Living with Kidney Disease
Can I Live a Normal Life with Kidney Disease?, continued
Eat Kidney-Friendly Foods
Eating kidney-friendly foods and cutting back on sodium and protein can have a big impact on your health. Your renal dietitian will help you figure out a diet plan that is just right for you.
If you used to enjoying going out to eat before you had kidney disease, you still can. Watching what you eat doesn't mean you have to avoid dining in restaurants. Enjoy a nice meal with family and friends just takes a little planning ahead so you won't jeopardize your kidney diet.
Begin by calling the restaurant or looking online for their menu so you can get an idea of the types of food that's served. If you'd like to make a special request, be sure to phone the restaurant at least 24 hours in advance.
On the day you'll be dining out, be mindful of what you're eating for lunch and breakfast. You may want to eat a little less and also cut back on the sodium and protein you consume throughout the day. If you are on a fluid restriction, you might also want to drink less during the day to allow for more beverages with your restaurant meal. Realize that restaurant portions can be much larger than what you are used to eating. Request a smaller portion, or take some of your meal home in a doggie bag.
Socializing and Enjoying Physical Activity
A well-balanced life is one that includes physical activities and socializing. Having kidney disease does not mean that you have to give up the fun things in life. Exercising is one way to keep your body strong and vital. It can also help relieve stress and help you sleep better.
Turn to your health care team for help choosing an exercise plan or sport that suits your abilities and preferences. Ask them what the frequency and intensity of your exercise plan should be. Then focus on exercising on a regular basis to maintain your health and boost your energy level.
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When last we left this saga, my doctor had me staying out from work for an additional week, but with the head swelling down, I was bound to be back on the bicycle as soon as possible (you know what they say about getting back on the horse that threw you...). I had planned to take my sister on a short (under a mile) ride — both for the company and to get us both on the bicycle. She turned chicken and I ended up going the "flat" route to the greengrocer — a little...