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How To Live Healthy With One Kidney

Choose The Right Types Of Fat

Kidney Donation: Living With One Kidney (Dramatic Health)

Fat gives you energy and helps you use some of the vitamins in your food. You need some fat in your eating plan to stay healthy. Too much fat can lead to weight gain and heart disease. Limit fat in your meal plan, and choose healthier fats when you can, such as olive oil.

Choosing the right types of fat is also part of a heart-healthy eating plan called DASH.

Are Dietary Changes Needed

In general, people with one healthy kidney dont need special diets. However, its always good to:

  • have a healthy well-balanced diet
  • reduce your salt intake

Dietary restrictions arent usually necessary for people who have received a transplanted kidney but its still worth following a healthy diet and watching your salt intake. However, you will probably be advised to avoid fresh grapefruit or grapefruit juice because they can interfere with certain medications. If you are advised by your kidney consultant to make specific changes to your diet, ask to be referred to the renal dietitian and follow their advice.

For more information about diet and kidney disease take a look at our dietary hints and tips.

What Exams Should Be Performed

When you have only one kidney, you should go to the doctor regularly, in order to perform tests that help to verify that the kidney continues to function normally.

The tests that are usually performed to assess kidney function are the glomerular filtration rate test, which assesses how the kidneys are filtering toxic substances from the blood, analysis of proteins in the urine, since a high level of proteins in the urine it can be a sign of kidney problems, and blood pressure measurement, because the kidneys help control it and in people with only one kidney, it may be slightly elevated.

If any of these tests reveal changes in kidney function, the doctor must establish treatment to prolong the life of the kidney.

Watch the following video and learn what to eat to lower your high blood pressure:

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Can You Drink Alcohol With Only One Kidney

Many of your bodys organs are affected by alcohol including your kidneys. Drinking in moderation usually wont harm your kidneys.

Alcohol increases the amount of urine you produce but reduces your kidneys ability to filter blood. This disrupts the fluid and electrolyte balance in your body, and you become dehydrated.

Without enough fluid in your body, the cells in your organs, including your kidneys, cant function properly. Eventually it may cause permanent damage.

Your liver is also important for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance. Liver damage from excessive alcohol interferes with this balance, making it even harder for your kidneys to work correctly.

The risk of kidney damage is even higher for heavy drinkers who also smoke.

Alcohol has this effect whether you have one or two kidneys, but it may lead to kidney failure more quickly when you only have one functioning kidney.

Can You Live With One Kidney

Living with One Kidney: Can a person 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.

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How Long Can You Survive With One Kidney

Most people are born with two kidneys, but a few are born with just one. They may not even know they have only one kidney, until they undergo a medical test and find out that one is missing . A few are also born with two kidneys, but only one of them is functional, and the other is not . Still, others may have one kidney surgically removed in order to treat a disease like cancer or an injury that damaged the organ.Organ donors may also give up one kidney to help someone who needs a kidney transplant. In the same manner, a person who has chronic renal failure and receives a kidney transplant has only one kidney to support life. So what happens to a person with just one kidney?

Most people who have just one healthy kidney live normal, healthy lives.

One kidney functions just like two, although it may grow bigger into a size that approximates the size of two kidneys combined. Some people with a single kidney develop high blood pressure later in life and experience some loss in kidney function. However, this happens over a very long time and the effect is usually very mild, so their life span remains normal.

However, one disadvantage of having only one kidney is that you do not have another one to take over its function in case something serious happens to it. Therefore, for people who have only one kidney, it is important to do everything it takes to stay healthy and protect their valuable organ.

Taking Care Of A Single Kidney

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 .

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It Can Sometimes Do The Work Of Two

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.

What’s It Like To Live With One Kidney

Living with one kidney

One single kidney in place of two is a scenario which is often termed as solitary kidney.

Who has a solitary kidney?

  • Their body functions normally and is generally not unhealthy. This is also known as renal agenesis.
  • In some cases, people are born with two kidneys with just one of them healthy and fully functional. The other one does not function fully or partially. This condition is known as kidney dysplasia.
  • A person who had to undergo a kidney removal surgery such a surgery is conducted when a person has an infected kidney or diseased, malfunctioning/cancerous growths on the kidney.
  • A person who has donated a kidney to someone who required kidney transplantation.
  • What potential health risks does a person with a solitary kidney have?

  • Normally, a person born with a single kidney does not have any such potential health risks. They are generally healthy and lead normal lives.
  • Later in life, there may or may not be a slight loss or degradation in the functioning of the kidney.
  • The life span of a person with a single kidney is normal. There is no apparent effect on mortality rates.
  • What kind of special diet must a person with a single kidney follow?

  • There is no need of any such special diet for a person with a single kidney.
  • Normal healthy balanced diet with all the essential nutrients should suffice.
  • You must be careful about your animal protein intake and calcium supplements.
  • Exercises and Physical activities for a person with a single kidney:

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    Is Living With One Kidney Safe

    The thought of living with one kidney can be extremely scary however, when the right precautions are taken, a life with only one kidney can be meaningful and safe with a normal life span. When there is only one kidney present, it will grow faster and becomes larger than if it was paired with another because the kidney is heavier and much larger than if there were two, it is more vulnerable to damage and injury. In order to live with one kidney safely, it is important that you avoid certain chores that require heavy lifting and stay away from contact sports such as football, wrestling, ice hockey, field hockey and boxing. Physical activities are always good for your health however, the activities you participate in must be carefully chosen with your health condition in mind. If you must play heavy contact sport, it is highly recommended that you wear protective padding and must be as careful as possible when playing.

    People with one kidney have little to no health issues at all however, long-term complications have been diagnosed in individuals who were born with one kidney or had a kidney removed during childhood. Most doctors, therefore, recommend that these people should have frequent check-ups. Some conditions that may occur with the removal of the kidney in early childhood or in people born with one kidney include abnormal kidney functions higher than normal blood pressure and abnormal amount of proteins in the urine.

    What Previous Treatments Can Cause Kidney Problems

    Radiation involving the kidneys can cause problems, including:

    • Kidney radiation
    • Abdominal radiation

    Certain medications that can cause kidney damage include:

    • Cisplatin and Carboplatin
    • Certain antibiotics used to treat bacterial and fungal infections, such as tobramycin, gentamicin, and amphotericin
    • Certain medications used to treat graft-versus-host disease, such as cyclosporine and tacrolimus

    Other risk factors that may increase the chance of kidney problems include:

    • Nephrectomy
    • Medical conditions that may affect the kidney, such as high blood pressure or diabetes
    • History of urinary tract problems, such as frequent urinary tract infections, back-flow of urine into the kidney , or other urinary tract abnormalities
    • Family history of kidney disease
    • Cystectomy this increases the risk of chronic urinary tract infections and other kidney problems

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    Will You Need Dialysis

    Dialysis performs the function of your kidney by filtering your blood and removing waste and extra fluid. Its only done when youve temporarily or permanently lost most or all of your kidney function.

    According to the National Kidney Foundation, dialysis should be started only if your kidneys have lost 85 to 90 percent of their function. Since you usually have nearly normal kidney function when you have one kidney, you wont need dialysis unless your kidney fails.

    You should see your healthcare provider at least once a year to evaluate your single kidney. If a problem develops, you should be checked more often.

    Two tests are used to evaluate your kidney function:

    • The glomerular filtration rate indicates how well your kidneys are filtering blood. Its calculated using the creatinine level in your blood.
    • The amount of protein in your urine is measured to determine if the filters in your kidney are damaged and leaky. High levels of protein in your urine is a sign of kidney dysfunction.

    Your blood pressure also must be measured.

    High blood pressure can be a sign of kidney dysfunction. It can also damage the blood vessels in your kidney, which can make kidney dysfunction worse.

    Lifestyle changes and medication can lower your blood pressure and avoid further kidney damage.

    200,000 people in the United States have a functioning transplanted kidney.

    If your solitary kidney gets injured or sick and stops working, you might be eligible for a transplant.

    Causes Of Kidney Failure

    Life With One Kidney

    Some of the causes of kidney failure include:

    • diabetes even if it is well managed, diabetes can cause kidney damage
    • glomerulonephritis swelling or inflammation of the tiny filtering units in the kidney. Also known as nephritis
    • polycystic kidney disease an inherited condition that causes thousands of cysts to form in the kidneys
    • urinary reflux a bladder-valve problem that allows urine to flow back into the kidneys, causing scarring
    • medications some drugs such as lithium and cyclosporin can cause kidney failure. Continued misuse of compound analgesic preparations was once a common cause of permanent kidney damage. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , taken in normal therapeutic doses, may occasionally cause acute kidney failure
    • medullary cystic kidney disease an inherited kidney disease that leads to the kidneys gradually losing their ability to work properly due to cysts in the centre of the kidneys.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Solitary Kidney

    In general, people born with kidney agenesis or kidney dysplasia show no symptoms, lead full healthy lives, and may never discover they have a solitary kidney. Some people discover they have a solitary kidney by chance after having an x-ray, an ultrasound, or surgery for an unrelated condition or injury. A minority of people develop progressive loss of kidney function, and they can develop symptoms associated with chronic kidney disease.

    A small percentage of babies born with kidney agenesis have other birth defects, such as an absent anus, an absent or smaller-than-normal bladder, an absent or smaller-than-normal uterus, a smaller-than-normal lung, club feet, or a hole in the heart wall separating the two lower heart chambers.5

    What Follow Up Is Recommended

    Have a medical check-up at least yearly. This should include a blood pressure check and urine analysis.

    Have a blood test for kidney function and electrolytes at your long-term follow-up visits. If problems are detected, follow your doctors recommendations. People with low levels of blood salts and minerals may need to take supplements . This can be important for long-term health. For example, persistently low levels of blood magnesium can lead to heart problems.

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    What Causes A Solitary Kidney

    • birth defects.
    • Some people are born with only one kidney because the other kidney never developeda condition known as renal agenesis or kidney agenesis. A solitary kidney is sometimes diagnosed before birth by a routine prenatal ultrasound sometimes it is diagnosed later in life after an x-ray, an ultrasound, or a surgery for an unrelated clinical condition.
    • Some people are born with one normal kidney and another abnormal, nonfunctioning kidney that may eventually shrink so it is no longer visible on x-ray or ultrasound before or sometime after birth. That condition is known as kidney dysplasia.
  • surgical removal of a kidney. Some people must have a kidney removed to treat kidney cancer or another disease or injury. That surgery is known as a nephrectomy. When a kidney is removed surgically, the ureter is also removed.
  • kidney donation. A growing number of people are donating a kidney to be transplanted into a family member or friend whose kidneys have failed. Many people even donate a kidney to a stranger in need.
  • How To Live With Only One Kidney

    E 10: Living With One Kidney: Nutrition guidance if you have one kidney or partial nephrectomy
    • 18.2.2020

    Some people live with only one kidney, which can happen for several reasons, such as one of them failing to function properly, having to extract due to a urinary obstruction, cancer or traumatic accident, after a donation for transplant or even due to a disease known as renal agenesis, in which the person is born with only one kidney.

    These people can have a healthy life, but for that they must take some care in their food, practice physical exercise regularly, which is not too aggressive and make frequent consultations with the doctor.

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    How Does It Affect Overall Health

    Im not going to lie people with just one kidney, either from birth defect or surgery, have extra health issues to face. When born with a solitary kidney, often it functions perfectly well for a number of years. However, as the years goes on, kidney function begins to deteriorate.

    The New York University School of Medicine funded a study on adults with solitary kidney, showing: 8% have increased protein in the urine, 21% have increased creatinine levels, 20%-50% have high blood pressure.

    Oddly, though, having one kidney is not linked to a shorter life expectancy.

    Nevertheless, these statistics show that a single kidney can slowly begin to deteriorate over the course of a lifetime. While children may show normal kidney function, the lifestyle of an adult with alcohol, smoking, medications, obesity, malnourishment, little exercise and poor dietary choices takes its toll.

    There is only one kidney to handle all the waste products, acids, toxins, and fluids that the body has to process. To compensate, the remaining kidney nearly doubles in size. I dont know about you, but that really knocked me when I learned that!

    Luckily, the kidney handles all this added pressure beautifully. Under normal circumstances when subjected to a healthy lifestyle, there is no reason for one kidney not being able to do the job of two. Its an amazingly resilient organ. Put too much pressure on it, ask too much of it, and it will eventually wear out.

    How To Live Long On One Kidney Experts

    Often people wonder if it is possible to live long on one kidney. In this report by SADE OGUNTOLA, experts explain how peoplewith only one kidney can lead a normal, healthy life.

    THE bravery, unusual faith and battles of foremost agronomist and businessman, Chief Lekan Are, it has been said, were encapsulated in his ability to live on one kidney for 46 out of his 86 years on earth. Chief Are died on January 18, 2020, at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, during an illness.

    Kidneys are essential for survival. They filter the blood and make urine, regulate blood pressure, make red blood cells and Vitamin D, maintain the bloods pH and produce hormones that are needed to keep the bones and blood healthy.

    Like Chief Are, many people live on one kidney. In fact, a report from the March of Dames says that one in every 450 to 1,000 infants is born with a single kidney and this is hardly discovered until later in life during non-related medical examinations.

    Most people have two kidneys but some only have one, the other having been removed during an operation in order to treat an injury or a disease like cancer. Others have one because the other was donated to a person who needed a kidney transplant.

    That is why it is safe for a totally healthy person to donate his kidney to someone who is ill and has kidney failure as long as this person too does not have kidney disease or one of the illnesses that can prone him to kidney disease, Professor Balogun added.

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