June 19, 2024
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), currently positioned as the 12th leading cause of global mortality, is anticipated to ascend to the fifth by 2040. Lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity account for the majority of cases of CKD. Therefore, the adoption of a kidney-friendly lifestyle and meal plan becomes pivotal.
Central to this strategy is the conscientious control of sodium intake.Elevated sodium levels can exert undue pressure on the kidneys, underscoring the importance of reducing salt intake. Opting for fresh, unprocessed foods and relying on herbs and spices for flavor, rather than salt,
becomes crucial.

Cut back on sugar and carbs

Restricting sugar and refined carbohydrate intake assumes significance in the broader context of CKD prevention, given the established link between high sugar consumption and diabetes – a primary precursor to kidney disease. Shifting dietary preferences towards complex carbohydrates, such as those found in whole grains, proves advantageous in moderating blood sugar levels.

Consume fibre rich diet

The diet should also include a good amount of fibre such as vegetables and fruits, to avoid constipation or indigestion. It is also advisable to have some proportion of millets like ragi, jowar, bajra, etc. in the diet just to get an adequate amount of micronutrients like calcium, iron, and phosphorus.

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Eat healthy fat

Opting for healthy fats, including those derived from things like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, strikes a delicate balance between essential nutrient intake and cardiovascular health. Regular engagement in physical activity including yoga, meditation, forms another crucial pillar in this preventive framework. Beyond weight management, exercise contributes to blood pressure regulation and risk reduction for diabetes, both of which are intrinsically tied to kidney disease.

Drink water often

Furthermore, hydration emerges as a cornerstone of kidney health. The recommended daily intake of at least 8 glasses of water, or as advised by healthcare providers, becomes a simple yet powerful measure in this preventive paradigm.
Regular health check-ups, encompassing monitoring of blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and kidney function, facilitate early detection and intervention. This proactive approach is pivotal in circumventing potential complications and arresting the progression of CKD.

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Quit alcohol

Moderating alcohol consumption and quitting smoking round out the comprehensive strategy. Excessive alcohol intake not only contributes to high blood pressure but also poses a risk to liver function, indirectly impacting kidney health. Smoking, identified as a direct risk factor for kidney disease due to its adverse effects on blood flow to the kidneys, necessitates cessation for overall health improvement.
By conscientiously incorporating these lifestyle changes, individuals can actively contribute to a healthier future, potentially mitigating the projected rise in CKD-related mortality rates. It is paramount to acknowledge that these recommendations are general, and consultation with healthcare professionals is imperative for personalized advice tailored to individual health conditions and considerations.
(Author Credits: Dr Dinesh Khullar, Chairman, Department of Nephrology & Renal Transplant Medicine, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, Delhi)

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