Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

If you have kidney disease, your doctor might recommend certain lifestyle changes:

  • Restrict your salt intake to prevent or minimize fluid retention, swelling and hypertension
  • Consume less protein and potassium to slow the buildup of wastes in your blood
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Control your blood sugar level if you have diabetes
  • Quit smoking

Coping and support

Living with a chronic illness can tax your emotional resources. If you have chronic glomerulonephritis or chronic kidney failure, you might benefit from joining a support group. A support group can provide both sympathetic listening and useful information.

To find a support group, ask your doctor for a recommendation or contact the National Kidney Foundation to find the chapter nearest you.

Prevention

There may be no way to prevent most forms of glomerulonephritis. However, here are some steps that might be beneficial:

  • Seek prompt treatment of a strep infection with a sore throat or impetigo.
  • To prevent infections that can lead to some forms of glomerulonephritis, such as HIV and hepatitis, follow safe-sex guidelines and avoid intravenous drug use.
  • Control high blood pressure, which lessens the likelihood of damage to your kidneys from hypertension.
  • Control your blood sugar to help prevent diabetic nephropathy.
Feb. 10, 2017
References
  1. The kidneys and how they work. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/KUDiseases/pubs/yourkidneys/index.aspx. Accessed Oct. 21, 2016.
  2. Glomerulonephritis. National Kidney Foundation. http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/glomerul.cfm. Accessed Oct. 21, 2016.
  3. Hebert LA, et al. Differential diagnosis and evaluation of glomerular disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 21, 2016.
  4. Glomerular diseases. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/KUDiseases/pubs/glomerular/index.aspx. Accessed Oct. 21, 2016.
  5. Kidney failure: Choosing a treatment that's right for you. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/kidney-disease/kidney-failure-choosing-a-treatment-thats-right-for-you/Pages/facts.aspx. Accessed Oct. 21, 2016.
  6. Monga D, et al. Glomeruler diseases and cancer. American Society of Nephrology. https://www.asn-online.org/education/distancelearning/curricula/onco/. Accessed Oct. 31, 2016.
  7. Aslam N (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. Accessed Oct. 31, 2016.