Kidney disease can often be prevented! And if you already have kidney disease, you can take steps now to keep your kidney damage from getting worse. Even small changes in diet and lifestyle can make a big difference.

Healthy eating

What you eat and drink affects your health. How much you eat and drink also affects your health. Eat healthy portions of foods that are low in salt (sodium) and fat to help keep a healthy weight and a healthy blood pressure. Even small changes can make a difference in your health. Learn more.

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Exercise can help you stay healthy! By increasing your activity level, you may be able to:

  • Lose weight
  • Keep a healthy blood sugar level
  • Improve your heart and lung health
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Lower your total cholesterol level and increase your “good” (HDL) cholesterol level.

To get the most benefit, exercise for at least 30 minutes, five days a week. If that seems like too much, start slowly and work your way up. Look for fun activities that you enjoy. Try walking with a friend, dancing, swimming or playing a sport. Adding just a little more activity to your routine can help.

Talk to your doctor before you start any exercise plan. Your doctor can help you learn what exercises are safe for you to do, tell you how often you should exercise and how long your exercise sessions should last.

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Alcohol and tobacco

Limit how much alcohol you drink. Drinking alcohol in large amounts can make your blood pressure too high. High blood pressure can lead to kidney disease. Limiting how much alcohol you drink can help keep your blood pressure under control. Have no more than two drinks per day if you are a man and no more than one drink per day if you are a woman.

Do not smoke or use tobacco. Using tobacco (smoking or chewing) can make high blood pressure and kidney problems worse. It also causes many other serious health problems such as cancer, heart disease and stroke. If you use tobacco, quitting can help lower your chance of getting kidney disease or help prevent your kidney disease from getting worse if you already have it. Ask your doctor for help quitting.

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Working with your doctor

Caring for your health takes teamwork. In order to ensure you’re getting the best medical care, it’s important to think of your doctors, nurses, technicians, dietitians and any other health care professionals as members of a team. You’re the team captain! As team captain, you have a responsibility to communicate well with the members of your team to ensure the best possible results. Learn more.

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