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Lesson 2: Managing your kidney disease

Lesson Objectives​​

​By the end of each session, participants will be able to:
  • Recognize that managing blood pressure is a key part of managing kidney disease
  • Recognize that managing diabetes is a key part of managing kidney disease
  • State at least one step to eating right for kidney health
  • Recognize the importance of being cautious about over-the-counter medicines
  • Recognize that smoking can worsen kidney disease
  • Identify which lab values are used to keep track of diabetes, high blood pressure, and other conditions​

Session Starter

Tell participants that you are going to make a statement for which you want to learn their reaction. Give each participant small cards on which you've written the following: SA (means Strongly agree); A (Agree); D (Disagree); SD (Strongly disagree). State the following and ask participants to hold up the card that shows his/her answer: “There are steps you can take to keep your kidney working”. As an assessment strategy: Repeat at the end of the lesson to see if their responses have changed.

Topics & Points to Cover

  • ​​There are steps you can take to keep your kidneys working. (See session starter.)
  • Weight management
  • Blood pressure management
    • Blood pressure goal: < 140/90 mm Hg
    • Medications – ACEs/ARBs, diuretics
      • ACEs/ARBS and risk of hyperkalemia (too much potassium in the blood, but help lower urine albumin)
    • Sodium reduction (<2,300 mg)
    • Physical activity
  • Diabetes management
    • A1C target (Note to educator: should become more individualized as CKD/CVD progresses)
    • Diabetes medications may change because of kidney disease (often takes less medication to control glucose in the later stages of CKD)
    • How to treat hypoglycemia appropriately (risk of high potassium with ACEi and ARB use) glucose tablets are preferred [May need to avoid juices with high potassium levels if hyperkalemic]
    • Hyperglycemia
  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
    • Physical activity
    • CVD is major cause of mortality
    • LDL goal
    • Medications
  • Nutritional health
    • Choose and prepare foods with less salt and sodium
    • Eat the right amount and kind of protein
    • Choose foods that are healthy for your heart
    • Choose foods based on phosphorus and potassium content (if restricted)
    • Make choices that help with diabetes management
    • Dietitian referral/nutrition therapy is covered benefit
  • Medication safety
    • Prescription
    • Over-the-counter (pain relief)
  • Tobacco cessation

Sample Outcome Assessment Questions

  • True or False: Managing blood pressure is one of the most important ways to keep kidney disease from getting worse?
  • True or False: People with kidney disease should limit the amount of salt/sodium in the diet?

Other outcomes:

  • Patient states that managing blood pressure is the most important way to manage his/her KD.
  • Patient states one way to change his/her eating to protect the kidneys.
  • Patient tells one way he/she will approach use of OTC medications in the future.
  • Smoking patient states that he/she is aware that smoking can worsen KD.
  • Patient states what he/she will do with information from today's session.

Additional Resources for Download

These images are available free of charge to download and include in your patient education materials.

A chart that lists diet tips to help slow down CKD  

A chart that lists diet tips to help slow down CKD
Download (JPG, 72 KB)

Drug facts chart

Sample Drugs Facts label with NSAIDs
Download (JPG, 82 KB)

Sample Nutrition Facts  

Sample Nutrition Facts label which explains serving sizes and sodium content
Download (JPG, 89 KB)

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