Living with a 'chronic disease' can be as much of an emotional,
mental and social struggle as it can be a physical one. The good
news is that there is a lot an individual can do to manage the
disease better. Looking at and
will hopefully help a bit with the former, but this page focuses
on the 'physical' things that can be done (diet & exercise) to
help people give themselves the best chance of doing well on
here for 10 steps for coping with a chronic condition.
Good Diet & Exercise can slow down kidney failure, and
for some can prevent the need for dialysis or transplantation.
This is not true for everybody but for most people that get kidney
failure from high blood pressure and diabetes (specifically type
2) it can be true. Yet it is worth remembering that whatever
the cause of kidney failure, it can still be made worse and happen
more quickly by poor lifestyle choices. So if there is scope to
improve lifestyle this is good news.
Good Diet & Exercise will also help people to do better
on treatment if they do have a transplant or start dialysis one
day. This is because these treatments put stress on the heart and
blood vessels, so if the heart and blood vessels are in better
shape then people are more likely to feel better and live longer
Kidney failure is a blood vessel disease. As is Heart
failure. Lifestyle that helps the quality of the blood vessels
helps the kidneys and the heart.
Diabetes is the biggest single cause of kidney failure and
many with type 2 diabetes can reverse this fully or partly by
lifestyle changes. (90% of people with diabetes have type 2
High blood pressure is a major cause of kidney failure and
lifestyle changes can reverse this fully or partly in many people.
And to prevent further problems for many, being overweight or
vascularly unfit might mean some treatment options (e.g.
transplant and peritoneal dialysis) are not suitable. If this is
the case, the right diet, exercise and cessation of smoking can
make some people suitable for these lifesaving treatments again.
But why can't we just take the pills which
'control' these things?
Of course the medication helps and it might even be lifesaving,
but it often does not protect us sufficiently from the later
complications of blood vessel disease, especially if poor
lifestyle continues to degrade the blood vessels. Having high
blood pressure controlled by medication is not the same thing as
not having high blood pressure (which of course does not require
high blood pressure tablets).
So for many there is a lot that can be done to make a difference.
What are the lifestyle behaviours that can damage kidneys
reduce treatment options
reduce life expectancy
and reduce how well people do on dialysis?
It's any behaviour that degrades our vascular system.
Health England has listed the things we do that cause
vascular degradation, high blood pressure / type 2 diabetes:
So we go to the doctor for the drugs that will help. The drugs do
help – but they don’t take away the cause of the problem and things
continue to get worse, although more slowly. Eventually the kidneys
can failfrom the effects of high blood
pressure and/or diabeteseven though these
have “been controlled” by medication for years.
Controlling type 2 diabetes and high BP with medication
does not mean the long term progessive damage won't happen.
But lifestyle changes that reduce/reverse these conditions can
take away the source of the problem.
Have a look at these two videos fromaLive
address at the European Parliament, Brussels 2018
Professor Hanno Pijl - treatment
of lifestyle diseases
Dr Aseem Malhotra
looking at other ways
we can help ourselves:
ABOUT KIDNEY FAILURE
Videos to watchVideos
can be played full screen
The same videos for the African Caribbean