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The Best Ways to Manage Kidney Disease with Diet and Exercise

Feb 21, 2018

Chronic kidney does not go away once it has begun, but you can delay its progression by controlling your diet and getting the right amount of exercise. Unlike some diseases, such as catching a cold virus that is caused by a single known thing, your chronic kidney disease may be caused or worsened by multiple factors.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are two factors that can lead to and worsen chronic kidney disease. A poor diet along with a sedentary lifestyle may make diabetes harder to control. High blood pressure left untreated can also lead to kidney disease. Here are the fundamentals of helping to manage your kidney disease with diet and exercise.

Food Shopping

Here is where you can live life on the edge. That is, the edge of the grocery store. You may have already noticed that the better foods are along the outer wall of the grocery store. Almost every grocery store is laid out according to an established shopping pattern. The produce, dairy, fresh meats, and breads are all placed along the outside edges of the shopping space. This is where you should be getting the bulk of your daily food. The less food is processed, the better it is for you. Prepared, boxed, and bagged foods often have huge amounts of added salt, sugar, and fat. If you shop and cook fresh, you can better control what goes into your food and your body.

Stop the SAD

SAD is an acronym for the Standard American Diet, which is jam-packed with processed foods and high amounts of salt, sugar, and fat. It is a sad diet indeed, in that it can contribute to weight gain, and weight gain contributes to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, and much more. This diet can be pictured as a dinner plate that has meat and starchy foods (potatoes and rice) taking up the biggest portion of real estate on the plate with only a small amount of vegetables. You should make a daily effort to alter how your plates look so that fresh fruit and vegetables take the lead, and meat and starches take up less space.

Get Moving

You do not need a membership to a gym or have to spend money on a wardrobe to start jogging. Even walking is a great exercise, and you can get started immediately. In fact, if your legs work, you can go for a walk to better your health today. Taking a flight of stairs instead of the elevator is also a beginning. Riding a bicycle is easy on your joints, and there are even fancy recumbent bicycles for people who need back support while riding.

Follow Your Diet Plan

If your doctor tells you to limit salt intake, ask for more details. The recommended sodium intake for Americans is 2300 mg per day at the most. If you have high blood pressure it is even less. If you eat packaged foods, the sodium content is listed on the dietary label. By preparing your meals from scratch, you can fully control the amount of salt you add. You should also ask about other things you may need to control such as protein, fat, carbs, and potassium. You may need to be persistent with your doctor in asking many questions to understand what you should and should not eat as well as what you should eat in moderation. Ask for a referral to see a dietitian trained in chronic kidney disease. It is also important to take all of the medications your doctor prescribes.

Eating right and exercising help you to get to and maintain a healthy weight, lower your blood pressure, and will likely improve your cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Make the positive changes you can today, and work on the tougher ones as each day goes by. Never give up, and stick to a diet and exercise plan that works for your lifestyle and produces measurable results. Your kidneys will thank you!

Categories: News, Kidneys