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Healthy habits to fight chronic kidney disease? No smoking & alcohol, and be careful of fruit intake [만성콩팥병 맞설 건강한 습관은? 술·담배 삼가고 과일 섭취 ‘조심']

The prevalence of chronic kidney disease in Korea is 6%, just over half of the diabetes prevalence rate (10%). Despite it being a disease that is not well known, there are many patients suffering from it. In particular, many people do not know about the disease, and so, only after the diseased has progressed severely, it is found in many patients. In 2010, 11,762 patients were treated for chronic renal failure. In the same year, 799 people died of chronic kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease can also be detected early to prevent progression to final-stage renal failure.
# Hypertension and diabetes are the leading causes of chronic kidney disease

If people with chronic kidney disease develop high blood pressure, the disease worsens more quickly. That's why blood pressure is more tightly controlled than people with high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, chronic kidney disease patients must take any prescribed medication.

# Be careful to eat vegetables and fruits high in potassium

Food should be eaten fresh. If you have chronic kidney disease, you should always remember that you do not have the ability to remove waste through urine. Salt or potassium may not be excreted properly if you drink plenty of fluids. This increases blood pressure and worsens kidney function. Talk to your doctor and adjust your intake.

If potassium builds up, hyperkalemia can cause muscle weakness, arrhythmia, and heart attacks. Fresh vegetables and fruits are high in potassium, so don't eat too much. In particular, patients receiving dialysis rarely excrete water, so the amount of water intake should be adjusted according to the condition of the kidney.

# Manage lifestyle with proper exercise, abstinence, and no smoking

Chronic kidney disease patients die the most from cardiovascular disease. Aerobic exercise, such as walking, can reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, as well as stroke, hypertension and diabetes. However, when you exercise, it is recommended to do exercises that cause strain to your heart. Patients with chronic kidney disease often have risk factors for myocardial infarction and stroke.

Alcohol can also increase blood pressure and add protein to your urine, which can affect your kidneys. Stop drinking. Among chronic kidney disease patients, drinkers are six times more likely to have hemorrhagic stroke than non-drinkers.

You must also quit smoking. If you smoke, your blood vessels contract and your blood pressure goes up. This reduces the amount of blood going to the kidneys. If a patient at risk of chronic kidney disease smokes a pack of cigarettes every day for more than 15 years, the risk of developing renal failure is about five times higher than that of nonsmokers.

# Prescription from a nephrologist

Patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, and the elderly are often prescribed many medications. Talk to your doctor to take the medicine you need, and don't take more than you need to.

Unnecessary medications or dietary supplements should not be eaten without prescription. This can be fatal to kidney functions. In particular, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, most antibiotics, and contrast agents for radiological examination can damage the kidneys.

If the disease worsens due to end-stage renal failure in chronic kidney disease, hemodialysis should be performed in a hospital with an artificial kidney room. Dialysis patients are exposed to infections in the circulatory system and complications can easily occur. Therefore, when choosing an artificial kidney room, you should check whether or not you have a kidney specialist.

Written with the help of Dr. Jung Young Guk, Nephrology Dept., Nasaret International Hospital
Original article published by Kihoilbo 
2018 Jul 25


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