This is #9, the final installment in the kidney Disease Series by Duncan Capicchiano, N.D.
So far we have covered a lot of ground about kidney disease – what it means, the changes your body may go through, and how to treat your kidneys using natural therapies.
There has been a lot of information to digest, so today we are going to talk about what it all means to you as an individual. Ways that your life may change as a result of your condition, the changes you should make, and why sometimes you shouldn’t make certain changes.
In danger of sounding like a broken record… One aspect of your life where it is essential to make permanent changes is your diet. The kidney diet that we looked at may seem strict, but when it comes down to it, if you want to protect your kidneys in the long term, then the trade is sure worth it. It is not enough to do a one-off detox and think you have done. You need to make a healthy diet part of your new lifestyle.
Of course we are all human, and part of our nature is to want the odd treat. Heck we all need little treats in our life. But trust me, the more you stick with the correct diet, the fewer of those you will desire, and the treat from foods will be replaced with the treat of feeling normal and healthy again.
Another area where you may need to make some permanent changes is in your lifestyle. For many people that can mean incorporating regular exercise. For those of you that never exercise, fatigue may certainly be a huge issue for you, but once you establish a routine you will be amazed at how quickly exercise actually makes you feel rejuvenated.
You will actually begin to crave your next session – seriously!
Of course we are not talking about going out and running a marathon! If you are not used to exercise, even starting with a gentle fifteen minute walk each day can be beneficial, and is a great place to start.
Exercise benefits your health as a whole, not just your kidneys, and it is a fantastic way to relieve stress. You should always talk to your health professional about what sort of exercise regime will be appropriate for you.
Probably the most important factor here is inspiration. Keep your exercise varied so that you stay interested, or better still find an exercise buddy to inspire you for those low days (or to make you feel guilty for standing them up!). Fun is key to a great workout.
Sometimes finding out that you are ill can be very isolating. Even though you may be surrounded by loved ones who are deeply affected by your illness, it is still possible to feel very alone. Of course they care, but often your friends and family have no way of understanding how you feel.
For many people who suffer from chronic illness it can be very beneficial to join a support group and meet people who are going through the same issues as you are. It would be a good idea to speak to your doctor or local community center to access the details of a support group near you.
The following links may also be of help:
http://www.britishkidney-pa.co.uk/ (Patients in the UK)
http://www.aakp.org/outreach/List/ (Patients in the USA)
http://www.kidney.org.au/KidneyDisease/AZHealthGuide/tabid/587/Default.aspx (Patients in Australia)
There is also a lot of supportive information available on the internet if you are physically isolated or prefer privacy. Check out my website for some inspiring personal stories for people who have achieved wonderful levels of healing through incorporating natural therapies into their lives. Where you find your support is not what is important. What matters is that you do not feel alone and unable to cope.
Love In Your Life
An essential aspect of living with illness, and planning the direction your life will now take is working out what is important to YOU. As mentioned earlier, although some aspects of your life certainly need to change and be replaced with healthy habits, there are some things that should never change.
You still need to do the things that you love and that you take pleasure in. As long as they are not harmful it is essential to maintain your friendships, favourite hobbies and entertainment.
Withdrawing from what you love can leave a big gap in your life and that is the last thing you need. It is natural to feel depressed or unmotivated when you are unwell, and this is the time when you most need to continue the activities that make you happy, and to maintain your zest for life.
It may take some modification and forward planning, especially when eating out but there is no need to feel as though you are missing out.
You Are Worth It
It is also important no matter what your state of health, to take time out for yourself each day. You may have a lot to come to terms with at the moment, and that means taking time to digest what is happening to you and what you are going to do about it.
However you must remember that if you have been told that you have kidney disease, even if you feel fine, you must take responsibility now. Do something for yourself every day, because you are worth it.
Health Is ‘Perspective’
Health is all about perspective. Instead of feeling limited because you have an illness, if you put a positive spin on your situation and change your mindset, your road to recovery will become much clearer, and you will find hidden ‘gifts’ along the way.
Have you noticed with those that have stared death in the face usually come out the other end, wiser, happier, peaceful and more confident within themselves?
In fact they seem to have a glow about them, and their eyes, their eyes seem to have a deep knowing. Don’t they? Something happens to those who travel “that” road in full acceptance, realizing that they are not a victim, and accept full responsibility.
“Empowerment is not separate from responsibility”
So I pass the floor to you again my health warrior, and ask when is NOW going to be the right time to make the change? When is NOW the right time to make a difference in your life?
No matter where you go in the world, you can manage to eat some fruits and vegetables every day.
To Your Most Amazing Health And Life!
Duncan Capicchiano, N.D.
Please note that information provided here is not to replace your Doctor’s advice. It is meant as education. Do not stop taking any prescribed medications without consulting your doctor. Many medications must be weaned. Please use common sense.
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