In This Article


Chronic diseases represent a significant challenge in maintaining everyday wellness and quality of life. One such illness, chronic kidney disease (CKD), is characterized by the gradual loss of kidney function over time, making dealing with this condition a challenging task. However, with various health and lifestyle changes, individuals can make a substantial difference, underscoring the importance of understanding how to live well with CKD.

Living Well With Chronic Kidney Disease: Health And Lifestyle Tips
How to Live Well With Chronic Kidney Disease?

According to Melanie Betz, Registered Dietitian, over 10% of the population worldwide has chronic kidney disease and up to 90% of people with CKD in the US aren’t even aware they have it.

In dealing with chronic kidney disease, the primary goal should be to slow the progression of the disease and manage the symptoms. This involves a multi-faceted approach that you should keep in mind to ensure a more favorable outcome.

This article will explore the different health and lifestyle tips for chronic kidney disease patients. Read on to learn more.

Health and Lifestyle Tips for Chronic Kidney Disease

1. Use Medical Interventions

One of the foremost ways to manage CKD is through medical interventions. It’s essential to understand that the treatment is multi-faceted, depending on its stage and the associated kidney disease symptoms and complications.[1] Typically, there are many medical interventions that can be used to manage the said disease. These include:

  • Medications: Several medications are available to treat the symptoms of CKD, such as high blood pressure, anemia, and swelling. These medications may help slow the progression of the disease and improve the quality of life for people with kidney disease.
  • Dialysis: In some cases, people with CKD may need to undergo dialysis. It’s a procedure that involves the removal of waste products and excess fluid from the blood since the kidneys are no longer able to do so on their own.

If you have kidney disease, it’s important to work with a doctor to develop a treatment plan that’s right for you. Incorporating the use of the best kidney support supplements, along with appropriate medical intervention, can enhance your chances of living a long and healthy life despite having this chronic medical condition.

2. Make Dietary Modifications

Along with medical care, another critical aspect of managing CKD is through dietary modifications. A healthy diet plays a crucial role in managing CKD. Balancing the intake of nutrients like protein, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus may help reduce the kidney’s workload.

Typically, it’s recommended to have a diet low in sodium and protein but rich in fiber. Reduced protein consumption may help decrease waste products in the blood, which accumulate due to impaired kidney function. By limiting sodium, you may also control your blood pressure and reduce swelling.

Furthermore, potassium and phosphorus should be regulated since they can build up in the bloodstream with deteriorating kidney function. However, it’s essential to know that dietary needs may vary based on the stage of the disease and other individual health factors. Therefore, consulting with a dietitian who specializes in kidney disease is essential to tailor a dietary plan that’s best suited for your condition.

Living Well With Chronic Kidney Disease

Dietary Modifications. Image/Shutterstock

3. Engage In Physical Activities

Beyond dietary and medical interventions, incorporating regular exercise is also paramount for those living with CKD. Physical activity may help manage blood pressure, improve heart health, and boost mood. For example, you can engage in low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, or cycling and gradually increase the intensity and duration as time goes by.

However, it’s still important to consult your doctor before starting an exercise routine. They can suggest activities tailored to your individual needs and goals, ensuring that your exercise plan is both effective and safe.

4. Avoid Smoking And Alcohol

While engaging in beneficial activities like exercise is essential, it’s equally important to avoid harmful habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption is another way to live well with chronic kidney disease. Smoking can exacerbate kidney damage and accelerate the progression of the disease.[2]

On the other hand, alcohol, while not as detrimental as smoking, can still impact kidney health if consumed in excess. It is the best high blood pressure medication that can contribute to the common cause of CKD. As such, it’s advisable to limit alcohol consumption and seek advice from a healthcare provider to understand what a safe amount for you is.

5. Have A Good Sleep Hygiene

Quality sleep is essential for overall health and well-being, and it’s no different for individuals with CKD. However, kidney disease and its treatment can sometimes cause sleep problems.

Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain good sleep hygiene to help improve sleep quality. You can do this by keeping a regular sleep schedule, creating a calm and comfortable sleep environment, avoiding caffeine and heavy meals close to bedtime, and limiting daytime naps.

6. Consider Your Mental Health

In addition to physical health, you must not overlook the mental and emotional implications of CKD. CKD, like other chronic diseases, may affect your mental health. Generally, it’s common for people with this disease to experience anxiety and depression. Because of this, connecting with a mental health professional and incorporating strategies to manage stress might be beneficial to help improve your mental well-being.

Additionally, engaging in mind-body practices like mindfulness, meditation, and yoga may be an excellent idea since they can help reduce stress and anxiety. Consider joining support groups, available both online and offline. These groups offer a platform for patients to share experiences, learn coping strategies, and gain emotional support.

7. Maintain Regular Health Check-Ups

Routine health check-ups with your healthcare provider are also vital in managing CKD. They can help monitor disease progression, adjust treatment plans, and catch complications early. They can also test your kidney function, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels.

Thus, make sure to attend your regular health check-ups to improve your overall quality of life, despite having kidney disease.

Final Thoughts

While managing chronic kidney disease poses challenges, it’s certainly possible to lead a fulfilling and active life. By keeping the tips mentioned above in mind, you may have a healthy and long life with CKD. Remember, the right balance of these elements makes living well with CKD a very attainable goal.

Was this article helpful?

2 Sources

We review published medical research in respected scientific journals to arrive at our conclusions about a product or health topic. This ensures the highest standard of scientific accuracy.

[1] Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Symptoms :
[2] Over-the-counter medicine abuse – a review of the literature :
Facebook youtube pinterest Twitter linkedin

Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

Dr.Joel Fuhrman Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a family physician, NY Times best-selling author and nutritional researcher.