How to cope and more
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a lifelong disease that requires medical treatment. The stress of living with a chronic and progressive disease can affect your mental health.
Managing IRC requires vigilance and your mental health is a factor. Conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders can make your symptoms worse. They can also make it harder to follow your treatment plan or practice the healthy habits you need to live well with CKD.
People with CKD can also experience cognitive decline, and researchers are conducting studies to see how the conditions are related.
It is important to seek help from your doctor or a mental health professional to manage your mental health and well-being. There are also ways to improve your outlook in your daily life to help manage CRF.
The relationship between CRF and mental health works both ways. IRC can affect your sanity, and your sanity can affect your IRC.
Researchers are trying to find the connections between the kidneys and the brain to learn more about how CKD can impact mental well-being.
There is no definitive link between CKD and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, although these often occur together.
You may experience mental health changes due to the stressors associated with CKD. These may include:
- the logistics and cost of treatment
- restrictions on your lifestyle or work life
- the need to rely on others
- living with symptoms or complications of CKD
- uncertainty about your health or future
People with more advanced CKD or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) may find that the demands of their treatment worsen their mental well-being.
Mental health issues can also impact your physical health. Stress, anxiety and depression can:
- change your sleeping and eating habits
- increase your blood sugar and blood pressure, which can impact kidney health
- impact how you manage and follow your CKD treatment
There are several common mental health issues in people with CKD. These include:
- substance use disorder
- cognitive impairment, including dementia
Anxiety can arise as a response to stress. Many people experience some form of anxiety, such as fighting, running away, or frozen responding to stressful situations. But for some people, anxiety can become severe and require treatment.
If you feel constantly stressed or nervous and it interferes with your daily life, it may be time to seek treatment for anxiety.
Your anxiety can be general or it can also be circumstantial. For example, you may feel anxiety around specific triggers, which can lead to a panic attack.
Anxiety symptoms can differ from person to person and depend on the type of anxiety disorder you have. Common symptoms can include:
- feeling jittery, tense, or jittery
- rapid heart rate
- shortness of breath
- restlessness or irritability
- difficulty concentrating
- difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
Depression is common in people with CKD. The risk of depression is
As much as
A constant low mood or loss of interest in daily activities or interests can be signs of depression. Other symptoms of depression include:
- feelings of hopelessness
- changes in your weight or appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
- inability to concentrate
You should seek help from a mental health professional if these symptoms last for several weeks. You should also seek immediate help if you have suicidal thoughts.
Substance use disorder
Some people may turn to tobacco, alcohol, or drugs to cope with symptoms of untreated mental health problems or because of symptoms of chronic kidney disease.
Excessive use of these substances can aggravate CKD and other related health problems. Substance use can also affect your life in other ways, such as with loved ones or at work.
There are several medications you can take if you have CKD, and these can be affected by alcohol or drug use. To avoid making your chronic kidney disease worse, talk to your doctor about your substance use.
Cognitive decline can affect your ability to think, remember, learn, or speak.
You might experience
Risk factors for cognitive decline
- advanced age
- heavy drinking
- heart disease
- head injury
Depression can also be a risk factor for cognitive decline.
Cognitive decline should be monitored by a physician. You and your family members may need to determine the level of care you need to manage both cognitive decline and CKD.
Seeking help for mental health issues can be difficult, but it’s important if you live with CKD.
Mental health issues can impact your quality of life and make your chronic kidney disease worse. You can adopt unhealthy habits if you have trouble managing your emotional well-being.
Your condition may progress if you ignore mental health issues, which could require further treatment or hospitalization. As CKD progresses, it can lead to kidney failure.
Reaching out to someone about your mental health is a positive step in living with the CKD. You can find the help you need in several ways:
- Ask your doctor to recommend a mental health professional such as a psychologist or counsellor.
- Discuss the need for help with a social worker.
- Ask a friend or family member to recommend you.
- Post on a social network or community group website for referrals.
- Contact your insurer for a list of mental health professionals.
- Do an Internet search for a list of mental health professionals.
You may need to try a few professionals before you find the right one for you.
There are a variety of treatments for mental health issues, including different therapy methods and medications.
You can benefit from therapies such as:
- talk therapy
- cognitive behavioral therapy
Medications vary depending on the type and severity of your mental health condition. Your doctor or a mental health professional like a psychiatrist will prescribe medication. They will need to consider other medications you are taking for CKD or other health conditions when deciding which treatment is right for you.
Therapy and medication can take time to improve your outlook, but asking for help will put you on the right track.
While seeking professional help for serious mental health issues is essential to managing your chronic kidney disease, you also need to take care of yourself at home. Taking the time to take care of yourself and adopt healthy habits can help
Here are some ways to focus on your well-being if you live with CKD:
- Exercise regularly at a level that is comfortable for you and recommended by your doctor.
- Eat a balanced diet that includes foods that are good for your kidneys.
- Get enough sleep for your body to rest, regenerate and stay strong.
- Express your thoughts and feelings to friends or family, at a support group, or in a journal.
- Read articles and books that offer helpful advice on your emotional well-being.
- Join a support group, either online or in person.
- Stay organized about your CKD care. Find out as much as you can about the disease and organize your appointments, documents and medications.
- Build a life outside of the IRC, for example by taking up new hobbies or doing projects with your family and friends.
- Frame your thoughts positively rather than negatively.
It is very important to take care of your mental health if you are living with CKD. Practicing healthy routines and habits is a good start to making sure you’re emotionally well.
Don’t be afraid to contact your doctor, another healthcare professional, family member or friend if you think you need more help.
Your mental and emotional well-being is an essential part of your physical well-being. There are many ways to deal with IRC. Use as many tools as needed for your sanity.