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What lifestyle changes will I need to make if I have renal artery disease?

In renal artery disease, blockages are present in the arteries that carry blood to your kidneys. These blockages are the result of a disease process called atherosclerosis (or hardening of the arteries), in which a fatty substance (plaque) builds up inside arteries. Because atherosclerosis takes place throughout your body, if you have renal artery disease, you are also at risk for blockages in arteries leading to the heart, brain, legs, feet, and arms. 
Your doctor will recommend that you modify your lifestyle to improve your cardiovascular health. Typical recommendations include the following:
  • Stop smoking
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet
  • Exercise on a regular basis
  • Control risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes
Making lifestyle changes can be difficult, but you don’t have to try to do it alone. Check with hospitals in your community for more support or join an online discussion group.
If you have renal artery disease, try to limit salt and saturated fat intake in your diet. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. You should discuss the need for blood pressure medicine with your doctor, as well as check your blood pressure regularly and provide this information to him or her.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.