Wednesday, June 15, 2022
HomeNewsCan You Live Without Your Kidneys

Can You Live Without Your Kidneys

How Do I Prepare For A Kidney Transplant

10 Organs You Can Actually Live Without

To get a kidney from an organ donor who has died , you must beplaced on a waiting list of the United Network for Organ Sharing .Extensive testing must be done before you can be placed on the transplantlist.

A transplant team carries out the evaluation process for a kidney. The teamincludes a transplant surgeon, a transplant nephrologist , one or moretransplant nurses, a social worker, and a psychiatrist or psychologist.Other team members may include a dietitian, a chaplain, and/or ananesthesiologist.

The evaluation includes:

  • Mental health evaluation. Psychological and social issues involved in organ transplantation, such as stress, financial issues, and support by family and/or significant others are assessed. These issues can greatly affect the outcome of a transplant. The same kind of evaluation is done for a living donor.

  • Blood tests. Blood tests are done to help find a good donor match, to check your priority on the donor list, and to help the chances that the donor organ will not be rejected.

  • Diagnostic tests. Diagnostic tests may be done to check your kidneys as well as your overall health status. These tests may include X-rays, ultrasound, kidney biopsy, and dental exams. Women may get a Pap test, gynecology evaluation, and a mammogram.

The transplant team will weigh all the facts from interviews, your medicalhistory, physical exam, and tests to determine your eligibility for kidneytransplantation.

These steps will happen before the transplant:

What Questions Should I Ask About Hemodialysis

You may want to ask your health care provider these questions:

  • Is hemodialysis the best treatment choice for me? Why?
  • If Im treated at a dialysis center, can I go to the center of my choice?
  • What should I look for in a dialysis center?
  • Will my kidney doctor see me at the dialysis center?
  • What does hemodialysis feel like?
  • How will hemodialysis affect my ____ ?
  • Is home hemodialysis available in my area? What type of training will I need? Who will train my partner and me?
  • Will I be able to keep working? Can I have treatments at night? Will I be able to care for my children?
  • How much should I exercise?
  • Who do I contact if I have problems?
  • Who will be on my health care team? How can the members of my health care team help me?
  • If I do home hemodialysis, will my insurance pay for more than three sessions a week?
  • Who can I talk with about finances, sex, or family concerns?
  • Can I talk with someone who is on dialysis?

Learn about hemodialysis.

Why Might I Need A Kidney Transplant

You may need a kidney transplant if you have end stage renal disease. This is a permanent condition of kidney failure. It often needsdialysis. This is a process used to remove wastes and other substances fromthe blood.

The kidneys:

  • Remove urea and liquid waste from the blood in the form of urine. Urea is made when foods containing protein, such as meat, poultry, and certain vegetables, are broken down in the body. Urea is carried in the blood to the kidneys.

  • Balance salts, electrolytes, such as potassium and sodium, and other substances in the blood

  • Produce erythropoietin, a hormone that aids the formation of red blood cells

  • Regulate blood pressure

  • Regulate fluid and acid-base balance in the body to keep it neutral. This is needed for normal function of many processes within the body

Some conditions of the kidneys that may result in ESRD include:

  • Repeated urinary infections

  • Polycystic kidney disease or other inherited disorders

  • Glomerulonephritis, which is inflammation of the kidney’s filtering units

  • Hemolytic uremic syndrome, a rare disorder that causes kidney failure

  • Lupus and other diseases of the immune system

  • Obstructions

Other conditions, such as congenital defects of the kidneys, may result inthe need for a kidney transplant.

There may be other reasons for your healthcare provider to recommend akidney transplant.

Also Check: Is Matcha Bad For Your Kidneys

What If I Was Born With Only One Working Kidney

In general, most people with a single, healthy kidney have few problems. However, some long term problems have been seen in some people.

In some people who were born with a single kidney, or had a kidney removed during childhood, there is a chance of some slight loss in kidney function later in life. This usually takes 25 years or more to happen. There may also be a chance of having high blood pressure later in life. However, the loss in kidney function is usually very mild, and life span is normal. Most people with one kidney live healthy, normal lives with few problems.

In other words, one healthy kidney can work as well as two.

Do Not Smoke Or Drink Too Much Alcohol

Can You Live Without Your Kidneys?

Try to;stop smoking completely and limit the amount of alcohol you drink.

Both men and women are advised not to drink more than 14;units of alcohol a week on a regular basis.

Drinking too much alcohol;and smoking;both raise your blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the most common causes of kidney disease.

Don’t Miss: How Do Doctors Check For Kidney Stones

Reasons For Having One Kidney

Again, most people are born with two working kidneys.But sometimes, just one kidney works. And some people are born with only one kidney.

The reasons for this may vary and can include:

  • Renal agenesis a condition where someone is born with only one kidney.
  • Kidney dysplasia a condition where someone is born with two kidneys but only one of them works.
  • Kidney removal certain diseases may require you to actually have one of your kidneys removed.
  • Living-donor kidney transplant you can donate one of your kidneys to a person who needs a kidney transplant.

Yes You Can Live Without Kidneys

I live in Japan, but I’m not a native speaker. So when I say “I have no kidneys” in Japanese, most people assume I’m screwing up the language. When I say it in English, people eye me suspiciously and say, “Uh … I thought you couldn’t live without kidneys.”

Well, yes, in theory. You’re not supposed to be able to live without kidneys. But thanks to the miracle of modern medicine, dialysis three times a week, and a fanny pack full of drugs, I can “extend my survival.” You see, I have an affliction called polycystic kidney disease , which made my kidneys swell up to the point that they were crushing my OTHER organs and I looked like Arnold Schwarzenegger in . For reference, this image should give you a basic idea of the Hulkamaniacal monsters my kidneys became:

Unfortunately, when your kidneys mutate to that size, surgery isn’t actually an option. The inside of your body is a pretty tightly packed place to begin with. Having kidneys several times larger than they are meant to be squished everything together like cheap luggage, and I was told that a normal nephrectomy would be too dangerous: Scraping two basketball-sized kidneys out of my torso carried a high risk of damaging one of my normal-sized, bullied organs, as well as a sky-high risk of infection.

Don’t Miss: Can Pepsi Cause Kidney Stones

Who Is This For

This is for anybody who has kidney ailments or for people that have the symptoms. People searching for preventative treatments may also benefit from this.

It works best for people who have limited access or alternatives to take care of their kidney disease. There arent any side effects since the therapies they used only involve natural medicine.

It helps reverse the kidney disease stage youre in and avoid remedies like transplants or dialysis.

It Can Sometimes Do The Work Of Two

Your Body Can Survive Without These Organs

Tests have shown that some people who have had one kidney removed can have increased function in their remaining kidney. These increased function levels can equate to around 70 per cent of that normally achieved by two kidneys.

If someone is born with a single kidney, their overall kidney function is often normal.

Don’t Miss: Is Kidney Stones Considered Kidney Disease

What Is Done To Prevent Rejection

To allow the transplanted kidney to survive in your body, you will be givenmedicines for the rest of your life to fight rejection. Each person mayreact differently to medicines.

New antirejection medicines are continually being developed and approved.Your healthcare team will tailor medicine regimes to meet your needs.

Usually several antirejection medicines are given at first. The doses ofthese medicines may change often, depending on your response. Becauseantirejection medicines affect the immune system you will be at higher riskfor infections. A balance must be maintained between preventing rejectionand making you very susceptible to infection.

Some of the infections you will be especially at risk for include oralyeast infection ,herpes, and respiratory viruses. Avoid contact with crowds and anyone who has aninfection for the first few months after your surgery.

Your thoughts matter to us. Join our community today.

Johns Hopkins Medicine Virtual Advisors is a group ofindividuals who share their insights about the Johns Hopkins careexperience. One to two times per month, Virtual Advisors receive a link toshort, interactive surveys. All responses are confidential.

The Role Of Kidneys In The Human Body

Although many people dont think about their kidneys, they are some of the hardest-working organs in the body. The kidneys are responsible for filtering more than 120 quarts of blood every single day. The waste products that are filtered out are quickly eliminated by the body in the form of urine, composed of excess salts, fats, toxins and liquid. ;The ureter is connected to the kidney , and flows down into the bladder, where urine is stored and then eliminated from the body.

Aside from assuring that waste is properly disposed of, kidneys are also critical to the balance of electrolytes in our body. Minerals like sodium, potassium and calcium, among others, help to maintain water balance in the system, as well as optimize nervous system communication. Without the kidneys functioning, or present, the body would not be able to function. The composition of our blood must remain stable, if we are to remain healthy, and the kidneys guarantee that happens.

Furthermore, kidneys produce key hormones that the body requires, such as hormones for strengthening bones, creating new red blood cells and maintaining blood pressure. Clearly, while the kidneys are often overlooked behind major organs like the brain, heart and lungs, they are just as critical to our survival.

You May Like: What Is Acute Kidney Failure

Feeling Tired Or Sluggish During The Day

Everyone has a day when they feel tired maybe you didnt get enough sleep, or ate the wrong foods, or some other temporary factors are at play. But sometimes, fatigue is caused by lack of a hormone called erythropoietin, or EPO. The main function of EPO is to stimulate the production of red blood cells, and red blood cells carry energizing oxygen to cells throughout your body.

Stressed kidneys do not produce enough EPO, thereby reducing the number of red blood cells and making you feel weak and tired out.

Can Dialysis Keep You Alive If Your Kidney Are Removed

5 Foods That Are Toxic for Your Kidneys

There are two types of dialysis peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis. In the former, your blood is actually cleaned inside the body, by injecting a fluid into the abdominal cavity that will absorb waste products in the blood. This liquid can then be removed, along with the toxins. The more intensive and common form is hemodialysis, in which the blood is removed from the body, filtered, and then returned to the body. This process can take hours to complete, and must be done 2-3 times per week.

Depending on the intricacies of your hemodialysis treatment, you may be able to perform it at home, but this often requires more frequent filtering.;Essentially, it is possible to live without your kidneys, but the need for dialysis is a life-changing medical condition that you will need for the rest of your life. Dialysis can often be used for years or decades, and is the only option for many people who are waiting for a healthy kidney. While some people do eventually get a kidney through donor programs, the lists are quite long, with thousands;of people waiting for a life-saving;organ.

Related ArticlesRelated Articles

Our best advice is to keep your kidneys healthy, and if you think there is a problem with one of your internal organs, get it checked immediately, so you can either have peace of mind, or access to early medical care. Your kidneys may only be the size of your fists, but they are incredibly important to life as we know it!

Read Also: How Can You Find Out If You Have Kidney Stones

What Color Is Urine When Your Kidneys Are Failing

When kidneys are failing, the increased concentration and accumulation of substances in urine lead to a darker color which may be brown, red or purple. The color change is due to abnormal protein or sugar, high levels of red and white blood cells, and high numbers of tube-shaped particles called cellular casts.

What Is Stage 4 Chronic Kidney Disease

Stage 4 chronic kidney disease is defined as having a GFR of 1539 ml/min. This means your kidneys have lost nearly 8590 percent of its function and will require the assistance medical therapy.

Declining kidney function results in the build of waste products in the blood that can lead to several complications. This includes high blood pressure, anemia, bone disease, heart disease, and other cardiovascular diseases. If these complications are not taken care of promptly, it can lead can severe health consequences.

Also read: Stage 3 chronic kidney disease: Symptoms, diet, and treatment

Recommended Reading: Is Grape Juice Good For Kidney Stones

What Are The Pros And Cons Of In

Pros: Dialysis center

  • Dialysis centers are widely available in many parts of the country.
  • Trained health care providers are with you at all times and help provide the treatment.
  • You can get to know other people with kidney failure who also need hemodialysis.
  • You dont have to have a trained partner or keep equipment in your home.

Cons: Dialysis center

  • The center arranges treatments, so your schedule is less flexible.
  • You must travel to the center for treatment.
  • A longer time between treatments means you will have the strictest limits on diet and liquidsbecause wastes and extra fluid can build up in your body. Having too much fluid in your blood can raise blood pressure and stress your heart. Removing too much fluid too fast during standard hemodialysis also can stress the heart.
  • You may have more ups and downs in how you feel from day to day because of the longer time between treatments.
  • Feeling better after a treatment may take a few hours.

Pros: Home hemodialysis

  • You gain a sense of control over your treatments.
  • You can choose what time to have the treatment; however, you should follow your doctors orders about how many times a week you need treatment.
  • You dont have to travel to a dialysis center.
  • The flexible schedule makes it easier to work outside the home.
  • You can travel with a hemodialysis machine or arrange for in-center treatment at your destination.
  • Youll have fewer ups and downs in how you feel from day to day because of more frequent treatments.
  • Is Kidney Failure Permanent

    What is it like to live with 1 kidney?

    Usually, but not always. Some kinds of acute kidney failure, also known as acute renal failure, get better after treatment. In some cases of acute kidney failure, dialysis may only be needed for a short time until the kidneys get better.

    In chronic or end stage kidney failure, your kidneys do not get better and you will need dialysis for the rest of your life. If your doctor says you are a candidate, you may choose to be placed on a waiting list for a new kidney.

    Also Check: Does Lyme Disease Affect Your Kidneys

    When And What To Discuss With Doctor About Stage 4 Ckd

    Having a close relationship with your doctor is vital for optimal kidney disease treatment. You should disclose any problems and concerns that you may be having as well as symptoms that develop. This is important as your doctor will be able to pick out and investigate potential problems before they become any more serious.

    For the sake of convenience, you may discuss with your doctor your dialysis options and whether you can perform dialysis from the comfort of your own home. Speaking directly to a nephrologist will also provide more insight into your condition.

    Those with stage 4 kidney disease are expected to visit their doctor at least every three months, getting a full workup and making sure the treatment plan is working well.

    What Are The Basics About Conservative Management

    Conservative management for kidney failure means that your health care team continues your care without dialysis or a kidney transplant. The focus of care is on your quality of life and symptom control.The decision to start dialysis is yours. For most people, dialysis may extend and improve quality of life. For others who have serious conditions in addition to kidney failure, dialysis may seem like a burden that only prolongs suffering.

    You have the right to decide how your kidney failure will be treated. You may want to speak with your family, doctor, counselor, or renal social workerwho helps people with kidney diseaseto help you make this decision.

    If you decide not to begin dialysis treatments, you may live for a few weeks or for several months, depending on your health and your remaining kidney function. Many of the complications of kidney failure can be treated with medicines, but only dialysis or transplant can filter wastes from your blood. As your kidney function declines, you may want to consider adding hospice, or end-of-life, care. You can have hospice care in a facility or at home. The hospice program is designed to meet end-of-life physical and emotional needs. Hospice care focuses on relieving pain and other symptoms.

    Recommended Reading: What Causes Kidneys To Hurt

    RELATED ARTICLES

    Most Popular