World Kidney Day 2021: 7 tips for building a positive mindset for living well with kidney disease

World Kidney Day (WKD) is celebrated every year on the second Thursday of March. It is a global campaign aimed at the prevention of kidney diseases and providing awareness to individuals already affected by kidney disease. World Kidney Day is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations. Each year a special theme is chosen to raise awareness about it and this year the theme is ‘Living well with Kidney Disease’

One can certainly live well, only when one feels well physically as well as emotionally. As kidney disease is a long-term issue, there are several aspects associated with it that delineate emotional wellbeing; like long-term medications, fear of losing a vital organ, restrictive diet, financial planning for the future, etc. “In order to feel well with kidney disease, one has to mentally accept the problem and then following things can fall into place with expert medical guidance”

“To live well with kidney disease, all you need is build a positive mindset”

Herewith are few tips for patients and their caregivers to build a positive mindset on World Kidney Day:

1. Avoid victimizationThis first and most foremost tip is for caregivers — do not make the patient feel like he is sick. A kidney patient can lead a near-normal life (cook, work, walk, jog, clean, etc)and so, a constant reminder about the kidney issue may pose a threat to their emotional well-being. Hence, one should avoid making them realize that they are suffering from kidney disease.


2. Do not quit your job/work: Any individual suffering from even late-stage kidney disease should be encouraged to continue his work. In case the job demands rigorous activities, you may request moderate activities; but the work routine is extremely important for maintaining self-esteem and self-confidence.

As it is righteously said, “An empty mind is a devils workshop”, so continue with your job/work routine even if you are on dialysis


3. Build healthy social networking: There are several social media groups (Kidney Warriors Foundation) that can help you get in touch with individuals having similar complaints. You can draw motivation from their journey and you may never know someday you too may become motivational for them. Look for only inspiration and not medication. You may also look forward to making friends within your own dialysis center. This may indeed help you elevate your mood.


4. Talk to your Nephrologist: Open up all your concerns to your Nephrologist (Kidney specialist). You can consider writing down your queries and discuss each with him/her in order to get treatment most suitable to you. For example, if a businessman needs to undergo dialysis, he should discuss with the Nephrologist the hours that he may miss throughout the week. In return, he may get options like home hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis — both of which can be comfortably done at home.


5. Talk to your Renal Dietitian: Before starting a renal diet all by yourself, it is ideally important to discuss it with the expert i.e. Renal Dietitian (specialist in kidney diet). Many of the patients end up with unnecessary food restrictions either due to family pressure/ TV advertisements/ internet material, and land into complications. The most common example is strict protein restriction. This is dangerous and may result in malnutrition.


6. Family support: Supportive care is an integral part of treating patients dealing with kidney disease. Kidney patients may not be dependent on their caregivers but an emotional breakdown can be averted with proper family careKidney patients should be encouraged to get involved in family celebrations like birthdays, anniversaries, family picnics, family dinners, movies, shopping, etc. Owing to the pandemic period, they can opt for indoor activities like gardening, pot painting, fabric painting, stitching, cooking, etc, and online activities like online yoga and meditation, online family prayers, etc that can be engaging and interesting.


7. Patient involvement in decision making: If the patient is well-cognizant, he/ she should be involved in decision making like deciding a treatment modality. Such decisions should not be enforced upon the patient as the outcome may not be fruitful. A patient has the right to live a dignified life and if the treatment may be compensating it, he has the right to turn it down. However, this should be done with medical guidance.


Finally, it is important to highlight that one should not let kidney disease dampen one\’s spirit and enthusiasm. One should look forward towards the brighter side and consider it as just a bend in the road and not the end of the road.

#WorldKidneyDay #WorldKidneyDay2021 #Livingwellwithkidneydisease #kidneypatientsmotivation

This blog was published on 11th March 2021, to view the original blog, click here

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