Healthy Lifestyle


It is important to optimize your kidney function by eating a healthy diet, reducing your sodium intake, abstain from smoking, increase your activity level and maintain a healthy blood pressure.  If you have diabetes, it is important to control your blood sugar.  Also of importance is to avoid “kidney enemies”.

Healthy Diet

Your kidney doctor or nephrologist may recommend some diet limitations based on your lab values. To help you manage these restrictions that may come up, we offer a FREE “Caring For Your Kidneys” class.

Sodium is always a topic of concern with CKD, and it directly affects your Blood Pressure.  The average American is thought to consume from 3300-5000mg/day, the actual amount most of us should have is 1500-2000mg/day.  ¼ teaspoon of table salt contains about 590mg and ¼ teaspoon of sea salt contains about 490mg of sodium.  So try to use herbs and spices such as Mrs. Dash, and it is import to avoid salt substitutes they contain large amounts of potassium.

To learn more about a healthy Kidney diet click here to register for our FREE “Caring For Your Kidneys“ Class.

Click here for the “Recipe of the Month"

Abstain from Smoking

 Besides the many adverse effects smoking can have on your body, your kidney function can also affected. There are many studies available to prove the connection between smoking and CKD.

Smoking increases blood pressure and heart rate, reduces blood flow in the kidneys, increases production of angiotensin II (a hormone produced in kidney), narrows the blood vessels in the kidneys, damages arterioles (branches of arteries), forms arteriosclerosis (thickening and hardening) of the renal arteries, accelerates loss of kidney function.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of CKD. Studies have found that people with diabetes and/or high blood pressure who smoke add to the risk of getting CKD.  When you stop smoking it has been shown to help a person maintain kidney function.

For people who have had a kidney transplant and smoke, increase their chances for cardiovascular problems and cancer. The best way to a successful transplant outcome is to stop smoking.

Quitting is difficult due to nicotine addiction, cravings and temptations, there are steps to help you succeed and sometimes it takes a few tries to stop smoking completely, but it’s worth the effort to become smoke free.

Talk to your doctor about nicotine-replacement therapies like gums and patches, as well as medications that may help you quit.

Physical Activity

Physical inactivity is associated with increased complications in CKD.  Benefits associated with increasing your activity level may include; improved energy, assists with blood pressure control, lowers level of blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides), improves sleep patterns, better control of body weight and assists with blood sugar management.

Always ask your doctor before beginning an exercise program, ask which types of exercise are appropriate,   length of time you spend exercising (the American Heart Association recommends 150 min/week) and always work up gradually to the goal set.  Consistency is the key, try to work it into your daily routine and choose something you enjoy to set yourself up for success.

To learn more about a staying active with CKD click here to register for our FREE “Caring For Your Kidneys” Class.

Kidney Enemies

Kidney injury can occur following a kidney infections, dehydration, use medications to include certain antibiotics, and the use over-the-counter pain medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen also known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.  Herbal supplements, and Dyes that are used to make the blood vessels or organs visible on X-rays or other imaging tests can also cause kidney damage.

To learn more about Kidney Enemies click here to register for our FREE “Caring For Your Kidneys” Class.

Diabetes and CKD

Diabetes is when your body does not make enough insulin or cannot use insulin properly. Insulin controls how much sugar is in your blood. A high level of sugar in your blood can cause problems for the vessels in your body and especially the kidneys.  Over time diabetes can lead to kidney disease and kidney failure.  Diabetes also causes damage to other large and small vessels throughout your body which can cause heart disease, circulation issues in the extremities, nerve problems and blindness.

One way to slow the progression of kidney disease is to manage your diabetes and keep your blood sugar under control.  Learn all you can about your diabetes, take your diabetic mediation and follow your diabetic diet to prevent complications from diabetes.  Ask your Primary Care Doctor or your Endocrinologist to refer you for Diabetic Education.

To learn more about how to navigate the diabetic and kidney diet restrictions click here to register for our FREE “Caring For Your Kidneys” Class.