The treatment of chronic kidney disease focuses on slowing or stopping further damage to the kidneys. There is currently no way to completely reverse kidney damage short of getting a transplant. While there are other treatments for kidney disease, here are five that can help prevent chronic kidney disease from progressing. As always, check with your medical professional and do your own research before changing or starting any treatments.
1. Eat Right
Foods rich in Vitamin B6, B12, and Folic Acid can keep blood homocysteine levels low — reducing your risk of kidney-damaging conditions such as heart disease and stroke. Eating foods rich in Vitamin D, such as Krill, provide support for bones and muscles, which may be weak due to reduced Vitamin D production caused by damaged kidneys. Watch your protein intake as protein breakdown creates waste byproduct that can strain the kidneys. You should eat no more than 1 gram of protein per 3 pounds of body weight per day.
2. Treat the Underlying Cause of Kidney Disease
Diabetes is a leading cause of kidney disease (as many as 40% of kidney disease patients are diabetic). Eat good carbohydrates in their most natural form and avoid starchy “white” foods like rice, potatoes, sugar, and flour. High blood pressure can also kidney disease, so to keep it low, exercise regularly by walking or lifting weights. Exercise can also help you control blood sugar. Reduce your sodium (salt) intake. Reduce your stress and make time for relaxing activities. Avoid caffeine, getting too hot, and activities that can raise your blood pressure.
3. Avoid dehydration
Dehydration can severely damage already poorly functioning kidneys. Keep yourself hydrated with plenty of water. Avoid beverages that have a diuretic (water loss) effect like coffee, tea, or anything with sugar or caffeine. If you develop any vomiting or diarrhea, consult a medical professional immediately as dehydration can occur quickly, even if you’re taking in plenty of fluids. You may need to get hydration through an IV drip as a precaution. During hot weather, stay well hydrated and supplement with appropriate amounts of electrolytes such as calcium and potassium.
4. Avoid Unnecessary Medications
Many common, over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen sodium (Aleve), and celecoxib (Celebrex) can further damage the kidneys. Do not assume any particular medications are safe without consulting a medical professional who specializes in kidney disease and doing your own research. Also avoid aspartame (Nutrasweet), an artificial sweetener commonly found in diet drinks, which a study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal has shown can cause kidney cancer.
5. Avoid Vices
Smoking and chewing tobacco can affect blood flow to the kidneys and increase blood pressure. Alcohol can also cause damage to both the liver and kidneys, and can wreak havoc on blood sugar. Obviously, avoid any illegal drugs which will certainly damage your kidneys.