Adjusting to Kidney Disease isn’t easy because each new day comes with unique obstacles and challenges of its own. Kidney patients must constantly battle fatigue, swelling in the lower extremities, and difficulty sleeping at night time. While living with kidney disease can be difficult, it is never impossible and with the right coping strategies, people can easily navigate happily through their lives.
In this article, we explore coping strategies and resources for people with kidney disease.
Coping strategies for kidney disease patients
Navigating life with Kidney Disease can be incredibly challenging and a little complicated. Therefore, we have divided the coping strategies into two parts for convenience: physical self-care strategies and psychological self-care strategies.
- Physical self-care strategies
The primary aim of physical self-care strategies is to improve and manage the physical health and well-being of patients. It includes:
- Kidney-friendly diet:
Opting for a kidney-friendly diet means reducing sodium, phosphorus, and potassium intake. It also means reducing the consumption of red meat and instead increasing the consumption of green leafy vegetables.
- Medical management:
Patients must always take their prescribed medications on time because it helps to relieve the symptoms and manage the conditions. However, they must ensure not to take medications without consulting the doctor because certain drugs can make the medications ineffective.
- Exercise and physical activity:
Regular exercise helps improve physical fitness, reduces anxiety, and keeps blood cholesterol levels under control. But before you decide to join a particular exercise program, you must consult your doctor.
B. Psychological self-care strategies
The primary aim of psychological self-care strategies is to manage mental health during the progression of the disease. It includes:
- Stress management techniques:
There is no one single recipe for stress management. The management method that works for one person may not work for others. It differs from person to person depending on the regularity and intensity of stress. However, some common techniques can smoothen the journey such as deep breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and writing journals.
- Support groups and therapy
Joining a support group or therapy can be greatly beneficial because it can help patients to manage their emotions and stress well. Moreover, it will also give them the necessary support to develop coping skills for managing the effects of Kidney Disease.
People who take proactive steps to manage their condition and maintain their health have comparatively slower disease progression. Following are some ways to be proactive and make small adjustments that leave a greater impact.
- Adjust working schedules
It is always advisable for individuals living with kidney disease to have low working hours or to perform jobs that require less physical strain. Otherwise, the health of your kidney can go downhill.
- Adapt the home environment
Making small adjustments in the home such as installing handrails to prevent falls and adjusting the height of furniture can reduce unnecessary physical strain. This can make the life of the kidney patient much easier.
- Modifying the diet
As we mentioned earlier, maintaining a diet that includes less concentration of sodium, phosphorus, and potassium can significantly halt the progress of Kidney Disease. Moreover, it will also help to manage the symptoms more easily.
Resources for people with kidney disease
Sometimes, late detection of Kidney Disease is not the issue but the lack of education, financial assistance, and poor support system. If you find it relatable, here are some resources that may be helpful for you:
- Kidney care centers
These are the places where individuals get access to specialized medical facilities and comprehensive care directed toward Kidney Disease. These centers are known to offer dialysis, medical consultations, and support services to patients.
- Support groups
When an individual faces a chronic disease, one of the most important things that they need is psychological support. It not only helps the individuals understand that they are not alone but they also get the opportunity to connect with people going through similar experiences. Several online or in-person support groups in India offer effective services.
- Educational Material
Several people living with kidney disease are unaware of their disease conditions and managing them. The use of educational materials such as brochures and videos can help patients gain quick knowledge about the disease and manage them better.
- Financial assistance
The treatment of Kidney Disease can be expensive and having financial assistance can be greatly beneficial. Several Health Care organizations help with medical bills, housing expenses, and transportation.
- Government Programmes
There are several government-aided Healthcare programs in India including the Pradhan Mantri National dialysis program (PMNDP) that help patients. These programs are known to offer coverage for treatment and related expenses. Patients can speak to their healthcare provider regarding the available government program.
- Patient advocacy organizations
Patient advocacy organizations are groups that are set up to support a patient with specific health conditions along with their family. These organizations can help by offering educational material, support groups, and financial assistance.
Living with kidney disease comes with its own unique set of challenges. The above-mentioned coping strategies and resources can significantly improve an individual’s quality of life. Apart from this, patients also need to understand that each individual has a different journey and one specific strategy may not work for everyone. Therefore, patients must work closely with doctors to develop individualized treatment plans.
Frequently asked questions
- What kind of changes in an individual’s life can help deal with Kidney Disease?
Developing habits such as regular exercise, use of flow Sodium, and food to reduce alcohol intake, and cation of smoking can significantly help in managing Kidney Disease.
- What are the resources available for people living with Kidney Disease?
The resources that can benefit people living with Kidney Disease include support groups, financial assistance, government programs, patient advocacy organizations, etc.
- Can Kidney Disease be cured?
In most cases, Kidney diseases are chronic conditions that cannot be cured but are managed. However, there are also some cases when Kidney Disease can be cured if the underlying cause is treated.
- What are some treatment options for patients with Kidney Disease?
Depending on the health condition of kidney patients, Doctors of any of the four approaches – Medication management, Lifestyle change, or kidney transplantation.