Keeping Up Your Kidney Disease Plan During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Right now, you’re probably spending much of your time at home and away from others. For someone with kidney disease, that’s a key strategy for protecting yourself from coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

But when your chronic condition requires ongoing medical care, this time of isolation can be even more difficult. Fortunately, telemedicine and video visits can give you access to care from the safety of your home. It can help you stay in touch with your doctor as you continue to manage your condition.

The Online Doctor Is In

Kidney disease — like diabetes, asthma, heart disease and certain other conditions — puts you at higher risk for complications or serious illness if you contract coronavirus. But by keeping your kidney disease well-controlled, you may be able to lower that risk, says the CDC. And staying in touch with your physician for routine care can help.

Use the AdventHealth app to connect virtually with your doctor. You can have a video visit for any regularly scheduled appointments in the safety and comfort of home.

You can easily reach your doctor online for support to help manage your kidney disease and any other conditions you may have, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Contact your care team to discuss:

  • Controlling your blood sugar, if you have diabetes
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Lowering stress and anxiety
  • Managing blood pressure, if needed
  • Refilling prescriptions
  • Treating depression, if needed

You may need periodic tests to monitor the health of your kidneys. These include tests to check your glomerular filtration rate and your urine albumin. To help protect you from coronavirus, your physician may advise delaying these tests for now.

In some cases, you may need dialysis or other ongoing treatments outside your home. Talk with your doctor about how best to manage these treatments. Your doctor can explain what precautions to take, such as the CDC’s recommendation to cover your mouth and nose, if you need to go to an appointment.

Best Practices to Protect Yourself From Coronavirus

Along with staying home as much as possible, you can take other steps to protect yourself from coronavirus. The CDC recommends these best practices for people who are at higher risk for a serious COVID-19 illness:

  • Avoid people who are sick
  • Avoid traveling by plane and cruise ship
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces often
  • Keep up the frequent hand-washing

To successfully stay at home as much as possible, make sure you have what you need on hand. It’s best to have enough supplies for a few weeks, especially if you become sick and need to self-isolate. Take stock of the following:

Your prescriptions. Talk with your physician about getting an extra supply of prescription medicines, if needed. Your pharmacy may be able to deliver your medication to you. Or check if you can use a mail-order service.

Over-the-counter medicines. To be prepared for any illness, make sure you have over-the-counter medicines that could help lower a fever or ease other symptoms, like a cough. But be sure to call or video chat your doctor to discuss what over-the-counter medicines are safe for you.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, some over-the-counter medicines — namely nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen — can damage your kidneys.

Other supplies, like groceries and household items. Don’t forget to make sure you have enough tissues, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer and hand soap in your home. You should also stock your fridge and pantry with enough groceries to last a few weeks.

Cold, Flu and Coronavirus

As careful as you are, there is always a chance you may get sick, and it can sometimes be hard to tell what’s causing your symptoms. Learn more about telling the difference between coronavirus, the flu and the common cold in this article.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. But some people have reported other symptoms like fatigue, sore throat and body aches. Contact your physician right away through the AdventHealth app if you start to experience any unusual symptoms.

Because you have a chronic condition that puts you at higher risk for a severe case of COVID-19, it’s important not to delay talking with your doctor. Your physician can decide on next steps, including if you need to be seen in person.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, you should avoid the emergency department at your local hospital except in the event of an emergency.

The CDC advises that you call 911 immediately if you have these severe symptoms, which may be signs of coronavirus:

  • Bluish lips or face
  • Confusion or inability to stay awake
  • Ongoing chest pain or pressure
  • Trouble breathing

Up-to-Date Information You Can Trust

We’re here with the whole-health support you need through every age and stage of life. We understand that it can be difficult to know where to turn for updates and information during this pandemic. Visit our Coronavirus Resource Hub to stay up-to-date on the latest recommendations and find answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19.

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