What do to After Being Diagnosed with Kidney Disease
If you’ve just been diagnosed with kidney disease, it’s important to work with your doctor to make any adjustments to your medication intake, such as dosing changes or substitutions. Having an open line of communication with your kidney doctor will help you prevent further health complications, particularly advancing kidney damage. You’ll understandably have many questions as you learn more about kidney failure, your treatment options and living with the disease.
Research Treatment Options
There are two main treatment options you and your kidney doctor will discuss concerning kidney disease:
- Kidney transplantation: Your doctor will request numerous tests and examinations to determine if you’re a strong kidney transplant candidate. While this may be a great first solution for those diagnosed with kidney disease, it’s often a lengthy process as there are nearly 100,000 people waiting on the kidney transplant list, with the current wait for a deceased donor at about five year.
- Dialysis: There are two forms of dialysis treatments: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis dialysis is a process where the patient’s blood is actually filtered. Peritoneal dialysis involves a catheter in the abdomen allowing the abdomen to act as the body’s filter, completing the functions the kidney would normally complete.
Create a Kidney Friendly Diet
Dietician’s have long told us that fruits, vegetables and lean meats create a healthy diet for anyone, not just those with chronic diseases. What we now know is that there are superfoods that can particularly help those diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, and foods those with the illness should avoid. If you are diagnosed with kidney disease, be sure to talk with your kidney doctor or your dietician for your specific needs. Most kidney friendly diets concentrate on low sodium and low fat foods for your kidney disease diet.
Equally important as a healthy diet is considering the rest of what you put into your body. Smoking is associated with kidney disease and kidney cancer. The toxins generated by smoking can slow the flow of your blood to your kidneys, creating further damage. Smoking after being diagnosed with kidney failure is putting your health on the fast track to deterioration.
Understand your health
Kidney disease is a risk factor for heart disease and vice versa. It’s important that you not only understand what’s going on with your kidney health, but also have an overall picture of your wellbeing. Start the conversation with your doctor about actions you can take to lower your risk for heart disease and to better control your diabetes if that’s a health challenge you face.
Visit a Kidney Doctor
Schedule an appointment with a kidney specialist, or nephrologist, to get a more in depth understanding of exactly what’s happening with your kidneys. It is recommended that you regularly see a kidney doctor when your eGFR, a measure of kidney function, is less than 30.
Knowledge is power. Understanding kidney failure, its causes, possible treatments and how you can still have a fulfilling, active life will help you live the lifestyle you desire despite a diagnosis.
Call us today or have your physicians office connect with us to schedule an appointment!