What can you do?
Ask your doctor to order the appropriate tests and ask if you have any signs of CKD. Early diagnosis allows for earlier intervention with diet, exercise, medication and management of conditions that can contribute to CKD. Ex: Diabetes, Hypertension, use of anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibupophen.
What is Kidney Disease?
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) or renal disease is a condition where due to various factors, the kidneys do not filter as well has they used to. CKD is more common than people realize. One in 9 people in the United States have CKD and many people don’t realize they have it because symptoms are subtle. CKD can also be part of the natural process of aging. Anyone over the age of 60 years old could start to show signs of reduced kidney function.
What do the kidneys normally do?
The kidneys have many jobs. The main thing they do is filter the body's waste products and get rid of them via the urine The kidneys also:
Balance fluid (get rid of excess if needed)
Adjust vitamin/minerals (ex. sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium)
Produce hormones to help regulate blood pressure and make hormones to stimulate the growth of red blood cells (RBC’s)
Make vitamins for strong bones
What happens when kidney function is reduced?
High blood pressure can occur (HTN)
Blood or protein may start to spill into the urine (Hematuria or Proteinuria)
Swelling may occur in the hand and feet and/or throughout the body (Edema)
Electrolyte and Vitamin/Mineral imbalances
How can a registered dietitian help you manage kidney disease?
Registered dietitians are your go-to food expert for managing CKD. They can look at your lab results and develop a personalized meal plan to help correct any imbalances. They can tell you the right amount of protein to meet your needs without over-burdening the kidneys and give you daily limits for sodium. They can also help you protect your kidneys and slow down decline by incorporating your other health conditions into your meal plan.
There are many ways to protect kidney function, slow down the rate of decline and keep you out of kidney failure as long as possible!