Living with High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease

By lowering high blood pressure, you can reduce the amount of damage to your kidneys and help slow any progression of kidney disease. Visit your healthcare provider as scheduled and follow the tips below.

Woman chopping fresh vegetables in kitchen.

Eat right

To control blood pressure and kidney disease:

  • Limit salt (sodium) intake. Your sodium limit is 1,500 mg a day. Sodium makes up 40% of table salt, which is also called sodium chloride. So 1,500 mg of sodium equals 3,800 mg of salt. It's very important to read and understand this difference when reading food labels. The following is a general guide that will make it easy to understand how much sodium is in different amounts of salt:

    • ¼ teaspoon salt = 600 mg sodium

    • ½ teaspoon salt = 1,200 mg sodium

    • ¾ teaspoon salt = 1,800 mg sodium

    • 1 teaspoon salt = 2,400 mg sodium

  • Cook with spices and herbs instead of salt.

  • Eat fresh foods instead of canned or processed ones.

  • Eat less fat. Avoid fats that come from animal sources.

  • Choose low-fat dairy foods.

You may also need to

  • Eat less protein.

  • Drink less fluid.

  • Eat foods that are low in phosphorus and potassium.

Stay active

Regular activity helps reduce high blood pressure. For best results:

  • Talk with your healthcare provider before starting a fitness program. Your provider may be able to suggest activities that will help you feel your best.

  • Ask your healthcare provider how often you should exercise and for how long.

  • Try to exercise at the same time each day.

  • Don't get discouraged if you can't be very active at first. Even a little activity is better than doing nothing. The important thing is to stick with it.

  • Ask a friend or family member to exercise with you. Many people find companionship the best incentive to keep a regular exercise schedule.

© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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