How to Live with Kidney Failure?
The duo of bean-shaped organs flanking our spinal cord is working throughout day and night silently and so, we underestimate them. But if we just think about them for a minute, we should feel bewildered with a thought of their failure! The liquid content of whatever we eat and drink passes through our kidneys and kidneys remove all the useful materials which can be used by the body and eliminate all waste in the liquid called urine which is then thrown out of the body. Just try to think of what will happen in the event of kidney failure due to overwork or some disease. It is unimaginable, right?
But kidneys don’t just do the filtration job. They also produce our red blood cells, regulate blood pressure and maintain electrolyte balance.
Kidney Failure and ESRF (End Stage Renal Failure)
A condition in which kidneys cannot perform their functions is called kidney failure. If remain untreated, it can worsen to become chronic.
Five stages of chronic renal failure are identified, each of which is decided by the GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate). GFR is calculated considering many factors like age, race, gender and creatinine level in blood. The fifth, i.e. last stage is named as End Stage Renal Disease or ESRD. In ESRD, kidneys lose almost all their ability of functioning and the only cure for this is kidney transplant.
Living with Kidney Failure
People can live with kidney failure if they adopt a healthy lifestyle. Diet is an important factor of the healthy lifestyle. Some important diet suggestions are:
- Limiting the use of not only salt but also of sodium
- Limiting use of fluid
- Limiting use of calcium
- Limiting refined and processed foods, saturated fats and foods full of cholesterol
- Include vitamins B, D and C, and iron in the diet, as per the suggestions of the dietician
- Increase in protein consumption but not crossing the daily requirements
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Other Lifestyle Changes
Daily Physical Activity Planned According To Your Age And State Of Health: This is beneficial for your overall health, improving circulation, strengthening heart muscles, making body flexible and coping with depression.
No Tobacco: Tobacco smoking increases the risk of kidney disease, and other diseases like heart disease, stroke, dilation of main blood vessels and peripheral vascular disease.
No alcohol: Consumption of alcohol in mild to moderate quantities is beneficial for health. But if it is taken to a very big quantity, they may pose serious damage to kidneys and other organs, increasing the chances of some types of cancers.
Management of Stress: Stress management is very important for living with kidney disease or any other major illness, as patient get stressed up with thoughts of disease, death and such things.
Support Group: Support group is a fantastic aid for living with any life-threatening disease. It mainly removes the feeling from patients’ mind that they are alone. Meeting other people, sharing things with them, also sharing new inventions in the disease and other activities make the patient stress-free.