Kidney Disease: How To Live Longer, Healthier Lives

kidney disease

You used to be a healthy person. With your agile up and about lifestyle, you boast about how great your health is but then you begin to notice worrisome signs. You notice you are getting weaker and sometimes even struggle to breathe. The volume of your urine begins to reduce and even more, your legs are swollen. You just discovered you are suffering from chronic kidney disease.

Studies show that up to 12.4% of hospital patients in Nigeria suffer from chronic kidney disease of CKD but this figure doesn’t include those who haven’t been diagnosed or don’t have access to proper healthcare. 

There are 5 stages of kidney disease and sadly many do not experience symptoms until they are in the latter part of stage 3. This is why care needs to be taken to ensure the sufferer stays in good health. 

kidney disease

How To Cope With Chronic Kidney Disease

Kidney disease can be managed. It is not a death sentence and treatment can help patients increase life expectancy and the quality of their life.

However, to stop the disease from progressing to dangerous stages like 4 and 5, relevant changes must occur to prevent further complications.

Reviewing Your Diet

One major change patients with CKD have to make is with their diet. The kidney’s main function is to purify the body and filter waste. This waste is usually taken in through food. To help them live longer, especially since it is functioning at half the normal capacity, it is important that people living with kidney disease think carefully about their diet. Useful dietary advice is to eat a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. Reduced cholesterol and salt intake can significantly increase the life of sufferers.

kidney disease

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle choices and vastly affect the outcome of those who suffer from chronic kidney disease. When a patient is diagnosed and clearly in stage 3 drastic changes must be made for the patient to survive. For example, smoking is linked to increased kidney complications and must be stopped. 

It is recommended that 30 minutes of low to mid-intensity workout every day can help patients with CKD live healthier. Suffers must fight against being overweight and obese. Little or no intake of alcohol is recommended as well as conscious dietary changes.

Medical Adjustment

Some medications can help with the management of CKD. These prescriptions help prevent further complications and offer protection to the kidney. Medications such as an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and angiotensin receptor blockers are recommended for patients with CKD. For the best results, these medications should be taken as prescribed on a regular basis.

People living with CKD also find it useful to inform other health professionals about their current condition as it can affect treatment decisions for other illnesses. With knowledge of this, complications can arise from using medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which are commonly used to treat other conditions.

Learning To Live With Kidney Disease

Kidney disease doesn’t have to progress into total kidney failure. Many people with kidney disease can still enjoy normal lives but it is important for them to take charge of their health and well-being. This involves doing what they can to prevent complications. 

Many people have found it helpful to monitor their body and watch for early signs. A strong support network can also help people living with CKD cope with stress and anxiety. It is however important to mention that kidney disease sufferers can live happy and long lives.

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