Your Seasonal Guide to Living with CKD: Autumn Edition

a grandmother living with CKD and her grandchild walking in the autumn

The change of seasons brings new activities, flavors, and experiences to look forward to, but what you may not know is the influence that the change of seasons has on your kidneys. When you’re living with CKD, temperatures, seasonal foods, and other factors may impact your health more than you may realize. At Durham Nephrology, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality care for people with kidney diseases and high blood pressure. Part of this care relies on supplying educational resources and information. This is why we’ve decided to create a quarterly installment of seasonal guides for living with CKD. We’re kicking off this series with the harvest season and providing an autumnal guide to living with CKD. In this blog, we will share dietary tips, exercise tips, and more so that you can make the most of the fall season while still keeping your health in mind.

What the Change of Seasons Means For Your Kidneys

Changing seasons doesn’t just mean it’s time to change out the wardrobe, but it can also mean changes are occurring in your body. Studies have shown that there is seasonal variation in blood pressure. The results of the study reported that Blood pressure varied throughout the year and that it maintained a cyclic pattern. Blood pressure increased from the autumn months toward winter and decreased toward the spring and warmer months. The observed seasonal variation of blood pressure in CKD patients didn’t correlate with the stage of CKD or change of body weight but instead was associated with outdoor temperatures. To help keep your blood pressure and kidney health in check, here are some tips for living with CKD this autumn:

Autumnal Eating Tips

Enjoy the flavors of the season

The harvest season is full of delicious flavors that taste good and are good for you. Squash, root vegetables, pumpkins, and apples can be used in a variety of recipes and dishes while boasting some high nutritional value. 

Be choosy with your treats

Just because you’re living with CKD doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some candy around Halloween. When choosing your treats, it’s best to limit the amount of dietary potassium and phosphorus found in solid chocolate, nuts, peanuts, peanut butter, caramel, and coconut candies. Other types of candy, including chewy, sour, and hard candies, are a better choice, although it’s always important to eat in moderation regardless of what you choose. 

Embrace cold-weather foods

With the changing temperatures comes an abundance of soups, chilis, and stews. Making your own soups from scratch is recommended so you can avoid the sodium and potassium present in store-bought broths. Soups that are herb and vegetable-based are healthy options to warm you up on chill autumn days.

Don’t forget to hydrate: In the hot summer months, it’s easier to remember to stay hydrated as a way to keep cool, but it’s just as important to maintain adequate water intake throughout the entire year. 

Autumnal Exercise Tips

Enjoy the cooler temperatures

Even though many regard spring and summer as the perfect time to spend time outside, those living with CKD have to be careful about subjecting themselves to warm temperatures. Midday heat should especially be avoided when exercising as high body temperatures can cause significant problems for the kidneys. In the fall, however, there are cooler days which can allow for more time spent outside. 

Enjoy seasonal activities

Exercise isn’t just confined to the gym! The autumn brings chances to get your steps in without making it feel like working out. Strolling through a pumpkin patch, apple picking, and even trick-or-treating with your children or grandchildren are fun seasonal ways to get active.


Even time spent at home can transform into time spent exercising if you choose to multitask. Jumping jacks, lunges, and crunches can all be done while watching football, or at least during the commercial breaks. 

Learn More

At Durham Nephrology, we provide comprehensive care to patients in Durham and Oxford, NC, with kidney disease and high blood pressure. Our team is experienced in providing treatment in a variety of kidney disease treatments and dialysis modalities. If you have questions about how seasonal changes can impact living with CKD, contact a Durham Nephrology provider or call 1 (866) 434-2597.


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