Biggest Questions You’ll Have After A Chronic Kidney Disease Diagnosis

August 30, 2017

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The job of the kidneys is to filter waste out of your system, and chronic kidney disease prevents waste from properly leaving the body.

This build-up of waste can lead to fatigue, high blood pressure, extreme weight loss, and even kidney failure.

Receiving a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease can be overwhelming—not to mention confusing.

These top questions patients have after receiving a diagnosis will give you some much-needed answers, and peace of mind!

1. Why Is My Skin So Dry?

The amount of parathyroid hormone in your blood increases as your kidney function declines, which can lead to dry, itchy skin. Speak with your doctor to see if you can be prescribed a phosphate binder to keep your blood levels in check and your skin smooth.

The following question is definitely worth asking!

2. What Are The Main Reasons Someone Develops Kidney Disease?

Many cases of kidney disease result due to high blood pressure or diabetes—although not everyone with these conditions will develop chronic kidney disease. Kidney stones and other inherited diseases may also contribute to your diagnosis. Speak to your doctor to find the best plan to combat your symptoms and improve your well-being!

3. Is Being Constantly Exhausted Normal?

Chronic kidney disease can cause you to often feel fatigued. Your tiredness can be due to anemia—when your body produces less red blood cells leaving you feeling weak and tired. Kidney disease decreases the production of the hormone erythropoietin, which is responsible for making red blood cells.

Talk to your doctor about starting an iron supplement to prevent you from feeling sluggish. The next question is crucial to feeling your best and caring for your heart!

4. Should I Keep An Exercise Routine?

Exercise is good for every part of the body, especially the heart. Engaging in physical activity can strengthen your muscles, control your blood pressure, and keep your weight at a healthy range. Heart disease is one of the main causes of death when it comes to chronic kidney disease, so getting up and moving is highly beneficial!

5. If I Quit Smoking Will It Improve My Condition?

Smoking cigarettes can speed up the progression of chronic kidney disease. Those who smoke with diabetes usually develop kidney disease at a faster rate, so it would be imperative to quit to improve your health. Ditching the habit for good will help your blood pressure as well as slow down the process of kidney failure.

6. How Important Is Hydration?

Staying hydrated is crucial to kidney function, and drinking water is the best way to consume enough fluids. Try to consume six to eight glasses of water per day, more or less depending on your body weight. Water will give your kidneys the extra boost they need to rid your body of waste!

Many people are really curious about the next question.

7. I Didn’t Experience Any Major Symptoms Before Being Diagnosed, Is This Normal?

Chronic kidney disease may seem like a condition that would be noticeable from the start, but many people don’t realize something is wrong until symptoms progressively get worse. Some of the beginning signs of kidney disease include trouble concentrating, fatigue, swollen ankles, muscle cramps, increased urination, and experiencing sleeping difficulties.

8. What Vitamins And Minerals Are Best At Supporting Kidney Function?

There are some vitamins that can play a big role when it comes to your kidney health. Vitamin D—which mushrooms are filled with—is known to keep kidney function stabilized. Vitamin C—found in apples and grapefruit—protects the health of your heart, which is especially beneficial to those with chronic kidney disease.

9. How Can I Ease Muscle Spams?

Chronic kidney disease can cause muscle spasms, due to fluid build up, nerve damage, or blood flow issues. You can soothe your muscles by stretching, getting a massage, or taking a warm bath. Don’t forget to wear comfortable, form-fitting shoes!

Feel free to sip on something sweet in the next slide.

10. I’m Craving Something Sweet, Is All Fruit Juice Off Limits?

Although sugary beverages should be avoided to better your kidney health, indulging in 100% cranberry juice can be beneficial to your entire system. This powerful juice can help cleanse your kidneys while promoting digestive and heart health. Feel free to snack on these berries in their natural form to support your urinary tract!

11. How Will My Doctor Determine The Stage Of My Disease?

Being diagnosed with chronic kidney disease may leave you scared and confused, but your physician is there to assess your situation and provide you with the correct treatment. A specialist will perform a glomerular filtration rate (GTR) test to see what stage of the disease your kidneys are currently in and how well your kidneys are performing.

12. How Can I Lower My Cholesterol To Improve Kidney Function?

Lowering your cholesterol is a key step to combatting the progression of kidney disease and avoiding kidney failure. Limit your consumption of salty snacks and foods high in saturated fat. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your meals to keep your diet rich in nutrients.

The following slide will have you questioning that cocktail!

13. Is Alcohol Out Of The Question?

It’s no secret that drinking alcohol can do some damage to your overall health. Alcohol can worsen kidney disease if consumed in excess, so it’s important to practice strict moderation. Limiting your drinking to special occasions or every once in awhile can protect your kidney health as well as keep your blood pressure in check.

14. Should I Lose Weight To Improve My Condition?

Losing excess weight can improve your blood pressure, lower your risk of heart disease, and improve kidney function. Speak with your doctor about whether shedding a food pounds will improve your chronic kidney disease, and make time for physical activity and preparing healthy meals.

The following question will have you updating your main source of protein!

15. Should I Decrease My Meat Intake?

Although eating some source of protein is important for a body to thrive, processed meat should be avoided for heart and kidney health. Processed meat such as bacon, sausage, and deli meats are filled with salt and saturated fats, which raise your blood pressure. Choose poultry or fish for a leaner protein and better kidney health!

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