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The National Kidney Foundation is a major voluntary nonprofit health organization, that is dedicated to preventing kidney and urinary tract diseases, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by kidney disease and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation.
Taking Care of Your Kidneys
Dr. Leslie Spry from the National Kidney Foundation discusses taking care of your kidneys.
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Leslie Spry: My name is Leslie Spry and I am a kidney specialist in Lincoln, Nebraska. I am here on behalf of the National Kidney Foundation to talk with you about understanding chronic kidney disease. We are here today to discuss those things that need to be done in order to treat patients who have chronic kidney disease.
The most important thing that you can do to treat and hopefully avoid the progression of chronic kidney disease is to control your blood pressure. We have very specific medication that must be used in order to treat high blood pressure and control high blood pressure in order to avoid the complications of chronic kidney disease. Those blood pressure medications are generally known as ACE inhibitors, or ARB agents and those are extremely important agents to be used in the prevention and avoid progression of chronic kidney disease.
The next most important thing is changes in your diet. The typical Western or United States diet contains about 7 grams of salt intake which is excessive. In order to avoid progression of chronic kidney disease, it's important that we try to lower that salt intake appreciably. Typically, we recommend some where between two and three grams of salt intake per day which would be 2000 or 3000 milligrams of salt intake per day in order to avoid complications of high blood pressure. We also recommend that there is a modest restriction in protein. We recommend that your diabetes be well controlled and by this we want to try to maintain you average diabetes test which is known as Hemoglobin A1c and we should try to keep that test between 6 and 7 in order to avoid the complications of chronic kidney disease.
It's important that you take care of yourself generally. That means getting an annual physical examination, and make sure that your vaccinations are current. Those vaccination that are important for chronic kidney disease including an annual flu vaccination, Pneumococcal vaccination for Pneumococcal Pneumonia and also making sure that you are up-to-date on your Tetanus and Diphtheria vaccinations. Patients who have chronic kidney disease are at increased risk for those infections and vaccinations were help to avoid those complications.
Finally, general things that can be done in order to avoid the progression of kidney disease include weight control such that you keep your weight with in ideal body range. Keeping your BMI somewhere around 25 or less is important. Regular exercise has been shown to decrease progression of kidney disease such that by exercising at lest 20 to 30 minutes everyday can slow the progression of chronic kidney disease and also make it easier for you to control your blood pressure.
We want you to avoid certain toxins to your body such as alcohol in excess. Ladies should avoid alcohol in excess of one drink per day and men should avoid alcohol in excess of two drinks per day in order to avoid the complications of alcohol which can include worsening hypertension. We also recommend that you avoid certain arthritis drug such as Ibuprofen and Naproxen. Certain pain-killers, such as, arthritis drugs can result in significant and serious deterioration of kidney function.
In general, if you visit your physician on a regular basis and maintain a healthy body weight, blood pressure, and diabetic control, you can anticipate very good control of your chronic kidney disease and hopefully avoid the necessity for dialysis and transplantation.
Next, we will turn our attention to dialysis and transplantation.