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CHAPTER 5








                    WHAT YOU CAN DO TO



         LOOK AFTER YOUR KIDNEYS






        This section looks at four steps to incorporate into your life to ensure you are

        taking an active role in your healthcare to do the very best for your kidneys.

        ●      Be informed and get involved                   ●      Medication
        ●      Nutrition                                      ●      Blood pressure


                                       BE INFORMED AND GET INVOLVED


        CKD is a chronic condition – it will be with you for     You might worry if you will be able to make
        life. And at the end of the day, no matter how much   changes to your lifestyle – things that you have
        interaction you have with the medical world to help   been doing for years and might find hard to stop or
        care for your condition, it is your health, your body  reduce, like smoking or drinking. You may wonder if
        and your kidneys that are at stake here.              you can take on new challenges such as exercising
           Therefore, it is vital that you play an active role  more.
        in your healthcare. This means educating yourself        Remember that it takes time to change
        about your condition, what causes it and how to       behaviour and you can only do so one step at a
        best look after your kidneys to try and slow down     time, one day at a time.
        the decline. This book will help you in those areas      We know that changing behaviour can some-
        and you can also get information from other sources   times be akin to re-wiring our brain and it can take
        and speak to your doctor.                             a while to kick in.
           In recent years, several studies have been            You are nonetheless capable of change. Think
        conducted that show that people who actively          back to a time in your life when you made a big
        engage in their own healthcare are more likely to     change and it paid off. You can do it again.
        see positive results and live longer.                    Talk to your healthcare team about changing
           While you will get advice, help and treatment      your lifestyle – get advice from them and do not be
        from medical professionals, it is really important    afraid to ask questions and check back in with them
        that you realise that the healthcare system alone     if you have any problems along the way.
        cannot slow down or stop your declining kidney           Find a friend or family member who can support
        function. You will need to put in time and effort too  you through these changes (there’s more on this in
        to adjust your lifestyle.                             the Emotional Needs section later).
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