your own health into your hands is crucial.
Strive for a healthier lifestyle
It may sound like beating a dead horse because it's great advice for everybody, regardless of health status, but exercise is extremely important. Cardiovascular exercise in particular when it comes to CKD. You don't have to become a gym rat or spend hours each day working out to improve your health. Even a 30-40 minute walk and stretches each day goes a long way.
One of the most crucial steps you can take is to quit smoking. Tobacco use is associated with many types of deadly cancers and diseases and kidney failure is no exception. Smoking causes restrictive blood flow to vital organs, causing damage to the body. Unfortunately, there is no way to fully cure CKD (except with transplantation, but the waiting list can last a long time), dialysis merely slows the progression to a snail's pace. Tossing tobacco into the mix will negate that and "step on the accelerator" for the disease's progression, so to speak.
Another thing you'll need to do is improve your diet. The best way to go about this is to consult with a dietician because each patient is different and when it comes to dialysis treatment, there are many dietary restrictions to keep in mind. Previously, we've covered industry-known dietary regimens such as the DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) diet. We can make generalized recommendations all day, but realistically, your personal doctor will need to instruct you what to do.
Understand the ins and outs of your condition
We at Milwaukee Nephrologists believe not only in reliable and top-quality healthcare, but also educating patients about their condition. We strive to inform everybody about the most important aspects of CKD in our blog section. Those diagnosed would find it particularly advantageous to know why the kidneys are important and what they do, the various stages of the disease, what to expect from dialysis, and the risk factors associated with CKD. They say knowledge is power and our library of informative articles will help to empower you through the duration of your treatment.
Work to cure your high blood pressure
High blood pressure can cause a condition known as renal hypertension, which is both a cause and effect of kidney disease. That's right, renal hypertension is a cycle -- it damages the kidneys and that damage causes high blood pressure. The result is that the disease will progress quicker, so it's really in your best interests to manage your high blood pressure. Your doctor will make dietary recommendations and, if it's a big enough issue, will prescribe you proper medication.
While there's really no way to fully cure a CKD without kidney transplantation, you still have the potential to live a happy and fulfilled life. Become informed about your disease and make healthier choices to mitigate the effects of CKD. If you or a loved one are at risk for developing kidney failure, schedule a consultation today.