As you already know, your kidneys control many functions of your body.
To effectively fight this disease, you need to be as healthy as
possible. This will require some lifestyle/behavior changes that
can be quite challenging. These 3 areas are the cornerstone of
staying healthy. With kidney disease, they are now essential to
your well being.
For me, DIET is the
hard one. We socialize with food. Friends, family and co-workers
sometimes make it difficult to stick with such a restricted diet. I
have often felt isolation when doing so.
If you are pre-ESRD, start reducing the intake of your saturated
fats and animal proteins. This is a first big step and will take will
power and planning. I find this most difficult when
Suggestions about diet are greatly appreciated. See my Feedback
Page. I will publish them as I update my web site.
Here is one I recently saw in a newsgroup posting: A low sodium/protein frozen
veggie burger made by V'dora Foods Original Veggie burger.
about St. Johns Wart from Nutrition New
Focus dated 2/18/00
oil in your diet? Switch
to grape seed oil. It raises the HDL (good) cholesterol and lowers
the LDL (bad) cholesterol. Unlike olive oil, it has a high smoke
point so is great for sauté foods and does not become cloudy when kept
in the refrigerator. The Vong
brand has the best price, especially if you buy more than one (check
out the shipping costs).
Here are some quick tips for the pre-ESRD
Drink distilled water. Try
to find water that is both distilled and run through carbon filtering.
There is a tasty one made in Florida called Zephrhills.
- Most healthy Americans ingest more protein
than they really need on a daily basis. Cutting down the
amount of high-quality animal
protein (beef, pork,
chicken, fish, dairy products) is very beneficial to the kidneys. You
still need some of this type of protein, but not the excessive
amounts that are generally eaten. Reducing
protein in general can possibly delay dialysis (see www.detnews.com/menu/stories/42193.htm).
giving blood for lab work, use your dominant arm. Save
the veins in your non-dominant arm for dialysis.
As your kidney function diminishes, you will probably experience
high levels of cholesterol and will need to also fight the progression
- Reduce the intake of:
- Saturated fats.
- Trans-fatty acids (start reading food labels and
avoid "hydrogenated" ingredients)
- Sugar. This will make your triglycerides elevated
Look for other sweeteners in food labels.
- Try to exercise every day. This helps
with lowering cholesterol and is great for stress reduction.
If every day is not possible, strive of 3 times a week.
At some point in your
disease management, intake of the following substances
will need to be regulated: Protein, Fluids,
Sodium, Cholesterol, Potassium, Phosphorus.
Ask your physician about a good renal
dietician. Even if your insurance doesn't pay for it, the
long-term benefit will be worth it.
Here are some links related to dieting.
Blood Pressure - Controlling your blood pressure is another major
function of the
kidneys and a BIGGIE in kidney disease management. Visit Blood pressure.com
Don't neglect your emotional
This is probably the most important aspect of successful disease
management; however is the least talked about.
If you (or your family) need to seek counseling, do not hesitate.