Lifestyle and Improving Outcomes

Nutrition, stress management, and physical activity can support protection for the kidneys and help to improve overall quality of life

Kidney disease is asymptomatic and with proper treatment, patients can live their lives without complications

The goal is to slow the progression of CKD

There are many factors that influence the health of kidneys and diet can have a large impact on protecting kidneys. Small lifestyle and behavioral changes can have large impacts. Managing blood pressure and glucose levels, along with taking all medications are important. Eating healthy and increasing exercise levels can also support improvement in kidney function1.

Nutrition for CKD

A dietician can be an important resource for patients with CKD and this service is covered by insurance

Dieticians help patients to identify nutritional goals and work to meet them

Diet can have a significant impact on the progression on CKD. There are many important dietary changes that can help slow the progression of CKD in your patients, while also improving overall health. Typically, dieticians work with patients to develop individualized dietary recommendations based on the stage of kidney disease and other comorbid conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension. Referring your patient to a dietician to create a nutrition plan will be beneficial and is a covered service by most health insurance companies.

Stages 1-3

Stages 4-5

  • Individualized recommendations for Calories, Potassium, Phosphorus, Protein, Vitamin D and Fluid

Kidney Diet Myths

Physical Activity

There are many benefits to physical activity on both physical and mental health. Encouraging patients to increase physical activity, as they are able, not only benefits kidney health but overall health and heart function.

Stress Management and Mental Health

CKD is a powerful diagnosis, it can be overwhelming and stressful and mental health providers can offer support

Referring patients to a mental health provider can be supportive and an opportunity for learning and connection

Situational mental health symptoms can increase during this time, such as anxiety, depression or a past trauma can resurface

Mental health providers can offer education and support after a patient receives the life changing and powerful diagnosis of CKD. Given the importance of food and alcohol in culture, it is important to assess and learn about how patients use food and substances both culturally and for use in coping with stress. Working with a mental health provider can help patients work through lifestyle changes that are necessary for kidney health and the stress that can accompany this. Patients can set realistic goals related to their health with the support of mental health providers, and those providers can assess other mental health conditions that may be contributing to stress. Working to develop positive coping habits to manage stress is important in slowing progression of CKD.