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Living with Kidney Disease: 5 Tips for a Good Life

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The greatest concerns healthy folks deal with on a daily basis cannot compare to a basic checklist of anyone living with a chronic illness – sometimes the wrong ingredient in the food can cause severe health consequences, while disturbing your routine for a single day can result in a chaotic week ahead. It’s no different for those who live with kidney disease and need regular dialysis as well as strict dietary guidelines, medical checkups, and specific lifestyle adaptations.

However, even if you’re dealing with a chronic illness of this nature, there is still so much you can do to preserve and increase your quality of life, enjoy every moment of it, and make sure you’re in good health as much as possible. To a great extent, you have ample control over your situation, and in that case, you can infuse your life with joy, excitement, and thorough planning to support your needs. Let’s see how you can achieve that.

Talk to your doctor

If you’ve received the diagnosis recently, it’s vital to start building the right support system for yourself. It’s not enough to talk to your family and friends alone, but to rely on the expert opinions and guidance of the medical staff at your disposal. Ask any questions you have regarding the disease and the treatment you’ll need. Knowing the basics of the tests you’ll regularly do will help you keep your mind at ease.

The more you know, the easier it becomes to adjust, ask the right questions, and listen to your body for any changes. You may need to get acquainted with the medication you consume, the best dosages, and possible side-effects, which is another topic for you and your doctor to cover. 

Stick to your dietary program

Kidney disease can come with a wide range of symptoms, and even if you’re still not experiencing any severe health issues, managing your diet from day one is vital for protecting your health and vitality in the long run. Once your doctor shares the best dietary practices for your particular case, start monitoring how your body responds to the changes in nutrition. We’re all different, so sometimes you may need to make other adjustments as you go along.

You’ll also learn to read labels more carefully, to be mindful of your sodium intake, as well as specific minerals your body might have difficulty processing or filtering, such as phosphorus, calcium, and potassium.

Adjust your travel bucket list

Too many people with kidney disease forego travel altogether out of fear that they’ll spend more time worrying than enjoying themselves. However, it’s perfectly doable to travel with kidney disease as long as you adjust your itinerary to include your dietary needs and countries that allow dialysis for your specific situation.

For starters, you can plan your holiday dialysis beforehand to include destinations that give you the best treatment you need, and where you know you’ll receive the right medical care for your situation. Booking everything well in advance also gives you enough time to carve the perfect sightseeing schedule to give you ample time to devote to your health needs and to have fun without setbacks. Travel with kidney disease shouldn’t be a burden, but a way to detox from stress and stay healthy wherever you are. 

Make sure you’re active

Some of the more common issues people with kidney disease experience include fatigue and a general lack of energy. Exercise, however, can serve as one of the easiest, healthiest ways to increase your energy levels on a regular basis while you also boost your wellbeing and resilience. What’s vital is to make sure that your workout program is customized to your needs, abilities, and health level.

Staying fit means that you’ll help your body maintain a healthier blood pressure, stronger heart, better circulation, weight management, and not to mention the perks of better sleep and reducing your exposure to stress. Exercise is the key to a healthy lifestyle for any individual, and it should be all the more important with someone struggling with chronic illness. 

Manage your stress

One of the recurring themes of this blog is, you’ve guessed it right, stress! As one of those key components of modern life, it’s no wonder that stress can have a negative impact on your health when you’re dealing with kidney disease. It can wreak havoc on your blood pressure, hormonal balance, sleeping patterns, and dietary choices, hence the need to develop a thorough system to reduce stress any way you can.

In addition to your exercise plan, taking that occasional holiday trip, and eating well for your health, you can also consider adding other mechanisms to reduce stress and increase your resilience to everyday stress triggers. One of them is mindful meditation, while you can also opt for simple breathing exercises, both guided or done in the privacy of your own home. Then again, taking a walk in a quiet park, or a dance lesson may do the trick if that is more to your preference. 

The lifestyle of a person with kidney disease should not revolve around the disease but reflect the need to protect your health and wellbeing to a great extent. While certain boundaries and limitations do apply, you can definitely enjoy a joy-filled life filled with excitement and adventure, as long as you plan well and follow the guidelines given to you by your doctor. Stay safe and enjoy every moment of your life!

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