I have CKD. What can I do to prevent or slow down problems?
Your doctor will talk to you about treating the problems that damaged the kidneys.
If you have high blood pressure, it is important to lower your blood pressure. Medicines called ACE inhibitors and angiotensin-II receptor blockers can be helpful. These medicines lower blood pressure and may help keep your kidney disease from getting worse. Exercise and a healthy diet can also help to lower your blood pressure.
If you have diabetes, your doctor will tell you what to do to keep your blood sugar level normal. You will probably need to change your diet, get more exercise and/or take medicine.
If you smoke, you must quit. Smoking damages the kidneys. It also raises blood pressure and interferes with medicines used to treat high blood pressure.
Your doctor may also want you to eat less protein. Too much protein can make the kidneys work too hard.
You will need to have regular checkups so your doctor can check how your kidneys are working and treat problems caused by CKD.
How else is CKD treated?
Chronic kidney disease can cause other problems. Talk with your doctor about how you can treat these other problems. He or she may have you take medicine to treat:
- High triglyceride (say: "try-gliss-er-eyed") and cholesterol levels. Triglycerides are a type of fat. Triglyceride levels often are higher in people who have kidney disease.
- Anemia. Anemia occurs when your blood doesn't have enough hemoglobin (a protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body). Symptoms of anemia include feeling tired and weak.
- Weak bones. CKD can also change the way your body uses minerals such as calcium and phosphorus that are used to make bone. Your doctor may have you avoid certain foods to help your body use these minerals better.
If you have chronic kidney disease, you may lose your appetite. A nutritionist can help you plan a diet that will keep you strong.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff