Kidney disease can be overwhelming with so many acronyms like chronic kidney disease and and GFR and CKD. Did you know that chronic kidney disease or CKD affects 1 in 10 people in the United States? But, what exactly is CKD? How do you know if you are at risk for it? What does GFR mean and why is it important to kidney health? What can you do to prevent or improve CKD?
Lets start with definitions
What is chronic kidney disease and GFR?
What is CKD?
Chronic kidney disease means that your kidneys are having trouble doing the jobs they are supposed to for the body, like filtering blood to remove waste and maintaining the body’s balance. The damage to the kidneys means that the waste can build up in the body, blood pressure may rise, and vitamin D absorption decreases.
Risk Factors for chronic kidney disease
Risk factors for CKD include:
- High blood pressure
What is GFR?
GFR stands for glomerular filtration rate. Basically, this is a way to measure how well your kidney is working. Normal GFR is somewhere around 100, which means your kidneys are working at 100%. If your GFR is 75, then your kidneys are functioning at about 75%. If you find out your GFR is less than 60, you should make an appointment with a nephrologist, a kidney specialist, so they can take a closer look at your kidneys.
What can you do to prevent chronic kidney disease?
You definitely want to look into seeing health professionals who specialize in this area, including a nephrologist and a dietitian. Nutrition is a HUGE component in preventing kidney disease and taking measures to keep the CKD from progressing. A REBEL Dietitian at our office would be more than happy to work with you to find a nutrition plan for kidney disease to fit into your lifestyle. We want to make sure this “diet” includes foods that you love and promotes optimal kidney health. Please visit our blog post about the diet for kidney disease for more information!
A dietitian, along with your nephrologist, can take a look at some medications you may be taking to see how they interact with your kidneys.
Some medicines, like NSAIDs (Advil), can be damaging to the kidneys and hinder progress.
At Rebecca Bitzer and Associates, we are here to support you in finding meals and snacks that are kidney friendly. We understand it can be difficult to sometimes find out what to eat, especially since many sources say you have to cut out a lot of foods! This is not the case and we are here to work with you to find a nutrition plan you enjoy. Call us at 301-474-2499 to make an appointment or fill out our contact form here.
Rebecca Bitzer loves to empower Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) and their clients. Co-author of Welcome to the Rebelution: Seven steps to the nutrition counseling practice of your dreams and Taste the Sweet Rebellion: Rebel against dieting.