Kidney Problems

Lifestyle & Management


Older people need to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, especially during hot weather or when there is no air conditioning. Even if you do not feel thirsty, make sure you are drinking enough, since the sensation of thirst becomes weaker with age. In people who have dementia, stroke, or other brain disorders, the feeling of thirst becomes particularly unreliable and it becomes critical that a caregiver makes sure the person receives fluids on a schedule.

Keep a supply of fresh water close at hand and make sure water is available to hospitalized older people and those in long-term care residences.

If you have a kidney disease, follow a diet that has been created for you by a renal dietitian, and restrict your intake of protein (especially from animal sources), phosphorus, and other substances if necessary. 

If you have additional risk factors (such as: diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease), you may improve your kidney condition and overall health while preventing complications if you:

  • follow a low-fat diet with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy carbohydrates (beans/legumes, potatoes), and fiber. (Avoid foods that are high in fat like eggs, meat, and dairy (such as cheese, yogurt, and milk).)
  • lose weight
  • stop smoking
  • avoid simple carbohydrates (refined and processed sugars, such as pastries, cakes, doughnuts, cookies, crackers)
  • monitor blood glucose carefully if you have diabetes
  • aim to keep your blood pressure under control
  • try to be as physically active as possible

Last Update August 2020