Frequently Asked Questions
15. What lifestyle changes can help with kidney disease?
Following a healthy lifestyle is good for people with kidney disease, especially if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or both. Talk with your dietitian, diabetes educator, or other health care professional about which actions are most important for you to take. As you will see, many of these actions are related.
- Keep your blood pressure at the target set by your health care provider. For most people, the blood pressure target is less than 140/90 mm Hg. Eating less sodium may help you control your blood pressure. Aim for less than 2300 milligrams (mg) of sodium each day.
- If you have diabetes, control your blood glucose level. Good blood glucose control may help prevent or delay diabetes complications, including kidney disease.
- Keep your blood cholesterol in your target range. Diet, being active, maintaining a healthy weight, and medicines can all help control your blood cholesterol level.
- Take medicines the way your provider tells you to.
- If you smoke, take steps to quit. Cigarette smoking can make kidney damage worse. Call a smoking quit line to get help.
- Become more active. Physical activity is good for your blood pressure, as well as your blood glucose and blood cholesterol levels. See exercises and physical activities for older adults.
- Lose weight if you are overweight. Being overweight makes your kidneys work harder. Losing weight helps your kidneys last longer. See how to tell if you are overweight.
(Watch the video to learn more about lifestyle and diet changes to make if you have kidney disease. To enlarge the video, click the brackets in the lower right-hand corner. To reduce the video, press the Escape (Esc) button on your keyboard.)