Your last visit to the doctor proved to be worrisome after finding that you are unable to bring down your blood pressure. Compounding your anxiety was the fact your test results confirmed that you have CKD.
What should you do?
You already know that if you have high blood pressure of hypertension you should test for your glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and a blood test for creatinine to determine if you have a kidney disease. The big question is what you should do if these tests show that you do have CKD.
First you need further tests to determine the type of CKD you have which may include an ultrasound to check any problems in size or blockage; and tests to find out the likelihood of developing heart diseases or if you already have heart problems.
Your doctor will make a treatment plan for you based on your CKD stage and sometimes you may need to see a specialist to help develop your treatment plan. Goals for this plan would include lowering your blood pressure less than 130/80; lower your risk for a heart disease; and keep your kidney disease from getting worse.
A lifestyle change is what you primarily need to make your treatment plan work. Change your eating habits and exercise more. It may sound easier said than done, but that’s what you have to do to keep the disease from getting worse.
Highly recommended dietary changes:
- CKD stages 1 -2: doctors may recommend a diet high in fruits, vegetables and dairy. This diet is low in sugar and sodium.
- CKD stages 1-4: sodium should not be more than 2,400 mg/daily; cut down on foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats; carbohydrates should only be 50-60% of your daily calories.
- CKD stages 3-4: control the amount of protein you eat daily; eat fewer foods rich in phosphorus as high levels of phosphorus may lead to bone disease. This mineral is found in dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt, and cocoa, beer and dark cola products; reduce potassium in your diet.
Aside from your modified diet, you also need to lose weight if you are overweight; exercise 30 minutes daily; and stop drinking and smoking.
You are right in not taking your HBP diagnosis lightly because it does increase risk to major illnesses. However, HBP can be controlled and that’s where your challenge lies. Controlling your HBP is in your hands, and also with the help of your family.