Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

To help keep your kidneys healthier:

  • Take steps to reduce your blood pressure. Keeping your blood pressure levels near normal may help slow kidney damage from IgA nephropathy. Your doctor may recommend healthy changes in your diet — including limiting your salt intake — losing excess weight, being physically active, using alcohol in moderation and remembering to take your blood pressure medications as ways to keep your blood pressure under control.
  • Monitor your blood pressure levels at home. Note each reading and bring this record with you to your doctor's appointments.
  • Eat less protein. Reducing the amount of protein you eat and taking steps to decrease your cholesterol levels may help slow the progression of IgA nephropathy and protect your kidneys.

Coping and support

Coping with severe forms of IgA nephropathy can be challenging. But you don't have to do it alone. If you have questions or need guidance, talk with a member of your health care team.

You might also benefit from joining a support group, which can provide both empathetic listening and helpful information. To find out about support groups in your area that deal with kidney disease, ask your doctor. Or contact the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) to learn about PEERS Lending Support, a national, telephone-based peer support program from NKF. Call 855-653-7337 to participate.

Prevention

Because the cause of IgA nephropathy isn't known, it's not possible to prevent it. But if you have a family history of IgA nephropathy, talk with your doctor to find out what steps you can take to keep your kidneys healthy, such as reducing high blood pressure and keeping your cholesterol at healthy levels.