Being vigilant about protecting your health - Early CKD Support

Early CKD Support

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Being vigilant about protecting your health


Having been diagnosed with CKD, less than 2 weeks ago, I am determined to be vigilant about protecting my health, this winter. I am going to ask my PCP about cold medications before I get a cold, and have everything that is safe for me to take at home, in the next few weeks. I work with students that have cognitive and physical impairments, and I am going to start keep masks in my handbag.

If a student, colleague, friend or family member, or random person is suffering from a cold, and coughing and sneezing, in close proximity to me, I will move or I will not hesitate to put on a mask. I am already VERY good at washing my hands, etc.

Having kidney issues has to make you more susceptible to a lot of illnesses. Does anyone have any tips on how to protect ourselves out in the world, especially with cold and flu season coming quickly?

11 Replies

Hi MarBea,

I don't know of any bugs that you would need to steer clear of in every day situations. I recently had the flue and no apparent effect on my kidneys, I'm stage 3. The one I would watch out for is campylobacter (food poisoning) it shut down my Kidneys for 24 hours , but I'm back up and running. It was an extreme case with hours to live before medical intervention. Not a situation most people would experience so extreme. I try to avoid sniffs and sneezes for no other reason than I don't want them. Other than diet changes life should continue pretty much as normal down into stage 3A. Stage 3B take a little more care in what you do and eat, at stage 4 you should be under specialist care and follow their advice/instructions.

As we progress through the CKD stages diet requirements will change as does the need to be more cautious about our health. That's just a general idea and how I manage CKD.

Above all else don't get stressed out, there isn't a lot to worry about until stage 4 and at that point generally there is plenty of trained help and support available. If you take care of yourself and watch the diet there really isn't any reason to panic. just get on with living your life, we can not change what we have only slow it or stall it.


MarBea in reply to Cheyne13

Thank you so much Cheyne.

I had the H1N1 flu in 2018, that was the year it was pretty bad.

It took me down and hit me pretty hard, so I am a bit paranoid.

Thanks for alert for campylobacter, I am fairly picky anyway about eating out.

I steer clear of anything that is not cooked in restaurants.

Thanks for the sage advice

Cheyne13 in reply to MarBea

Believe it or not the food that got me was ham cross contaminated with chicken from a big supermarket chain. Vomited on the Sunday, diarrhoea until the Friday. No pain or anything else. Got talked into driving to the emergency dept where I was told that it was not diabetes playing up but my kidneys aren't functioning. The stools turned black Thursday morning, diarrhoea stopped Friday midday. Feeling good I drove into hospital late Friday afternoon. Had it not been for a good friend pushing me to do something I would have still been struggling to walk and dead. It took 4 days in quarantine before I was feed a massive dose of antibiotics as a last resort with still no answer to what I had. Having only diarrhoea put the specialist off what it was. I was given a choice, take what I give you in the hope it is what is needed, but it could kill you if it is wrong, or die tonight through doing nothing. On the 5th day and test results came through. Campylobacter. The lucky part was my wife and cat didn't have any ham that day and when she got around to the ham she cooked it without knowing it was the cause.

I am very picky as to what food I eat outside of the home now. No longer get slices from the Deli in preference to pre-packaged commercial products. Always keep the label for a week after consuming in case I need proof.

The result of all that is a corrupted stomach enzymes and IBS.

I feel like I keep getting rejected at deaths door. Something is looking after me!


It was a bad chest infection five years ago that really damaged my kidneys. The doctors think I had an extreme autoimmune response. It was too late for me as that brought me down to 17% kidney function which I held on to as long as I could but am now starting dialysis. Like you I tried to avoid situations where people have got colds and I carried some antibac lotion to use when in public places.

I've had my flu shot already, getting ready for the season.

Hi Marbea,

When I taught high school and DD adults, I had a huge bottle of hand sanitizer on my desk and smaller bottles everywhere. I also bought Kleenex by the case. Kids, no matter what age are a snotty bunch. I told them that if I caught someone sneezing without sanitizing, they would lose a privilege. I also said someone reminding others to sanitize they would get a reward. It worked pretty good. I also sanitized my classroom during cold season. Lysol and I were on a first name basis.

To this day I try not to touch handles when I can. I use my sleeves. I wash my hand constantly and carry sanitizer. I am a germ-a-phobe to the max and proud of it.

Getting an illness when you have CKD is no joke, no matter what. I lowers your strength. Take care to prevent in anyway you can.

MarBea in reply to Bassetmommer

Hi Bassetmommer,

I also use my sleeves a lot more often these days, and along with my small bottles of hand sanitizes, I have found a small pack of Kleenex to be very helpful.

I’m with Bassetmommer. I have hand sanitizer and use it all the time. We do art festivals and have to take money and talk to all kinds of people. Seems like every year I start to catch something, but I’m usually able to zap it if I immediately start taking an extra dose of zinc and drink lots of fruit/ veggie smoothies. This year I’m wearing rubber gloves to take money. I also make sure to dress in layers and always have gloves, hats and socks available so I don’t get cold. I get extra sleep and go to bed early and don’t take on more than I can handle especially during the holiday season. Since my type of CKD (IGAN) is autoimmune linked, I’m extra careful not to get sick. My GFR has declined in the past due to illness. It usually goes back up after weeks or months though, but I’m with you MarBea and take precautions.

MarBea in reply to Zazzel

Hi Zazzel,

Wearing gloves to handle money makes sense in your line of business.

Isn't it funny, how many times we run out without a hat on, when we should?

The extra sleep, going to bed early, trying to control stress and a little extra zinc, are some great tips.

Thank you

Do Get The Flu vaccination

Do Get The Flu vaccination and don't over worry about germs. Just continue good normal hygiene habits. Arm yourself with good advice on a safe diet. Use the N.H.S website for reliable information. Take care with salt, Phosphate and sulphates Slim down your protein intake and take lots of fluids as recommended. Enjoy lots of advice and tips on this 'site' We are all in this together. Your Stage of C.K.D may never get to another stage.

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