If you have recently been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, you likely have a lot of questions. You might even be scared about your health and what the future holds. What do you do next?
Information is your strongest tool. Understanding what chronic kidney disease is and what changes you need to make are the best way for you to live as comfortably and as healthily as possible. Use these common questions and answers to learn more about your new diagnosis:
What is Chronic Kidney Disease?
Chronic kidney disease is a condition that means your kidneys are progressively failing. There are stages of kidney disease, ranging from the very beginning where there might be no symptoms and the condition is only caught via regular screenings. It can progress to the latest stage five, also known as end-stage renal disease.
Is CKD Fatal?
Not anymore! Thanks to regular screenings and modern medicine, chronic kidney disease is very treatable. If or when a patient reaches the final stage of kidney disease, there are ways to replace the kidney functions that your body cannot live without. Dialysis and kidney transplant are how kidney function would be replaced to extend life once the end-stage renal disease is met.
Is There A Cure for Chronic Kidney Disease?
There is no cure for chronic kidney disease, nor can the damage that is done be healed. What can be done are major lifestyle changes that can help prevent any further damage to occur.
How Does Diet Affect Chronic Kidney Disease?
Everything you eat or drink is eventually processed through your kidneys. Your kidneys act as a filtration system for your body, removing waste, excess material, and other byproducts from your system. If your kidneys are not functioning properly, you can help your body by not eating or drinking items that cause extra stress on your kidneys.
What Diet Changes Are Typically Recommended for CKD?
Dietary restrictions will typically vary depending on the stage of kidney disease. Almost all restrictions will ask you to avoid sodium because it has a big effect on your kidneys. Other common restrictions are potassium and phosphorus.
Most dietary recommendations are going to ask you to simply eat a healthy balanced diet. Lots of produce and lean proteins are always on the menu for a healthy diet, and the same goes for chronic kidney disease. You will also be asked to avoid sodium, so try cooking without added salt and avoid canned goods and processed foods whenever possible. The later the stage of disease, the stricter your dietary changes will need to be.
How Quickly Does Kidney Disease Progress?
The progression of kidney disease will vary, and you can do a lot to help slow kidney damage down. Following your doctors’ recommendations and sticking to a strict kidney safe diet can actually help you slow or even halt the progression of your illness.
This information can help arm you to make the best decisions for your health. Knowing what chronic kidney disease means for you can help you to know how to move forward and live the healthiest life you can. Talk to your doctor for more information.
Also published on Medium.