Chronic kidney disease self-care tips can help people manage their symptoms and help protect the kidneys from further damage. These include dietary changes, physical activity, and more.
People with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have damage to their kidneys that builds up slowly over time. This damage affects how their kidneys filter blood. Less effective filtration causes waste products to build up in the body.
While there is no cure for CKD, a doctor may recommend self-care tips or home remedies alongside medical treatments.
Read on to learn more about self-care tips for CKD.
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Eating foods low in salt and sodium can help with blood pressure management. (Salt, or sodium chloride, is the crystal ingredient
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDKD) recommends a person’s diet contains less than
Steps that can help a person manage their sodium intake include:
- avoiding foods high in sodium by checking food labels
- avoiding preprepared food with added sodium
- using spices and herbs instead of salt during cooking
- rinsing canned foods in water before eating
Learn about low sodium diets.
People with CKD may have high levels of phosphorus building up in their blood. This
Avoiding foods high in phosphorus may help a person to manage these symptoms. Foods with added phosphorus may say “PHOS” in the ingredients list.
Foods that are typically higher in phosphorus include:
Some drinks can also contain phosphorus. Examples include:
- dark-colored sodas
- fruit punch
- some ice teas
A doctor can advise on whether a person may benefit from reducing their potassium intake. Examples of foods lower in potassium include:
Learn about high potassium foods to avoid with CKD.
A person with CKD may need to adjust their protein intake depending on the type of treatment they receive. Generally, a person with CKD should consume a diet lower in protein, as the kidneys need to work harder to remove higher levels of protein.
However, if a person has started dialysis treatment, they may need to increase the amount of protein in their diet. This is because dialysis removes protein waste from the blood, so a person may need to eat more protein to maintain a safe blood protein level.
Stopping smoking may help to slow down CKD progression. A person can contact their doctor for advice if they are considering quitting smoking.
Regular physical activity helps with
Mild or moderate CKD should not affect how long or how vigorously a person can exercise. However, people with more advanced CKD may have a reduced ability to exercise.
It is best to talk with a doctor before starting a new exercise regime.
A person will typically require medical treatments to help slow the progression of CKD. A doctor may also recommend medications for managing blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
Here are some frequently asked questions about CKD.
How can a person treat CKD?
People can take steps to help manage CKD symptoms. The
- getting enough quality sleep
- consuming a heart-healthy diet that is low in sodium
- getting enough physical activity
- quitting smoking, if applicable
- taking any medication their doctor prescribes
What should people with CKD avoid?
Can kidneys repair themselves naturally?
Kidneys cannot repair themselves naturally. However, people may be able to help prevent or stop their CKD getting worse. A doctor can help create a treatment plan to best manage the condition.
People with CKD have kidney damage that builds up over time. Although there is no cure for CKD, various self-care methods can help a person to manage symptoms of CKD and slow down the progression of the condition.
These methods can include dietary changes, physical activity, limiting alcohol intake, and quitting smoking if applicable.
A person may also need medication for CKD. Their doctor can advise on which treatments they recommend and what steps they can take to manage the condition.