Decreased kidney function and reduced cognitive function have been found to be linked. The researchers examined longitudinal data, five years apart, from 590 people. The aim was to track the change in kidney function that has taken place over that time period and to see whether it was associated with a reduction in cognitive functioning.
Lead author Adam Davey said, “The brain and kidney are both organs that are affected by the cardiovascular systems. They are both affected by things like blood pressure and hypertension, so it is natural to expect that changes in one organ are going to be linked with changes in another.”
The researchers found that the greater the reduction in kidney functioning the greater the reduction in cognitive function. “Those two tracked together, so this study provides us with evidence that the rate of cognitive decline is associated with deterioration in kidney function,” Davey added.
“As we get older, our kidney function tends to decrease naturally, so if there’s an extra issue involved in renal function like chronic kidney disease, we need to know about it as soon as possible. That is something that needs to be managed, just like you would manage hypertension. Patients are still going to be able to take their medicine on time and without assistance, as well as understand the information that their physician is sharing with them about their disease,” Davey concluded.
Treatments to manage impaired kidney function
Here are some tips to keep in mind to preserve your renal function:
- Pay attention to over-the-counter medications and follow the directions. Taking too many of some types of medications can increase the risk of kidney failure.
- Work closely with your doctor to manage kidney problems.
- Try to adhere to a healthy lifestyle as much as possible.
- Natural remedies to manage kidney failure include eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress, and reducing your intake of alcohol.
Foods you should eat with kidney failure include starches such as bread, cereal, rice, pasta, popcorn, and unsalted crackers, vegetables that are low or medium in potassium like bean sprouts, eggplant, lettuce, asparagus, celery, and mixed vegetables, fruits with low to medium potassium content like grapes, pears, peaches, mangoes, and blueberries, as well as dairy and small amounts of protein including beef, pork, poultry, and eggs.
Fats like butter, margarine, or oil should be limited to either one teaspoon or one tablespoon.
Foods to avoid with kidney failure are foods high in phosphorus or sodium. Some examples of these foods include biscuits, muffins, pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, cookies, pretzels, deli-style meat, processed cheese, canned fish, artichokes, spinach, potatoes, fresh beets, dates, oranges, frozen dinners, seasoned salts, soy sauce, and other condiments and sauces.
Your doctor will be able to fully specify which foods you can and cannot eat.
Essentially, adhering to a healthy lifestyle as best as possible can help maintain proper kidney function.