The beginning of a new year is a great time to reflect on the previous and set goals for the months ahead. Maybe you’ve been wanting to make more changes in your life to improve your kidney health and overall wellbeing. For those with chronic kidney disease, taking control of your kidney health might feel a little overwhelming. But there are many steps you can take that can make a big difference in your wellbeing.
Ask more questions of your care team
Your kidney care team has a wealth of knowledge about chronic kidney disease, wellness, and most importantly, your specific condition. Don’t be afraid to ask for more information, an explanation, or additional action steps during your next visit. Asking questions is a great way to become a self-advocate for your care.
Learn about your condition
There are a variety of reliable kidney resources online where you can learn more about your specific kidney condition and hear from other chronic kidney disease patients. To get started, check out the National Kidney Foundation, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, or read our other posts about kidney disease.
Build your support network
Living with chronic kidney disease can take a toll on your mental and emotional wellbeing, but there are so many ways to find community and support. You could enlist a team of family and friends to be your support network when you’re not feeling your best. You could join a local chronic kidney disease support group. You could find a kidney mentor through the National Kidney Foundation’s NKF Peers program who will share their experiences with you. Or, if you think speaking to a mental health professional would be beneficial to your care, your kidney care team can help connect you to local practitioners who might be a good fit.
Keeping your medical records, list of medications, lab results, and symptoms journal in one location will make it easy to find information and communicate any changes with your care team. You may consider getting a binder or notebook to keep track of your kidney care.