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Chronic Kidney Disease Essay

1802 words - 8 pages

Chronic kidney disease (CKD), which involves progressive, irreversible loss of kidney function, is present in 26 million Americans (Lewis, 2011, pp 1170-1181). There are many causative factors of CKD. Some of these causes are environmental; that is, the prevalence of CKD is influenced by how we live as individuals. Lack of exercise and poor diet can lead to hypertension, which can lead to CKD. Although other factors are involved, lack of exercise and poor diet also increases a person’s risk for developing diabetes, which is one of the second leading causes of CKD. This paper examines a few of those causes more closely and aims to educate clinicians, and their patients, on health promotion ...view middle of the document...

It is essential to maintain a proper diet in order to not only decrease the risk of developing diabetes, but also to maintain the health of the kidneys. In fact, researchers led by Alex Chang, MD, MS of Johns Hopkins University found that people with normal kidney function whose diet quality was poor -- high in red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages and sodium, and low in fruit, legumes, nuts, whole grains and low-fat dairy -- were more likely to develop kidney disease (The Right Diet May Help Prevent Kidney Disease, New Study Finds , 2013). The DASH is a diet plan that follows the recommended healthy guidelines. Compared with the typical American diet, the plan contains less red meat, salt, sweets, and added sugars (citation). Following this diet will lower a person’s blood pressure, which, in turn, will improve the function of the kidneys. Individuals, especially those at risk for chronic kidney disease, should consume less sugar and sodium and adopt a healthier diet. Fiber is one example of a plant-derived carbohydrate that is an excellent source of energy. Consuming fiber can lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and regulate sugar intake, which helps to prevent hypertension and diabetes, two leading causes of CKD.
Exercise is equally important in preventing both hypertension and diabetes, which again, in turn, prevents chronic kidney disease. Regular, consistent exercise is considered an essential part of pre-diabetes management (Lewis, 2011, pp. 1233). Exercise decreases insulin resistance and can have a direct effect on lowering the blood glucose levels (Lewis, 2011, pp. 1233). Exercise also has a positive effect on blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends performing moderately intensive physical activity for at least 30 minutes five days out of the week. Moderately-intensive activities such as brisk walking can lower blood pressure, promote relaxation, and decrease or control body weight. Blood pressure reduction through exercise is invaluable; the vascular changes caused by hypertension contribute to cardiovascular disease, which is the most common cause of death in patients with CKD.
The first article that will be discussed in this paper is an article titled Hypertension and Chronic Kidney Disease: The Role of Lifestyle Modification and Medication Management. This article addresses the link between hypertension and CKD. Melissa Eskridge states, “The relationship between CKD, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension suggests a need for enhanced understanding of hypertension, and the relationship between hypertension and CKD, as well as modifiable lifestyle behaviors.” (Eskridge, 2010). The article then goes on to define hypertension, how hypertension damages the kidneys, and the adverse effects of CKD. The author stresses the fact that exercise and a proper diet can decrease a person’s risk for developing hypertension. A diet that is suggested as beneficial to an individual at risk for CKD is the...

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