Healthy Living with End Stage Renal Failure

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Dr Cocja

Healthy Living With End Stage Renal Failure

Healthy Living With End Stage Renal FailureEnd Stage Renal Failure is a growing problem in the USA. The kidneys represent the filter which removes waste matter from the body. A build-up of waste matter in the body, and ultimately the blood, results in the body becoming toxic. A very high level of toxicity is not compatible with life.
Other functions of the kidneys include:
•    Red cell production
•    Regulating blood pressure
•    Electrolyte balance

Renal Failure and End Stage Renal Failure

Renal/kidney failure occurs when the kidneys are no longer able to adequately filter waste products from the blood. This condition can progressively worsen to chronic renal failure.
There are five stages to chronic renal failure and it is the glomerular filtration rate GFR which is used to make the determination about the stage. Factors used to calculate the GFR include age, gender, race, and the blood level of creatinine. Stage five is referred to as end stage renal disease.

End stage renal disease is the stage of renal failure over time, months, and years, when the kidneys have lost almost all their ability to function and the only way to survive is by having dialysis or a renal transplant.

The Keys to Healthy Living with kidney failure

Adopting a healthy lifestyle program can add life to your health and years to your life. The keys are:

Diet Considerations for Renal Patients
It is extremely important to consult with a dietitian for an individualized diet with meal plans. The dietician will take into consideration your weight, height and co-morbidities such as hypertension and diabetes.
In general you will be encouraged to:

•    Limit not only salt but also sodium intake
•    Limit fluid intake
•    Limit processed and refined foods
•    Limit calcium intake
•    Limit saturated fat and foods rich in cholesterol
•    Include vitamin D, soluble B vitamins, vitamin C and iron supplements as recommended by the dietitian
•    Increase protein intake but not exceed the daily requirements
•    Maintain a healthy weight

Physical activity
Daily physical activity that is appropriate to your age and state of health is beneficial for:

•    Overall well-being
•    Improving the circulation
•    Strengthening the heart muscles
•    Fitness and flexibility
•    Combating depression

No tobacco use
Smoking tobacco substantially increases the risk of renal disease, cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and heart attacks, strokes, dilatation (aneurysm) of major blood vessels and occlusion of peripheral vascular disease. If you are a smoker there is help for smoking cessation.

No alcohol
Whereas mild to moderate alcohol intake may have some health benefits this is not at all so for the individual with impaired kidney function. Alcohol consumed in large quantities over time damages the organs, suppresses the immune system and increases a risk of certain types of cancers.

Stress Management
Here are some great tips:

•    Build your self-confidence by using affirmations  that speak to your uniqueness, talent and inner beauty
•    Visualize what you wish to achieve in life, then, develop a plan to help you realize those goals.
•    Express your deep feelings and release anger, disappointments and fear.
•    Relaxation and sleep are essential for optimal health.
•    Choose to be contented and happiness. These states of mind attract harmony. Explore your passion and purpose in life.
•    Whatever your belief system, be resolved to deepen your spiritual practices.

Support Group
Persons who are living with a chronic medical challenge do better when they are a part of a support group or community. They can benefit from connecting with each other so that there is a sharing of common experiences, challenges and successes

At Live Kidney Donation, we provide a blog for you to be inspired by real individuals who share their experiences of triumphs and challenges. We give hope to the community of persons living with chronic renal failure and end-stage kidney failure.