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Chronic Kidney Disease

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There are many things you can do at home to slow the progression of chronic kidney disease.

Lifestyle changes

  • Keep your blood pressure below 130/80. Learn to check your blood pressure at home.
    actionset.gif High Blood Pressure: Checking Your Blood Pressure at Home
  • If you have diabetes, keep your blood sugar within a target range.
    actionset.gif Diabetes: Checking Your Blood Sugar
  • Stay at a healthy weight. This can also reduce your risk for coronary artery disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and stroke. For more information, see the topic Weight Management.
  • Follow the eating plan your dietitian created for you. Your eating plan will balance your need for calories with your need to limit certain foods, such as sodium, fluids, and protein.
    actionset.gif Kidney Disease: Changing Your Diet
  • Make exercise a routine part of your life. Work with your doctor to design an exercise program that is right for you. Exercise may lower your risk for diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • Don't smoke or use other tobacco products. Smoking can lead to atherosclerosis, which reduces blood flow to the kidneys and increases blood pressure. For more information on how to quit, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
  • Don't drink alcohol or use illegal drugs.

What to avoid

  • Avoid taking medicines that can harm your kidneys. Be sure that your doctor knows about all prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and herbs you are taking.
  • Avoid dehydration by promptly treating illnesses, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or fever, that cause it. Be especially careful when you exercise or during hot weather. For more information, see the topic Dehydration.
  • Avoid products containing magnesium, such as antacids like Mylanta or Milk of Magnesia or laxatives like Citroma. These products increase your risk of having abnormally high levels of magnesium (hypermagnesemia), which may cause vomiting, diarrhea, or both.
  • Avoid X-ray tests that require IV dye (contrast material), such as an angiogram, an intravenous pyelogram (IVP), and some CT scans. IV dye can cause more kidney damage. Make sure that your doctor knows about any tests that you are scheduled to have.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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