They are only about the size of your fist, yet they are crucial to your body’s performance. Kidneys work as filters to eliminate waste from the body, but they also control our blood pressure and assist in the production of red blood cells. For those with chronic kidney disease, effective management is vital to prevent progression to kidney failure.
There are a number of contributing factors to kidney disease, most notably:
- High blood pressure
- Recurring kidney infections
- Diabetes (either type 1 or 2)
- Inflammation of the glomeruli, or kidney filtering units
- Obstruction of the urinary tract over an extended period of time
- Family history
- Increased age
- Irregular structure of the kidneys
- Those of African-American, Asian-American, or Native American descent
Kidney disease symptoms include:
- Sleeping or eating difficulties
- A decline in mental acuity
- Muscle cramps and/or twitching
- Swollen ankles and/or feet
- Persistent itching
- Shortness of breath and/or chest pain
Fortunately, there are a number of steps that people with a chronic disease, like CKD, and their caregivers, can take in order to keep the disease under control.
- Manage blood pressure. A typical healthy blood pressure goal is less than 140/99 mm Hg. A doctor can construct an approach to make sure blood pressure levels stay inside of the recommended range, which might consist of reducing sodium and making other dietary changes, increasing exercise levels, stopping smoking, and getting sufficient quantities of sleep.
- Keep up with checkups. Your physician will want to monitor kidney disease on a continuous basis, tracking any changes to functioning and assessing for any damage, since kidney disease is likely to advance over time. The goal will be to make sure GFR (glomerular filtration rate) and urine albumin levels both remain steady. Individuals with kidney disease can help by adhering to the suggested testing schedule, checking blood pressure levels at home, and tracking/reporting any observable symptoms or changes noticed.
- Manage medications properly. Taking prescriptions precisely as directed is important, as meds and dosage levels will change as the disease advances. It’s equally important to be aware that a number of over-the-counter medications are not recommended for people with kidney disease, as they can result in further kidney damage, including NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen. Check with the doctor for information.
- Make recommended changes in lifestyle. Seek advice from a nutritionist to formulate a diet designed to take care of your kidneys, and ask your doctor to recommend an appropriate exercise regimen to ensure you stay in shape. And don’t forget your mental health. A chronic condition like kidney disease may lead to an unhealthy level of stress, which may bring about depression if left untreated.
The knowledgeable care team at Grace Home Care, the Topeka dementia care experts, can help those diagnosed with kidney disease improve health outcomes in a number of ways, including providing accompanied transportation to doctor appointments, helping clients adhere to a medication schedule, shopping and nutritious meal preparation, and more. Contact us at 785-286-2273 to learn more about our high-quality home care services in Topeka and the surrounding areas!