Lifestyle Changes to Manage End-stage Renal Disease (ESRD)
by Michael Jubinville, MPH
Changing some habits will keep you as healthy as possible. Taking certain steps will help control problems that happen with ESRD.
You will need to keep track of what you eat and drink. The amounts may differ depending the course of treatment. A dietitian will work with you to make sure what you eat is healthy. You may need to watch:
Calories give your body energy. But, you may not feel hungry during ESRD treatment. Calories can be added with healthy fats or certain sweets. If you have diabetes, you may need to limit the amount of sugar added to your diet. Talk to your dietitian before making changes.
Control Blood Glucose and Blood Pressure
Diabetes and high blood pressure put extra strain on your kidneys. Keep to your diet plan to help with these problems. Your doctor may also want you to take medicine to keep them under control.
Supplements and OTC Medicine
Certain herbal supplements and OTC medicine can cause more harm to the kidneys. Talk to your doctor about all the medicines and supplements you take.
ESRD is a life-changing event that can be hard to handle. It is important to rely on family, friends, and other people in your life. Talk to a therapist or join a support group. They can help you better cope with your emotions.
Some people with ESRD choose not to start dialysis. Comfort measures will help keep your quality of life. It is realistic to think about end-of-life planning. Considerations include:
Your care team will refer you to a trained professional to guide you through this process.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dyname.... Updated January 18, 2019. Accessed July 22, 2019.
Eating & nutrition for hemodialysis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidney-failure/hemodialysis/eating-nutrition. Updated September 2016. Accessed July 22, 2019.
Eating & nutrition for peritoneal dialysis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidney-failure/peritoneal-dialysis/eating-nutrition. Updated August 2018. Accessed July 22, 2019.
Medical management. American Kidney Fund website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed July 22, 2019.
Nutrition and kidney failure. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/nutrition-and-kidney-failure-dialysis. Accessed July 22, 2019.
What is kidney failure? National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/KidneyFailure. Accessed July 22, 2019.
Last reviewed June 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 10/4/2019
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.