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How to Feel Your Best While Living with Chronic Kidney Disease

Whether you’re newly diagnosed or have been living with chronic kidney disease for years, quality of life is a big concern for many patients. While advanced or severe chronic kidney disease can leave you fatigued, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of feeling energetic and productive at all stages. Here’s what to know about living with chronic kidney disease and how our team at Kidney Clinic of North Florida can help.

Basic Lifestyle Adjustments

The choices you make every day will have a significant impact on how you feel. Everything from your energy level to your state of mind can hinge on your physical activity level and food choices. Your lifestyle can also support your kidneys to lower your risk of developing complications or worsening symptoms.

Two components of your lifestyle will have the biggest impact on how you feel day to day. If you can improve your choices in these two areas, you can take tremendous strides toward feeling your best with chronic kidney disease.

Nutrition and CKD

The most important dietary adjustment for anyone with kidney disease is reduced sodium intake. Sodium is an essential nutrient that your body can’t make on its own. It’s critical in controlling blood pressure and fluid levels while supporting your muscles and nerves. You want to consume enough to keep these vital functions going, but too much.

You may need significantly less sodium every day than the average person when living with CKD. The following tips will make it easier to reduce sodium in your diet without sacrificing flavor:

  • Eat most of your meals at home. It’s difficult to control your sodium intake when you’re not in control of the foods on your plate.
  • Use fresh herbs and spices in place of salt. There are many sodium-free options in the spice aisle. You may also enjoy growing herbs at home.
  • Learn to incorporate flavored vinegar and acids into your meals. You can even make homemade sauces and salad dressings that taste great and support your kidneys.
  • Limit alcohol consumption, and eliminate it if you have advanced kidney disease.

kidney-friendly diet will limit your food options. Try to focus on what you can eat rather than what you can’t. In general, your diet may include the following foods:

  • Fresh fruits, berries, and vegetables
  • Lean protein (eggs, fish, and poultry)
  • Whole grains (oats, barley, brown rice, bread)

You can enjoy some foods if you make sure they’re unsalted. If your kidney disease is advanced, you may need to limit protein, whole grains, and carbohydrates. Make sure to discuss that with your nephrologist and adjust your diet accordingly.

Exercise and CKD

You enjoy the following benefits when you remain physically active:

  • Improved sleep quality
  • Higher energy levels
  • Stronger bones
  • Lower risk of depression
  • Lower risk of heart disease and stroke

You don’t have to run a marathon or lift heavy weights. Focus on increasing your overall daily activity level, which means moving more throughout the day. It can be things you enjoy, such as gardening or listening to a podcast while you walk. Challenge yourself to do a little more each day until you’re satisfied with the level of movement in your routine.

Other Ways to Feel Your Best with Chronic Kidney Disease

  • Take all medication as prescribed. Many medications are designed to reduce your risk of future complications, so they’re important even when you’re feeling healthy.
  • Quit smoking. Cigarettes can interfere with some medications and may worsen symptoms of CKD.
  • Work with your doctor to keep your blood pressure under control. Adjusting your diet and activity level will help.
  • Manage diabetes or focus on lifestyle changes if you’re pre-diabetic. Uncontrolled diabetes can negatively impact your kidneys.

Team Up With the Kidney Clinic of North Florida

If you’re in the Jacksonville, FL, area, Dr. Tandon can help you develop a healthy lifestyle that supports your kidneys and overall health. We’re dedicated to treating chronic kidney disease and improving the quality of life for our patients. If you want to feel your best while living with any type of kidney disease, schedule a consultation online.

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Multiple Ways to Help Prevent Kidney Disease

The kidneys play a huge role in our bodies by filtering out waste and toxins, maintaining balance, and regulating the body’s pH level. Because of this, it’s important to prioritize the health of our kidneys to prevent kidney disease and other damage to the organs.

Let’s take a look at the factors that can increase the risk of kidney disease and some tips on how to reduce your risk of the condition.

Factors That Increase the Risk of Kidney Disease

There are certain risk factors associated with kidney disease that can increase the risk of developing the disease. But, by controlling some of these risk factors with healthy habits and proper treatment, you can work to prevent kidney disease.

Some of the risk factors of kidney disease include:


Having uncontrolled diabetes significantly increases the risk of developing kidney disease. Taking prescribed medication and changing your diet can significantly control your diabetes and, in turn, reduce the risk of kidney disease. You can start by reducing your salt intake and incorporating foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet.

High Blood Pressure

Individuals with hypertension also have a risk of developing kidney disease. Regularly monitoring your blood pressure levels, taking any blood pressure medication you’re prescribed, and making certain lifestyle changes are a few steps you can take toward prevention.

Heart Diseases

Having heart disease can also greatly increase the risk of developing kidney disease. Because of this, it’s important to prioritize your heart health by incorporating regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet. If you have a family history of heart disease, make sure to let your doctor know, and they will be able to help you take additional steps to ensure your heart health.


Obesity can also increase your risk of developing chronic kidney disease. Because obesity can increase the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes, and those are two risk factors for kidney disease, it’s important to keep an eye on your weight at well. Try exercising regularly and practicing healthy eating habits.

Family History

A family history of kidney disease significantly increases the risk of developing the condition. Although there is not much you can do to change your genetic makeup, leading a healthy lifestyle and following specific prevention tips can help you reduce the risk of actually getting kidney disease.

Understanding the Different Stages of Kidney Disease

Having a grasp of the stages of kidney disease is also important. If you know what stage you’re at, you can have a better grasp of what your treatment should be. And detecting it early makes prevention and treatment much easier.

Familiarize Yourself with Tests

Being aware of the tests for detection, treatment, and prevention ensures you know what to ask for when you go to the doctor.  And when going to the doctor, you’ll want to choose a qualified professional who specializes in kidneys, like Dr. Tandon at Kidney Clinic of North Florida. He will be able to provide any information and testing you need.

Learn about Lifestyle Modifications

Making lifestyle changes is essential for preventing and managing kidney disease. For example, reducing salt intake, regularly exercising, and making healthy food choices can help lower the risk of developing kidney disease.

Adopt Healthy Eating Habits

Maintaining a healthy diet is vital for maintaining kidneys. Incorporating fruits and vegetables into your daily routine is highly recommended. Why? By eating healthy, you reduce the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol, which are all risk factors for kidney disease. When you reduce the risk of these issues, you also reduce your risk of kidney disease.

Schedule A Consultation

While many factors can contribute to the development of kidney disease, there are also a variety of things you can do to help reduce your risk of getting the disease. One of your first steps should be scheduling a consultation at the Kidney Clinic of North Florida. Dr. Tandon can answer any questions you have, help you maintain optimal kidney health, and determine the right treatment plan for you if you do have kidney disease.

To schedule a consultation today, call our Jacksonville, FL office at 904-593-5333 or use our online scheduling form.

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5 Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a serious condition affecting millions worldwide. It is characterized by the gradual loss of kidney function over time. Understanding the stages of CKD is crucial for early detection and effective management of the disease. Let’s explore the five stages of CKD and how Dr. Gaurav Tandon at Kidney Clinic of North Florida can help you take proactive steps to protect your kidney health.

Stage 1: Kidney Damage with Normal Function

Stage 1 is the earliest stage of CKD. During this stage, there may be evidence of kidney damage but you will still have normal kidney function. The kidneys may have structural abnormalities or signs of damage, such as protein or blood in the urine.

The primary goal in stage 1 is to identify the underlying cause of kidney damage and implement strategies to prevent further progression.

Stage 2: Mild Decrease in Kidney Function

In stage 2, there is a mild decrease in kidney function. The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), a measure of kidney function, will be between 60-89 mL/min/1.73m². Symptoms may start to appear at this stage, including fatigue, fluid retention, and changes in urination patterns.

Dr. Gaurav Tandon will focus on managing underlying conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, to slow down the progression of CKD.

Stage 3: Moderate Decrease in Kidney Function

Stage 3 is further divided into two sub-stages: 3A (eGFR 45-59 mL/min/1.73m²) and 3B (eGFR 30-44 mL/min/1.73m²). At this point, kidney function is moderately decreased, and more noticeable symptoms may occur, such as swelling, fatigue, and anemia.

Dr. Gaurav Tandon will work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan, including dietary modifications, medication adjustments, and close monitoring of kidney function.

Stage 4: Severe Decrease in Kidney Function

In stage 4, kidney function is significantly reduced (eGFR 15-29 mL/min/1.73m²). Symptoms, including bone pain, muscle cramps, and poor appetite, become more severe.

Dr. Gaurav Tandon will focus on managing complications, preparing for renal replacement therapy (dialysis or transplantation), and providing supportive care to enhance the quality of life.

Stage 5: End-Stage Kidney Failure

Stage 5, also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD), is the final stage of CKD. Kidney function is less than 15 mL/min/1.73m² or requires renal replacement therapy.

Dr. Gaurav Tandon will guide you through the available treatment options, such as hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, or kidney transplantation. Palliative care and symptom management are important considerations to ensure comfort and well-being.

Schedule a Consultation

If you or a loved one is living with chronic kidney disease, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Dr. Gaurav Tandon and the experienced team at Kidney Clinic of North Florida are here to provide specialized care and support. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your condition, receive personalized treatment recommendations, and take proactive steps toward protecting your kidney health. Call our Jacksonville, FL office at 904-593-5333 or use our online scheduling form.