Heart-related complications are the leading cause of death in those with Chronic Kidney Disease, especially Dialysis patients. Hence, while February is the month of Valentine's Day, it is also the American Heart Month. While Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients should be very watchful of their heart health year-round, the following tips will help patients take the steps necessary to improve the protection of their hearts and overall health outcomes before and after Valentine's Day.
Recommended Reading: How Diabetic and Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Can Avoid Sugar On Valentine's Day
Make A Date With Your Heart! Consider making a healthy meal for Valentine’s Day. Serve food lower in salt and fat content, provide more fruits and vegetables which match your dietary restrictions. For a list of safe fruits and veggies click here.
Avoid the sugary stuff. Eighty-three percent of Americans give or receive candy on Valentine's Day, according to the National Confectioners Association. Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients should choose to eat less chocolate if they indulge at all. Chocolate can increase potassium levels in Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients which can lead to serious heart complications. Eat less sugary sweets for an overall healthy Valentine’s Day. If you do indulge in a bit of chocolate consider dark chocolate (the darker the better) since it is contains less potassium and phosphorus.
Limit stress. Valentine's Day can be very stressful even if you do not have a valentine because you may be feeling very lonely. Stress can lead to high blood pressure causing enlargement and thickening of the heart. This ultimately leads to heart failure. Take it easy! Remember, Valentine's Day is all about loving and caring. Plan ahead and do not put too much emphasis on the "stuff" associated with the holiday (candy, flowers, dining). Instead, focus on letting the special person in your life know that you appreciate them. If you feel lonely, turn to social media for support. Groups like the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page (click here) have many patients who would love to offer friendly support and insights.
Reduce portion sizes. Sometimes during festive occasions like Valentine's Day, we can all get carried away and overeat. This can have rippling effects on Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients including weight gain which may disrupt Dialysis treatments. If you order a large plate, then consider sharing. Also, consider splitting one dessert if you feel full, but just cannot turn down your favorite slice of pie.
Suprise! Valentine’s Day marks National Organ Donor Day, according to Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Encourage your loved ones (not only your significant other but all loved ones in your life) to consider showing their love by giving you or another person in need, one of the most important gifts of all—life. The process of Living Kidney Donation is easy and safe. The initial testing process is even easier. A great way to broach this subject is sharing this article with your friends on Facebook and your email list. Also, consider sending out a "Happy Valentine's Day" note and letting others know about Kidney Donation at that time.
Do you have a Valentine? How do you plan on maintaining your heart health during the big day? You and your opinion matter to us at KidneyBuzz.com. Share your responses with the over 35,500 Friends at the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan page (click here). Moreover, consider following the over 115,000 monthly visitors to KidneyBuzz.com for your Number One (#1) source of Daily News, Information, Impact Meals, Inspirational Quotes, and tailored Products and Services which teach Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure patients how to better manage and improve their lives.