How To and Guides for Kidney Patients

Published on November 1st, 2019 | by Michaelw


Kidney Killer Mistakes


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Hello, this is Katherine, welcome to 00kidney.

Everyone makes mistakes, but for people with kidney disease, some mistakes can be really dangerous.
This is why I made this top 6: kidney killer mistakes people make with kidney disease.
Stop doing these mistakes right now to stop kidney DAMAGE and to start  reversing chronic kidney disease.

So, there’s not a moment to waste, let’s see what the most dangerous mistakes for a kidney patient are… and how to avoid them.

The number 6 mistake that’s hurting your kidneys is… Losing hope… don’t lose hope

Ok, I’ll start today’s video by saying that the battle that kidney disease patients have to face is a mental one.
When people find out they have kidney disease, they’re confused, worried and really, really scared.
And it’s not their fault. Chances are their doctors gave them very limited information.
If you’re one of them, if your doctor told you that your future consists of either dialysis a transplant… well that may not be true.
There’s a third option. You can fight the disease. You can stay strong and fight kidney disease, and if you don’t lose hope, you may even beat it and find a way to reverse kidney disease.

Yes, it takes a lot of strength and dedication and even motivation to keep going on and keep facing every day when there’s a disease putting a shadow on everything in your life.
And it is normal to be afraid and it is normal to feel down.
But you have to know you can fight it. But you need to be strong.

And remember that if you know anyone that has just been diagnosed with kidney disease or that is struggling with it, help them by sending this video.

Now, you may have seen a lot of videos on Youtube or articles on the internet promising you to improve kidney function in an easy way.
This is NOT one of those videos. Let me be clear on this point.
This is because you won’t be able to find an EASY and WORKING way to improve your kidney health.
There’s nothing like that.
A way to improve your kidney health could be either EASY or it could be WORKING.
Now, if you follow me here on 00Kidney you know that I prefer to focus on things that are actually working.
So if you bear with me today, I’ll show you a strategy that can actually help you to improve your kidney health and to stop damaging your kidneys.
Yes, maybe it won’t be easy, but I don’t think that’s the important part, right?

And as I was saying, Everyone makes mistakes but the upside of making a mistake is the powerful lesson that follows. If you have the strenght to learn from it.

This bring us to the number 5 mistake that can be damaging your kidneys.

And it is… Waiting To Get Sicker

If you’re waiting to get sicker before you get serious about fighting kidney disease, you could be in for a rude awaking.
While letting the disease frighten you is bad, pretending that it’s not there is even more dangerous.
Ignoring the symptoms and pretending that there’s a lot more time than you actually have can be a very costly mistake.
Because it means losing opportunities. It means losing the chance to start a better treatment while you still can.
And the scariest part about this mindset is that, sometimes, it is even encouraged by doctors.
It’s not uncommon, actually, to be told to “wait to get sicker” to be put on a transplant list.
But encouraging a patient to “wait to get sicker”, before advocating for their best life can be life threatening. Especially for people with Chronic Kidney Disease.
This is what drug addicts do. But you don’t have to do the same.
Drug addicts always wait to hit rock bottom before starting to even try to do something to improve things.
And how does this mindset work out for them?
So don’t wait until you hit rock bottom of your health, start to improve things as soon as you can.


4 Forgetting To ASK & TELL

For a lot of people suffering from kidney disease, the doctor-patient relationship is a complicated one.
And in my opinion, the best way to improve this relationship, with a great benefit for the patient, is to start ASKING the right questions and TELLING the right observations and concerns to their doctors.
A lot of patients fail to ask doctors questions about their health and take advantage of the short amount of time with the one person who can help them the most.

Why? For a lot of people this may seem uncomfortable.

If initiating dialogues with you doctor is uncomfortable for you, tell it to your doctor.
For example, you can say “This is a bit awkward (or maybe embarrassing), but I think it’s important enough to bring up this issue.
Maybe we can use this appointment time to share a couple of concerns I have?”

Now, if your doctor is reluctant or distracted or just too rushed to listen when you try to open this dialogue, find another way to communicate.
You might consider email communication as an alternative if your doctor is open to it.
It’s extremely important to have an open way of communication with your doctor.
You should not have to walk on eggshells to approach a topic. Open communication is the only way to build respect and trust.

Now, asking questions is the most important part of this relationship.
Asking questions is key to good communication with your doctor. If you don’t ask questions, they may assume you already know the answer or that you don’t want more information.
Don’t wait for the doctor to raise a specific question or subject, be proactive.
It’s your health that’s on the line here.
Now, there’s even the possibility that your attempts fall on flat ears.
Not all doctors are open to a dialogue and not all of them are used to an “ask and answer” kind of relationship with their patients.
Should this be the case, it might be a sign to get a second opinion while exploring other care providers in your network.
Your job is to advocate for your kidney health by working together with your doctor.

You won’t be able to get there if you don’t have the right communication and if you are not part of the team working on improving your kidney health.

So, what are the questions always worth asking your doctor?

Ask questions when you don’t know the meaning of a word (like for example… aneurysm, hypertension,  infarct or other words you may not fully understand)
Ask questions when instructions aren’t clear (for example, does taking medicine with food mean before, during, or after a meal?).
Ask your doctor their opinion about last labs and ask what can you do to impact them more favorably.

And what information should you always be giving your doctor?

Any change in symptoms since last visit
Any new observations or concerns you have about your conditions
Any obvious change in the number of your blood pressure, weight and lab numbers you may have noticed.
Also you should always be bringing your doctor a list of the medications you are taking and any allergies you may have.

This list should include all over-the-counter medications, home remedies, and herbal medications including tea, vitamins and supplements. Sometimes they can be dangerous when you take them with other medications.
Know what medications you are taking, why you are taking them, and potential side effects. Let the doctor and nurse know of any allergies and type of reaction or side effects you have.
Also be sure to ask questions about the medications you are prescribed during your appointment.

Now, you may think that this is a lot of information to process and even to remember, but don’t worry, there’s a way to make it a lot easier.

It’s our number 3


Mistake Number 3 not keeping a health journal

A Health Journal is not just a really important tool in improving the communication between you and your doctor.
It can also help you stay on track with health changes… and it has other unexpected benefits too!
What are the benefits of keeping an health journal?

A personal health journal will help you improving your kidney health.

-It will make it a lot Easier to Stay On Track: writing things down provides a layer of accountability and a reason to stay on track.
For example, people who may want to lose weight, may find it a lot easier to achieve their goal when they have to be accountable on what they eat.
It will help you notice what Foods Aggravate Your System: If certain foods cause allergy symptoms, bowel disturbances, or other problems, you’ll be much more likely to figure out what they are if you are tracking your food intake.
-It Will Help You Notice Patterns: If you occasionally get allergy symptoms, skin rashes, have trouble sleeping or other minor health troubles, keeping a journal will help you notice factors that cause your symptoms. You might notice that you don’t sleep well after eating certain foods, forgetting to take supplements or watching TV late at night.
Or maybe that you sleep better when you can spend time in the sun, drink enough water, or read a book before bed.
– It will give you an Objective Record: From a medical standpoint, having a detailed health journal is very helpful in cases of new and unusual symptoms. You may perhaps associate them with fluctuations in body weight or with a change in your diet.
It will also be helpful for you to see objectively over time how changes made to your lifestyle have affected your kidney health and how it has improved.
– But, most of all, a personal health journal is an easy way to keep track and improve your kidney health. Keeping track of your health history helps you to be an informed patient.
Knowledge allows you to take better decisions that will, in the long run, have a big, positive, impact on the health of your kidneys.

Now, I’ve prepared a excel spreadsheet you can download and use as your health journal, if you want.
here it is
The link is in description.
ok now I show you how it works.
You would have to print some of these and fill in all the info and relative dates.
Now, you can customize your journal to include any information that you want, this is mostly an example.
Some of the things I’ve included in the health journal I’ve made are… let’s see…
Blood pressure, blood glucose levels, Weight. These are measurement that you can do by yourself and that are really important for the health of your kidneys.
Keeping track of them and confronting them with the results of the analysis can be a game changer for a lot of people.
Food intake, Water and liquid intake. This is another very important point, especially if you have protein, liquid or potassium allowance to follow.
Sleep and Exercise.
Symptoms changes. Here you can write down any symptom you have to tell your doctor. Any allergies, or reactions, skin changes… even pain or fatigue can be a result of changes you may have to understand.
Medication and supplements you started taking. This is another important one.
And, for last, analysis results
results of lab analysis. More on this in a moment.

Now, if you haven’t journaled before, I’d suggest trying it for a few weeks, you might be amazed what you discover!
And be sure to take your health journal to your doctor’s appointments.
This helps you provide your doctor with exact information about your health.
Your doctor also can help you keep your health journal up-to-date.

Now, as I was saying, a very important thing you can be adding to your health journal are the results of your lab values.

This bring us to the number 2 mistake people make with chronic kidney disease



Number 2 Ignoring your numbers
As I was saying, monitoring your lab results, weight and blood pressure numbers can give you a big advantage when it comes to the health of your kidneys.
Monitoring your numbers also means that you shouldn’t be relying only on your doctor to translate those hard to pronounce words and jumbled corresponding values you find on your lab results.
Are you keeping track of them?
Don’t assume you’re being told everything you need to know by your doctor.
You’re the patient and you need to take some responsibility here too by asking key questions and encouraging a dialogue with your healthcare provider.
Your numbers play a significant role in the progression of your disease.
They also alert you to a potential problem that you might not be aware of and that you might be able to reverse before the problem worsens.
So add the numbers from the lab results to your spreadsheet as well. This will allow to plot your numbers by date for visual comparison trends.
Being organized will also allow you to more efficiently formulate your questions at each visit.
While your labs can look like Greek to you, do not be intimidated.
Understanding these numbers and how they’re trending can be a lifesaver.
Let’s see briefly what are the most important things

1 eGFR this is an estimated number that shows how efficiently your kidneys are sifting, sorting and cleaning waste from your blood
2 Creatinine the measurement that gauges your kidney’s ability to breakdown muscle cell waste.
3 BUN the amount of protein in your blood and urine
Of course, paying attention to all your numbers, including electrolytes like potassium, blood cell counts like hemoglobin and hematocrit, and monitoring calcium, phosphate—and lipids, is also very important. And watching for blood or protein in the urine must not be overlooked either.
Information is power, the more accurate and useful the info are the better.
Just try not to get confused or overloaded with all these information.
This bring us to our number 1, the greatest mistake you can make

Number 1 not being informed

I don’t think the people watching me right now can be doing this mistake, actually.
I mean, if you’re here and you watched me talking about how to improve your kidney health for the last 20 minutes… well, it’s a clear sign that you really care about your health.
But there’s always more to learn, so I’ve made a playlist about everything you need to know about kidney disease and how to beat it.
Watch it here. And don’t forget to subscribe. Thank you.

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About the Author

Hi, my name is Michael and in this blog I'm gonna share the story of how I got off kidney dialysis for good. Getting off dialysis isn't easy at all, and that's why I'm trying to help people as much as I can.

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