6 Smart Ways to Manage Your Health with Renal Disease

dialysis meals

When your kidneys can no longer remove excess fluids and waste effectively, it's important to do everything you can to protect the remaining kidney function you have left. That starts with working with your doctor, and learning to avoid or limit sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and protein by making smart food choices.

Need help following a Renal-Friendly diet? Take a look at these entrees made specifically in our professional test kitchen to help renal patients manage their conditions. But is there anything else you can do to manage renal disease? Yes. Follow these 6 lifestyle tips to protect your health:

1. Study up.

Instead of relying on your healthcare team to manage your condition, study up. Learn about renal disease from sources like NephCure and the National Kidney Foundation.

2. Ask around.

Want to weigh your treatment options when you have renal disease? Ask around. Getting a second opinion is always a good idea. You may even be able to access healthcare at reduces costs for clinical trials to treat renal disease.

3. Practice big-picture thinking.

It's not uncommon for a patient with renal disease to visit a series of doctors and specialists for treatment. But those doctors don't always compare notes. If you don't have a designated advocate to manage your medical care, it's up to you to do it. Ask questions. Take notes. Be your own advocate.

4. Consider alternative treatments.

There's nothing wrong with traditional treatment methods and therapies for renal disease. But if you're not getting the results you want, don't want traditional treatment, or want to supplement traditional treatment, consider alternatives like homeopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, or massage therapy.

5. Follow a Renal-Friendly diet.

You'll need to avoid a long list of foods to protect your health and remaining kidney function when you have renal disease. But that doesn't mean you can't eat tasty and delicious food.

6. Be active.

Aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day. Pick an activity you enjoy, and make it a habit. Try yoga, walking, or a fitness class. You'll feel better and be healthier.

When you have renal disease, your food choices matter. But learning to manage your condition with these tips can also protect your health and your kidneys.