How Is A Single Kidney Different
It needs more protection. Single normal kidneys tend to grow faster and get larger than normally paired kidneys. For this reason, single kidneys can be more vulnerable to injury especially from certain heavy contact sports.
Transplanted kidneys are also less protected than other kidneys because they are usually placed into the pelvis.
So if you have one functioning kidney it may be advisable to avoid sports including:
If you still want to participate in these sports make sure you are extra careful and always wear protective padding but always seek medical advice first.
Living With One Kidney And Drinking Alcohol
Many of the organs in your body are affected by alcohol, including your kidneys. Drinking in moderation usually doesnt harm your kidneys.
Alcohol increases the amount of urine you produce, but it also decreases your kidneys ability to filter blood. This can disrupt the fluid and electrolyte balance in your body, causing you to become dehydrated. If your body does not have enough fluid, the cells in your organs, including your kidneys, cannot function properly. It can eventually even cause permanent damage.
The liver is an important organ in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance. Liver damage from excessive alcohol interferes with this balance, making it more difficult for your kidneys to work properly. Also, smokers have a higher risk of kidney damage.
Can I Prevent Injury To My Solitary Kidney
You should let your health care professional know if you have a solitary kidney to prevent injury from medicines or medical procedures. Certain sports may be more likely to injure the kidney. This risk is of particular concern with children, as they are more likely to play sports. Talk with your health care professional about the specific sport and ways to lessen the risk of injury. Loss of the remaining working kidney will result in the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Read Also: What Does Flomax Do For Kidney Stones
Living With One Kidney: What To Know
- While most individuals have 2 kidneys, there is only one functioning kidney to lead an active, healthy lifestyle.
- If you only have one kidney, its crucial to keep it safe, and it is working correctly because there isnt a second kidney that can take over should it fail.
- A healthy lifestyle maintained by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and scheduling regular visits with your physician helps ensure that your kidneys are healthy.
- Read on to find out the details about life with just one kidney.
How Should People Living With A Single Kidney Be Fed
Living with a single kidney often does not require a special diet. But like people with two kidneys, its enough to eat a healthy and balanced diet. However, people with a single kidney may need to limit the amount of fluid they drink. In this regard, the doctor will give the necessary guidance.
If you have only one kidney due to an organ transplant, or if you have kidney disease, you may need to limit the amount of sodium, phosphorus, and protein in your diet. This is because your kidney cannot filter these substances from your blood very well, so these substances can accumulate in your body and cause various ailments.
Also Check: How To Save Kidneys Naturally
What If Your Lone Kidney Fails
The following symptoms may occur if your kidney fails:
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, you should call your doctor. Even if your lone kidney fails, you still have two options: dialysis and a kidney transplant.
You and your doctor can decide the best options should your kidney fail, but in the meantime, you should focus on taking care of your lone kidney and keeping it healthy.
Recommended Reading: Is Amoxicillin Good For Kidney Infection
Whats It Like To Live With One Kidney
Most people have two kidneys, but some only have one. There are three main reasons why this could be:
A person is born with only one kidney.
About one in 750 people is born with only one kidney. The medical term for this condition, which is more common in men than women, is renal agenesis. Usually its the left kidney that is missing. Because it is possible to be healthy with one kidney, some people dont find out they have one missing until its discovered on an X-ray or sonogram.
A kidney has been removed due to health problems.
A nephrectomy the surgical removal of a kidney can be necessary if a kidney has been damaged by cancer or another disease, or injured in an accident.
A person donates a kidney.
Every year, thousands of people donate one of their kidneys to someone in need of a healthy one. The recipient is often a blood relative or someone whos close to the donor, such as a spouse or friend. Approximately 87,000 kidneys from living donors were donated from 1988-2008.
What precautions should people take if they have one kidney?
Much of the advice that applies to living with one kidney goes for everybody: eat right, exercise, sustain a healthy weight, stay hydrated and get regular doctor checkups. However, there are special precautions that should be taken by someone living with a single kidney:
What happens if the kidney starts to fail?
Symptoms of kidney failure include:
Also Check: What Do Kidney Stones Feel Like Male
Do You Think Youll Need Dialysis
- Dialysis fulfills the role of your kidney by filtering blood, removing the excess fluid and waste. The procedure is only performed when youve lost all or most of your kidney function.
- As per the National Kidney Foundation, dialysis is only recommended if the kidneys lose up to 85-90% of their functions.
- Because you generally have the same kidney functioning when you only have one kidney in your body, you likely shouldnt require dialysis until your kidney is failing.
Can You Live With One Kidney
Eyes to see, a heart to pump blood, lungs to breathethe organs in our bodies play specific and vital roles to keep us alive. While all play an important part, it is possible to lead a healthy life without some organs, a kidney being one of them. Most people are born with two kidneys, which are bean-shaped organs that filter waste and excess water from your body. But, as many as 1 in 1,000 babies are born each year with only one kidney and go on to live healthy lives.
You probably have questions if you or your child are part of the 1 in 1,000 people born with one kidney. Is it hereditary? likely being one of the first. And the answer is no. In most cases, there is no known reason for being born with one kidney. Read on to find out other reasons why people have one kidney and how it can affect life.
You May Like: Is A Kidney Infection A Uti
Should I Be Checked For Kidney Problems
Childhood cancer survivors should have medical check-ups at least yearly that include a blood pressure check and urinalysis.
In addition, at your first long-term follow-up visit , you should have a blood test to assess your kidney function and electrolytes. If you have low levels of blood salts and minerals you may need to take prescription supplements to avoid long-term health problems, such as heart problems.
If you have high blood pressure, protein in the urine, or other signs of worsening kidney problems, you should see a kidney specialist .
Diet For Living With One Kidney
The best diet guidelines for living with one kidney will vary depending on your health status 9. Generally speaking, a kidney-healthy diet involves cutting down on sodium, measuring your protein intake, limiting high-fat foods and limiting alcohol 6.
If you’re a healthy person who made a living donation of your kidney, you can likely resume your normal eating habits after recovery. If you suffer from chronic kidney disease or kidney stones, your doctor may suggest certain dietary guidelines 12.
If your solitary kidney is healthy, you likely wont have any specific dietary restrictions. You can follow a kidney-healthy diet low in sodium and alcohol to help prevent any future issues.
Recommended Reading: How To Sleep After Kidney Surgery
Bonus #2 Bonus #: Free Lifetime Email Support
Theres a good chance that youll need assistance at some point or another throughout the course. This benefit lets you get in touch with their highly skilled expert team of naturopaths from anywhere and at any time. You can contact their customer support team any questions regarding the program. They also conduct regular follow-ups with customers to check on their progress in time.
Undergo Regular Medical Screening
When you have only one kidney, you have to protect the kidney through out the life. Unless you will loose the remaining kidney. Then you will have renal failure and has to be haemodialysis dependent patient. So it is necessary to under go regular medical check up and screening. Regular screening of blood pressure, blood sugar levels, Urine reports are some of the very important screenings to protect the kidney.
Read Also: Why Do We Have 2 Kidneys
Can I Continue Working
If youâre well enough, you can keep working for as long as you feel able.
Talk to your employer as soon as you feel your condition is affecting your ability to do your job so you can find a solution that suits both of you. For example, it may be possible for you to work part-time.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 requires employers to make reasonable adjustments to help a person with a disability.
This might, where possible, include changing or modifying tasks, altering work patterns, installing special equipment, allowing time off to attend appointments, or helping with travel to work.
Will I Be Able To Obtain Insurance Coverage After Donation
Your health insurance should not be affected by donation. The Affordable Care Act has made it illegal for health insurance companies to refuse to cover you or charge you more because you have a pre-existing condition.Some states in the U.S have passed the Living Donor Protection Act, which protects donors from being denied life, disability or long-term care insurance after donating. If youre in a state that hasnt yet passed this law, your transplant center is able to, if necessary, to provide a letter to your insurance.
Also Check: What Is A Kidney Belt Used For
Don’t Miss: What Not To Drink With Kidney Stones
How Does The Urinary System Work
The urinary system consists of the kidneys, the bladder and ureters. The kidneys filter the blood to remove waste products and form urine. Urine flows from the kidneys down through the ureters to the bladder. From here it passes through another tube to the outside, when urinating.The ureters join the bladder at an angle, creating a flap . This prevents urine flowing back from the bladder into the ureters and the kidneys . It also stops the high pressure created by urination from affecting the kidneys. This valve helps to get rid of the urine in the bladder in one go, as the urine cannot travel to anywhere else.
What Is Stage 4 Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease happens if your kidneys have been damaged. Kidneys can become damaged from a physical injury or a disease like diabetes or high blood pressure. Once your kidneys are damaged, they are not able to filter blood or do their other jobs well enough to keep you healthy. Some of the important jobs kidneys do:
- Help keep blood pressure under control
- Keep bones healthy
- Help make red blood cells
There are five stages of chronic kidney disease. The mildest are stages 1 and 2. In these early stages of kidney disease, the kidneys are damaged and not working at full strength. At stage 3, about half of kidney function has been lost. This can cause other problems, like high blood pressure or bone problems. Treatment of these problems is very important, and it can even help slow down the loss of kidney function. At stage 4, severe kidney damage has happened. At this stage, it is very important to slow the loss of kidney function by following your treatment plan, and managing other problems like high blood pressure or heart disease. Stage 5 is kidney failure. If kidney failure happens, you will need a kidney transplant or dialysis to live.
Read Also: Can Chronic Kidney Disease Be Prevented
Living With A Single Kidney And Kidney Transplant
A kidney transplant is only done when both kidneys are not working. Along with the risks of the procedure, the effects of medications youll need for the rest of your life can hinder the performance youll get from a second kidney. Thats why you dont need a second kidney most of the time.
If your only kidney is injured, sick, or stops working, only then may you be eligible for a transplant. You only get one kidney in a transplant. The transplanted kidney usually adapts successfully and works better over time.
What Is It Like To Live With One Kidney
Your kidneys absorb waste from your blood and extra fluid from your body and expel the waste from your body as urine. A kidney can filter enough blood to keep the body functioning normally. Thats why you can survive and be healthy with just one kidney.
If you only have one kidney, what you need to do for a healthy life is the same for people with two kidneys:
- Maintaining normal blood pressure and blood sugar
- Visiting your doctor regularly for check-ups
Also, if you only have one kidney, you must be careful to keep it working well. You should pay attention to the following:
- Protection from injury and trauma
- Avoiding the use of drugs that may be harmful, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Recommended Reading: What Is Filtrate In Kidney
Living With One Kidney: Diet
If you have one kidney your doctor may recommend the following changes in your diet:
- Limit Salt and Protein Intake Salt and protein can affect your blood pressure and how hard your kidneys must work to filter waste and excess fluid.
- Stay Hydrated Drinking plenty of water each day will promote healthy kidney function.
Can You Live With One Kidney Without Dialysis
Yes. One healthy kidney is capable of successfully filtering excess waste and fluid from your body. Dialysis is a process typically used when your kidneys have less than 15 percent function. Dialysis pumps your blood through a machine to filter out waste and excess water and then returns your blood to your body. If you have chronic kidney disease or end-stage kidney failure and are on dialysis, you may not need dialysis once you receive a kidney transplant. Living with one kidney after surgery can be similar to living with two healthy kidneys. Studies have shown that one transplanted kidney can increase in both size and function.
If you have one kidney your doctor may share some lifestyle considerations to keep you at your healthiest.
Don’t Miss: Can Running Cause Kidney Stones
Do What You Can To Manage The Complications Of Kidney Disease
Kidney disease can cause other health problems throughout your body including:
- Heart and blood vessel problems
- High blood pressure
- Poor nutritional health
If you have stage 4 kidney disease, you are probably experiencing some of these problems already. Your healthcare professional will work with you to develop a treatment plan to help manage these problems and keep them from getting worse. Treatment may include diet, exercise, and medications. It is very important that you follow your treatment plan because it can greatly improve your quality of life and how long you live. It can also help to slow or even stop kidney disease from getting worse â and it may even stop or delay kidney failure.
What Can I Do To Keep My Kidney Healthy
Follow these tips to help keep your kidney healthy:
- Drink plenty of water, especially when playing sports, while out in the sun, and during hot weather.
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal medicine. Make sure that they know that you have only one kidney.
- Use pain or fever medicine that contains aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen with caution. These drugs, called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , can cause kidney damage, especially when taken in high doses or when two or more are taken with caffeine or codeine over long periods of time. If you need long-term medicine for pain, talk with your doctor about treatment options that wont harm your kidneys.
You May Like: Is Coffee Good For Kidneys
Read Also: What Glands Sit On Top Of The Kidneys
Can A Person With One Kidney Participate In Sports
Physical exercise is healthy and good for you. However, it’s important for someone with only one kidney to be careful and protect it from injury. This recommendation applies to anyone with a single kidney, including people who were born with one kidney and people with a kidney transplant. Some doctors think it is best to avoid contact sports like football, boxing, hockey, soccer, martial arts, or wrestling.
Wearing protective gear such as padded vests under clothing can help protect the kidney from injury during sports. This can help lessen the risk, but it won’t take away the risk. Talk to your healthcare provider if you want to join in contact sports. You should always think about the risks involved in any activity, and carefully consider whether the risks outweigh the benefits.
What Is A Kidney Transplant
Kidneys are vital organs that filter blood to remove waste, extra fluid, and salt from the body. If they stop working, itâs called kidney failure. Someone with kidney failure must go on or get a kidney transplant.
A kidney transplant is an operation where doctors put a new kidney in the body of someone whose own kidneys no longer work. One healthy kidney will do the work of two failed kidneys.
Because people can survive with just one kidney, a living person can give a healthy kidney to someone with kidney failure. This is called being a donor. A kidney also can come from a donor who has recently died, but the wait for this kind of donated kidney can take a year or more.
Most kidney transplants are successful. People who have kidney transplants will take medicines for the rest of their lives to prevent the body from rejecting the kidney. Rejecting means that the bodyâs immune cells destroy the new kidney because they sense that itâs foreign.
But aside from that, many kids and teens who have kidney transplants go on to live normal, healthy lives after they recover from surgery.
Read Also: Can Seltzer Water Cause Kidney Stones
Recommended Reading: Is The Kidney An Organ