Receiving a chronic health diagnosis is more than just being handed a name of an illness. It is being handed a life sentence, and it impacts your daily life significantly. Knowing you have a chronic illness, of course, is better than not knowing. The diagnosis can save your life, but it can also change everything.
Chronic kidney disease already does affect your every moment, but until your diagnosis you might not have been truly aware of what is happening to your body. If you were having symptoms, it could have just been something as simple as a minor infection or smaller issue. Instead, it turns out to be a chronic illness- something that will never go away. The repercussions of this can be daunting.
The Mental Aspects
What many people do not consider are the mental repercussions of being diagnosed with a chronic illness such as kidney disease. Just hearing the words can have a huge impact on your life. Some people feel angry or depressed. Most people go through all of the stages of grief, from denial to eventual acceptance.
Why you? Did you do something wrong? Is this your fault? How are you going to live with this disease? These are common questions that patients ask themselves when being diagnosed with a chronic illness.
The mental impact of receiving a chronic illness diagnosis such as kidney disease can and will affect a person's daily life. This is absolutely normal. The hope is that you can overcome your mental anguish so that you can focus on what to do next.
The Physical Aspects
Physically, of course, kidney disease can affect your entire body. Depending on the stage of renal failure a patient is in, and how well that patient cares for themselves, the physical repercussions can be pretty significant.
In the beginning stages of chronic kidney disease, there may be very few, if any, symptoms. This is why regular checkups with your doctor are so important. Once kidney disease has progressed a little, symptoms may start with blood in the urine, and will eventually lead to fatigue, changes with urination, fluid retention, and back pain. In the later stages, kidney disease can affect the entire body. Headaches, problems urinating, muscle cramps all over the body, tingling in the hands and feet, swelling, and many other symptoms come with late stage kidney disease.
The good news is that you can do something about these symptoms. The earlier you realize you have kidney disease, the more you can do about it. Through proper treatment with your doctors and the right diet and lifestyle choices, you can slow or even stop the progression of kidney disease. You will not be able to regain any lost function, but you can prevent any further loss with the right treatment. Diet especially has a huge impact on your treatment.
Kidney disease does affect your entire life. Your daily life, from how you feel to every bite you put in your mouth, will change. You still have control despite how you might be feeling. Know that you can take control of your condition by choosing to be positive and making healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle. To learn more about how kidney disease affects your daily life, click here.