How to Live with Chronic Kidney Failure?
If you have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, then first it makes you disappointed. Information about the diagnosis can initially cause shock, it can be difficult to believe in it. Anxiety may arise in connection with a specific situation (for example, examination, procedure) or in general (loss of control over one’s life, decreased quality of life).
A person can get angry, blame others and deny the situation. These are primary emotions, but after some time a person should begin to recognize the disease and get used to it. After this, it is already possible to cope with the necessary life changes emanating from chronic kidney disease. If negative feelings remain strong over time and cause daily problems, you should definitely tell your doctor about them.
At the doctor’s appointment, it’s easier to talk about what causes physical inconvenience: fatigue, poor health, dizziness, etc. Caring for the psychological state is also important, recognition of our feelings and the opportunity to speak about them allow us to free ourselves from them, and the doctor will be able to find an opportunity to help you.
Stress mainly occurs due to changes that need to be introduced into your life:
- change the diet, depending on the state of renal function;
- get used to the disease;
- take medications on a permanent basis.
You can get a lot of new information at the same time, it can be difficult to understand it. The best way to deal with stress is to acknowledge that the problem exists, it needs to be addressed and it will take time. General malaise and fatigue (both physical and emotional) can at some point be quite frequent. You can feel tired and easily vulnerable to tears. Several symptoms may be characteristic – for example, irritability, loss of personality, loss of interest in what is happening around, sleep problems. Emotional exhaustion is the cause of general fatigue. This condition can occur and progress slowly and almost imperceptibly. If the feeling of sadness is already becoming desperate or hopeless, because of fatigue there is no more motivation to do something. If this condition lasts longer than 2 weeks, then you need to inform the doctor about this.
Alcohol consumption and smoking
Smoking can have a severe long-term effect on kidney function. Smoking damages blood vessels. People with chronic kidney disease are more predisposed to diseases of the cardiovascular system than healthy people. Smoking plays the role of an additional risk factor. If you have chronic kidney disease, then you need to find the best way to quit smoking with your doctor.
In the case of chronic kidney disease, alcohol consumption is not completely contraindicated. However, alcohol can only be taken in very moderate amounts. Excessive alcohol consumption can damage the liver, heart, and brain and cause severe health problems.
Women are not recommended to drink alcohol in an amount of more than 1-2 units, and men – more than 2-3 units per day. For one week, at least three consecutive days should be made non-alcoholic. One unit of alcohol equates to 10 grams of absolute alcohol. One unit is, for example, a strong alcoholic drink (4 ml), a glass of wine (12 ml) or 250 ml of 4% beer.
Physical activity and sports in case of chronic kidney disease are not contraindicated. On the contrary, a sufficient amount of physical activity helps to better cope with the disease.
Moderate physical activity is important because it:
- gives you energy;
- improves the strength and elasticity of muscles;
- helps you relax;
- helps keep blood pressure in the norm;
- reduces cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood;
- improves sleep, makes it deeper;
- helps maintain a healthy weight;
- helps prevent heart disease and diabetes;
- increases self-confidence and overall well-being.
Every day you can get training for only a short period of time. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting regular workouts. A doctor can help you choose the right sports based on your health status and early training experience. If necessary, the attending physician will refer you to a consultation with a physical therapist.
Aerobic training is well fit – walking, Nordic walking, hiking, swimming, water gymnastics, cycling (both indoors and outdoors), skiing, aerobics or other activities that require the work of a large muscle group. If calmer workouts are preferred, then yoga is a good fit.
If you have not previously exercised regularly, then start with non-complicated workouts that last 10-15 minutes a day. By gradually increasing the load, you can increase the duration of the training up to 30-60 minutes and you can train on most days of the week. Start your workout with a warm-up and end with a stretch, these exercises will help you prevent injuries. Try to integrate your training schedule into the plan of the day – training can be carried out, for example, in the morning or in the evening. After the main meal, you need to wait with the workout for about an hour. It is also not recommended to conduct training immediately before bedtime (approximately one hour).
The easiest way to control how much training suits you is that:
- during training, you should be able to speak with a partner without shortness of breath;
- within about one hour after training, the pulse should recover, the overall condition should be normal. If these requirements are not met, then the next time you need to train in a calmer mode.
- muscles should not hurt so that this is an obstacle to the next workout.
- training intensity should be at the level of a comfortable load.
And yet there are some signs that indicate you should refuse training or discontinue them:
- you feel very tired;
- shortness of breath occurs during exercise;
- you feel chest pain, heart rate suddenly increases or becomes irregular;
- you get abdominal pain;
- spasms occur in the muscles of the legs;
- dizziness or drowsiness occurs.
Remember that regular physical activity does not give “permission” to uncontrolled consumption of foods that should be limited. Diet and exercise must work together. If you feel that in addition to increasing physical activity, your appetite has also increased, discuss this with your doctor or nutritionist. They will help to change the diet so that the amount of calories consumed is sufficient.
Free time and vacation
Do not give up your favorite activities and hobbies. They will help you relax, keep in touch with friends and take the mind off these things. You can decide how much you want to talk about your disease. Vacation is important, as this is the time that you can spend with your loved ones away from daily duties. If you are planning a trip, inform your doctor. Check if you have done the necessary tests, whether all the necessary medications have been are taken with, and find out which medical institutions you can go to if necessary.
The opportunity to work is an important source for all people of good self-esteem and satisfaction with their lives. A diagnosis of chronic kidney disease does not mean that your disability is lost until the moment when the disease begins to directly affect work-related activities and daily duties (for example, restrictions during kidney replacement treatment that become necessary in the final stages of chronic severity of kidney disease). Besides, you should discuss your working hours and types of work with your doctor. Your physician will be able to refer you to a training physician, which will teach you the correct movements or working methods. Your employer needs to be informed if you need to change the working hours.