For many Kidney disease can often be slowed down or even halted.
This is done by the right exercise, the right diet and the right
medication. How people manage these things can make all the
If the kidneys do fail and treatment is needed,
it is the right exercise diet & medication that is going
enable people to do well.
These webpages and the renal staff can help you
Living with a 'chronic disease'
can be as much of an emotional, mental and social struggle as it
can be a physical one. The good news is that there is a lot an
individual can do to manage the disease better. Looking at
will hopefully help a bit with
the former, but this page focuses on the 'physical' things that
can be done (diet & exercise) to help people give themselves
the best chance of doing well on treatment.
Good Diet & Exercise can slow down kidney failure, and
for some can prevent the need for dialysis or transplantation.
This is not true for everybody but for most people that get
kidney failure from high blood pressure and diabetes
(specifically type 2) it can be true. Yet it is worth
remembering that whatever the cause of kidney failure, it can
still be made worse and happen more quickly by poor lifestyle
choices. So if there is scope to improve lifestyle this is good
Good Diet & Exercise will also help people to do
better on treatment if they do have a transplant or start
dialysis one day. This is because these treatments put stress on
the heart and blood vessels, so if the heart and blood vessels
are in better shape then people are more likely to feel better
and live longer on treatment.
Summary: - Healthy lifestyle? – What does this
mean for adults?
Attend to your
mental health as well as your physical health
Get to and keep
a healthy weight
Know that your
salt intake is less than 6g/day - (bought sandwiches
can contain 2-4g of salt, 4 cups of milk contain
over 1g, cereals and breads have salt - it adds up
exercise (without injury!) any regular activity is
better than none. Evidence shows 5 x 30 minutes a
week promotes and maintains blood vessel health.
Stick to the
normal alcohol recommendations (if you have any)
Have a Healthy
diet – and know what one is!
hydrated - especially when unwell with something
medication you're on, take an up to date list with
dosage to all doctor appointments, know why you're
taking it and how long for.
Kidney failure is a blood vessel disease.
As is Heart failure. Lifestyle that helps the quality of the
blood vessels helps the kidneys and the heart.
Diabetes is the biggest single cause of kidney failure
and many with type 2 diabetes can reverse this fully or partly
by lifestyle changes. (90% of people with diabetes have type 2
High blood pressure is a major cause of kidney failure
and lifestyle changes can reverse this fully or partly in many
And to prevent further problems for many, being overweight or
vascularly unfit might mean some treatment options (e.g.
transplant and peritoneal dialysis) are not suitable. If this is
the case, the right diet, exercise and cessation of smoking can
make some people suitable for these lifesaving treatments again.
But why can't we just take the pills which
'control' these things?
Of course the medication helps and it might even be lifesaving,
but it often does not protect us sufficiently from the later
complications of blood vessel disease, especially if poor
lifestyle continues to degrade the blood vessels. Having high
blood pressure controlled by medication is not the same thing as
not having high blood pressure (which of course does not require
high blood pressure tablets).
So for many there is a lot that can be done to make a
difference. See below.
Poor Lifestyle behaviours can damage kidneys
reduce treatment options
reduce life expectancy
reduce how well people do on
by degrading our vascular system.
Health England has listed the things we do (below) that
cause vascular degradation, high blood pressure / type 2
excess dietary salt.
Having an unhealthy
(BMI > 30)
Lack of physical
Diseases caused by poor lifestyle are called
So we go to the doctor for the drugs that will
help. The drugs do help – but when it comes to lifestyle diseases
they don’t take away the cause of the problem and things continue
to get worse, although more slowly. Eventually the kidneys can
failfrom the effects
of high blood pressure and/or diabeteseven
though these have “been controlled” by medication for years.
Controlling type 2 diabetes and
high BP with medication does not mean the long term progressive
damage won't happen. But lifestyle changes that reduce/reverse
these conditions can take away the source of the problem.
Have a look at these two videos fromaLive address at the European
Parliament, Brussels 2018
Professor Hanno Pijl -
treatment of lifestyle diseases
Dr Aseem Malhotra
ABOUT KIDNEY FAILURE
Videos to watchVideos
can be played full screen
The same videos for the African Caribbean