Lean Muscle Mass Effective Treatment for Kidney Disease


Your doctor walks into the room with your test results. You're dreading the diagnosis after your doctor suspected your kidneys were failing. And the lab tests confirm that you have elevated levels of creatine and urea nitrogen in your blood. You have chronic kidney disease.

For the estimated 26 million people who have chronic kidney disease, the diagnosis requires some major lifestyle changes. Your healthcare team will advise you of dietary changes you need to make to protect your health. But it's not the only thing you can do to manage your condition. New research suggests that adding resistance exercise and protein-rich foods to help build increased lean muscle tissue can help you live longer and better manage your condition.

In the study published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, researchers at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center wanted to find out if fat mass and lean body mass had an impact on the health of patients with kidney disease. During the five-year study, they tracked fat mass and lean body mass for nearly 800 patients by measuring mid-arm muscle.

They found that patients with the highest amounts of muscle mass lived longer – 37 percent longer – than patients with low levels of lean muscle mass. Patients with higher levels of lean muscle mass also scored higher on a mental health test.

This was a small study compared to clinical trials based on data collected from thousands of patients over a decade or more. But the finding suggest that increasing lean body mass may provide some hope for improving longevity and the quality of life for people with kidney disease, says lead researcher Dr. Kalantar-Zadeh.

You can increase your lean body mass by doing resistance exercises. Body weight training like push-ups, planks exercises, pull-ups, and squats can challenge your muscles. You can also build muscle by lifting weights at home or in the gym. If you're not sure where to start, a personal trainer can help you, or you may be able to find a weight training class for beginners in your area.

Your diet also plays an important part in building lean muscle mass. Eating protein rich-foods such as lean meats, skinless poultry, fish, dairy, nuts and seeds, and soy-based foods provide your body with the nutrients they need to preserve and build lean muscle tissue. And you'll find a wide range of easy-to-make dialysis meals at MagicKitchen.com that include healthy-protein foods.

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