This is Part 2 of a 3-part blog about how you can best manage your CKD.
- Part 1: Aside from Your PPPS, You Need to Control These 4 Things As Well...
- Part 2: 4 Options to Track Your Kidney Functions: Pros vs. Cons [You Are Here]
- Part 3: RenalTracker: Will This Work for Me?
If you’ve read the previous article, then congratulations! You’ve learned vital information that will help you make the right choices when it comes to you and your CKD. (If you haven’t read the article, though, then you should read it first. Click here to read it.)
However, that was merely Step 1. There are a lot more important steps to take and things to consider. One of that would be the method you’d choose to keep track of your kidney health’s progress. There are options available, and like all other things, you will need to see their pros and cons.
(Heads up: at the end of the article, you will have free access to an online program headed by nephrologists from Mayo Clinic and is being used by 25,128 patients worldwide. Or, you can directly read about this program here.)
The “Pen-&-Paper” Method
PRO: The idea of keeping a food diary has been around for a long time. It’s basically making a chronicle of every bit of food you ate on a specific day, the nutritional values tied to each food item, and descriptions of what you felt before & after eating.
Nowadays, you can do it with a spreadsheet application like Microsoft Excel, or go old-fashioned with a notepad and a pen.
CON: Though keeping a food diary looks simple enough (I mean, all you need is a notebook, a pen, and food, right?), the trouble lies in keeping track of the nutrients. Most of what we eat, especially from restaurants and fast food establishments, do not come with a food label, so it would be hard to note whether your whole meal exceeded your daily nutrient limit or not.
Fitness and Health Management Apps
PRO: With the advent of technology, smartphones and (electronic) tablets have become quite common. In fact, you may be using one now as you are reading this. And with this advent come these fitness and health management applications. These programs give information/health tips and basically help monitor your health. A famous example of this is MyFitnessPal.
CON: They only target the general public. This poses problems for people with specific health needs, patients with ailments like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or CKD.
An example: you might get a health tip from one of these apps that bananas come with a multitude of benefits for an average person on a diet. But this boomerang-shaped fruit is heavy with potassium, which, for CKD patients, is additional strain on the kidneys.
Dialysis Centers and Clinics
PRO: This option is generally chosen by many CKD patients worldwide, albeit the ominous-sounding name. These establishments are generally clinics with “kidney classes”, where they teach you how to take care of your bean-shaped filters. They are usually easily accessible (almost every city/town has 2 or more in populated areas), and some even have websites online.
CON: The problem is, dialysis centers live up to their name. Good intentions aside, they mostly just cater to pre-dialysis/dialysis patients and, let’s face it, they profit more from those people than from someone who still has Stage 3 CKD and is looking for a way to stabilize his/her condition. If anything, they’d rather you speed things up & get on dialysis the soonest. Bitter truth, but it is what it is.
PRO: RenalTracker is an online program tailor-fit for CKD patients like you to help monitor your condition in-between doctor’s visits.
Like a food diary, it allows you to log your food intake. Unlike a food diary, it immediately saves and displays the nutrients you got from each food item. No need to use a calculator or to consult the internet for the amount of calories or sodium or any other nutrient you get.
Also, graphs of these nutrients are available anytime and, as a bonus, can be printed & shown to your doctor during your next visit. Don’t believe? Click here and check out the demo videos!
Like other fitness and health management apps, it gives health tips and helps you monitor your progress, exercises, and weight. Unlike the other apps, it has 1000+ kidney-safe recipes you can easily prepare come dinnertime. It’s like your very own renal-friendly cookbook! Click here to see how to access the 1000+ recipes!
Like dialysis centers and clinics, it also has classes in the form of the Weekly Kidney Boot Camp, where you’ll learn how to become a pro at kidney disease management through lessons, exercises, and life-hacks. Plus, have your personal health coach answer your concerns and questions with the 1-on-1 coaching feature.
Unlike those clinics, well, let’s just say the RenalTracker has worked with Stanford Labs, Mayo Clinic, Health Valley, and about 1,374 CKD patients worldwide to ensure that this program is out to genuinely assist patients and not send them off faster into dialysis. (See who else the RenalTracker has been working with by clicking here.)
CON: Well, there isn’t one really. Unless you count the subscription cost a “heavy” burden. Like what said on the previous article, that's just about $1.50 a day. Compared to the annual cost of dialysis which amounts to about $72,000, it’s a fairly easy decision to make.
What makes this an even easier decision? There’s a 7-day free trial for Renal Tracker after you sign-up, and you can test the program out to experience it firsthand. And, if you don’t like it, cancel anytime.
Anyway you look at it, you won’t lose anything if you try. So, click below to proceed to RenalTracker.com and sign-up for the 7-day Free Trial!