The second Thursday of March is the day for World Kidney Day. World Kidney Day is to raise awareness, prevention, and treatment for both people suffering with kidney disease, and those who do not know they have it. Did you know if you have Diabetes, or Hypertension, then you have an increased risk for getting kidney disease. You must also know however, that not all kidney disease is caused by Diabetes or HTN. I have CKD, and I do not have Diabetes or HTN. So, for me, I think everyone should be tested at least yearly, because you may have a risk despite not having those 2 illnesses. Besides being tested, you should obtain your results, know what they mean, and make sure you have a doctor willing to follow up.
Preventing kidney disease encompasses so much of what preventing other illness encompasses: being active, eating a healthy diet, reducing stress, getting enough sleep, lose weight, monitoring BP, and quit smoking. A healthy diet for preventing kidney disease may, or may not look like other diets. Low sodium, protein intake that is what your body needs not what you want, drinking enough water, getting enough Iron, and Vitamin D. A lot of times diet is poo pooed by doctors once you have kidney disease, if you are not on dialysis. A pre-dialysis diet can help prolong your kidney function that you already have, and may even improve it in some people. If you already have kidney disease encourage your doctor to refer you to a Dietitian. Avoiding medications, especially OTC medications, such as Ibuprofen and other NSAIDS, PPI stomach pills, and so many more will also help prevent kidney disease, and help prevent further damage if you already have kidney disease. I will be doing a more in depth post on medications in the future. It is a lot of info, and will take some time to put together.
Treatment for people with kidney disease will most likely be life long. There is no cure for kidney disease. Once you hit end stage you will need dialysis. Kidney transplant, by living donors, is the gift of life. Monitoring, and managing blood pressure, plus Diabetes will be included in treatment. Maintaining weight, or losing it, quite smoking will also be included in treatment. As mentioned above a pre-dialysis diet can be included in your treatment. I am stage 3, trying very hard to get to stage 2. I exercise at least 5 days a week, follow a 50G protein diet, 2G sodium diet, and try to make sure I get 8 glasses of water a day. I do not take any BP meds, but I do take 1/2 tsp of Sodium Bicarb per day. I take a Vitamin D supplement. I take a probiotic once a week, be careful they are high in Phosphorus, and a multi vitamin every other day, with Iron in it. I eat a mostly plant based diet, organic, and avoid dairy at least 90% of the time. It is a balancing act, and because I work in the medical field I can notice when I might need to adjust something. Avoiding infection is also of utmost importance to me. I do not take the Flu vaccine, but I do take extra Vitamin C during the winter months. Be sure and know what you are taking and how much the kidney can tolerate. Vitamin C is excreted 100% in the kidneys, so taking too much can actually do more harm than good. I visit my Nephrologist every 6 months, with Labs, and more if I feel I need to. When I was first diagnosed it was like every week. I could probably go yearly now, but I like to err on the side of caution.
You can visit the World Kidney Day website, for more info, or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
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