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Improving the understanding, detection, and management of kidney disease.

Lesson 2:
Managing your kidney disease


Learning 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 Drug facts chart
A chart that lists diet tips to help slow down CKD

(.jpg/72 K)
Sample Drugs Facts label with NSAIDs

(.jpg/82 K)
Sample Nutrition Facts
Sample Nutrition Facts label which explains serving sizes and sodium content

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Page last updated: September 17, 2014