Kidney disease is a diagnosis that no one wants to hear. The fact that you have a chronic illness, one that you will live with for the rest of your life, it is a challenging and daunting truth to come to terms with. It is just too easy for some to focus on the negative and to lose hope in the future, but you can take steps to avoid kidney failure.
There is hope, however, if you are willing to work for it. Simply changing your diet, for example, can truly help you to avoid kidney failure. Yes, you can avoid kidney failure, and still live a healthy and happy life, by changing your diet.
What is kidney disease?
To truly understand how changing your diet can make such a difference in the overall outcome of your disease, you need to understand what kidney disease is and why it occurs.
Kidney disease is the chronic condition where your kidneys gradually lose function over time. This can take months or years, depending on your specific condition and how well you take care of yourself. You can, as already mentioned, ultimately effectively avoid kidney failure by slowing or even halting the progression of the disease by changing your diet.
How does this work?
Your kidneys are ultimately responsible for the filtration and removal of waste and excess buildup in your body. When the kidneys are not functioning properly, as with kidney disease, the ability to filter and remove these products diminishes.
Certain foods that you eat contain ingredients, vitamins and minerals that are supposed to be filtered and flushed out by the kidneys. Once the kidneys lose function, they have to work much harder to do the same job that healthy kidneys do. If no changes are made to the intake of these ingredients, the kidneys have to work harder and harder, until they eventually shut down.
If, however, the intake of these ingredients is greatly decreased, the kidneys will not have as hard of a time doing their job. Without the extra duress, they have the potential to keep working at their current ability for a very long time. Unfortunately, there is no way to regain function that is already lost, so the sooner you make changes the better.
What changes should I make?
Once you are diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, your doctor will likely give you a list of dietary restrictions. It is important that you follow those restrictions religiously.
Sodium: In kidney disease, too much sodium can cause such problems as edema (swelling), dangerous fluid retention, elevated blood pressure, and more. Cutting sodium out of your diet will make a huge difference towards avoiding kidney failure.
Potassium: Too much potassium in your system can cause muscle cramps and weakness, numbness, and tingling.
Phosphorus: Added phosphorus can cause your bones to be brittle and lead to calcium deficiencies.
These and other restrictions are important enough that they might make all the difference to your life with kidney disease. Not only will following food restrictions help make you more comfortable, but you could effectively stop the progression of kidney disease and avoid kidney failure. It is hard to avoid kidney failure, but support helps. Look around my website for other ideas and support.