They are only about the size of your fist, but they are imperative to your body’s functioning. Kidneys work as filters to get rid of waste from the body, but they also control our blood pressure and assist in the creation of red blood cells. For people diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, successful management is vital in order to avoid further advancement to kidney failure.
There are a number of contributing factors to kidney disease, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Regular kidney infections
- Diabetes (either type 1 or 2)
- Inflammation of the glomeruli, or kidney filtering units
- Obstruction of the urinary tract over a prolonged period of time
- Family history
- Increased age
- Irregular structure of the kidneys
- People of African-American, Asian-American, or Native American descent
Kidney disease symptoms include:
- Sleeping or eating problems
- A decline in mental acuity
- Muscle cramps and/or twitching
- Swollen ankles and/or feet
- Consistent itching
- Shortness of breath and/or chest pain
Fortunately, there are a number of proactive steps that can be taken for kidney disease management to help keep the condition in check.
- Manage blood pressure. A typical healthy blood pressure goal is less than 140/99 mm Hg. The doctor can develop a strategy to be certain blood pressure levels stay inside of the suggested range, which might include reducing sodium and making other dietary changes, boosting exercise levels, quitting smoking, and achieving sufficient quantities of sleep.
- Keep up with checkups. Your physician will need to monitor kidney disease on a consistent basis, tracking any differences to functioning and assessing for any damage, since kidney disease has a tendency to advance over time. The objective will be to make sure GFR (glomerular filtration rate) and urine albumin levels each remain steady. Individuals with kidney disease can assist by sticking with the prescribed testing schedule, checking blood pressure levels at home, and keeping track of/reporting any symptoms or changes noted.
- Manage medications properly. Taking prescriptions precisely when as well as how they’re prescribed is key, understanding that meds and dosage levels will change as the disease progresses. It’s also essential to be aware that a number of over-the-counter medications are not recommended for people with kidney disease, as they can cause further kidney damage, including NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen. Check with your doctor for advice.
- Make recommended changes in your lifestyle. Work with a nutritionist to formulate a diet designed to take care of your kidneys, together with your doctor to recommend a suitable exercise program to ensure you stay in good physical shape. And remember your mental health. A chronic condition like kidney disease can create an unhealthy amount of stress, which could lead to depression if left untreated.
The highly trained care team at Hearts at Home In-Home Care, one of the top-rated home care agencies in the area, can help people who have kidney disease improve health outcomes in a multitude of ways, including providing accompanied transportation to medical visits, helping clients adhere to medication schedules, shopping for and preparing nutritious meals, and more. Contact us at 913-440-4209 for more information about why we’re one of the top-rated home care agencies in Kansas City and the surrounding areas!