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What Happens When You Have One Kidney

What Are The Side Effects Of Living With One Kidney

Living with one kidney

Some studies have indicated that there is a slightly higher chance of a small increase in your blood pressure or the amount of protein in your urine as a result of having one kidney. However, these are checked at annual followup and, if found, can be treated.

The overall risk of developing significant kidney disease in your remaining kidney after donation is very low, occurring in less than one in 200 donors, and it is much less in kidney donors than it is in the general population .

Whilst most women have uncomplicated pregnancies after donation, there is a slightly increased risk of gestational hypertension or pre-eclampsia.

Will It Happen In Affect Other Family Members

Unless you have been told that your babys renal agenesis was caused by a genetic mutation, it is unlikely that a future pregnancy will result in renal agenesis, or other problems with the kidneys. If one of your children has renal agenesis, it is unlikely that another of your children or family members will get it. Your doctor or healthcare professional will be able to give you more information.

Procedures And Low Kidney Function

Diet modification and medications can help delay the progression of chronic kidney disease, especially in the early stages. If the disease progresses, however, other forms of treatment may become necessary.

Other forms of treatment may include:

  • Blood transfusions: Hormone and iron supplements are not always enough to manage the symptoms of anemia. In those cases, your doctor may order one or more blood transfusions.
  • Dialysis: Dialysis is an artificial method of removing wastes, toxins, and excess fluids from your blood when your kidneys cease to function. There are two types of dialysis: hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
  • With hemodialysis, your blood is filtered through a machine to be cleansed of impurities and then returned to your body.
  • With peritoneal dialysis, a thin tube is inserted into your abdomen, which you fill with a solution that absorbs wastes and extra fluids. After a specified period of time, the solution is drained, and the wastes are removed.
  • Kidney transplant: If a healthy donor kidney is available, it is surgically placed and attached inside your body. Daily medications are necessary to prevent your bodys rejection of the new kidney.
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    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.

    Alcohol And Kidney Disease: Prevention

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    To help prevent kidney disease from alcohol, you can reduce how much you drink. This includes avoiding binge drinking. If you do drink alcohol, its crucial also to drink water.

    However, if you have chronic kidney disease, you shouldnt drink at all. So, if you struggle with misusing alcohol, its vital to seek treatment. If you only treat the kidney disease and continue to drink, you will not get better.

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    Alcohol And The Liver Blood Pressure

    Blood pressure levels can also be affected by heavy drinking. Individuals who have more than two drinks per day risk elevating their blood pressure. This risk increases dramatically if the person drinking only has one kidney. High blood pressure is closely linked to various diseases of the liver and kidneys.

    Alcohol use disorder, or AUD, can exacerbate related disorders. Once the liver is damaged, the kidneys must work harder to maintain the ideal rate of blood filtration. People who drink with only one kidney are placing an incredible burden on one organ to filter the blood. This burden will only increase if the liver is also suffering from damage. The actual risks of drinking will therefore depend on the rate of alcohol use, frequency, and health of the internal organs. The link between liver disease and kidney disorders is clear most cases are found in patients with alcohol dependency.

    What Causes Kidney Malfunction

    A major culprit of kidney problems is an acidic diet . A brand-new study sheds light on the renal problems that can be caused by a high-acid, meat-rich diet.

    The study followed 1,500 people with kidney disease for a period of 14 years. Participants who ate a diet high in meat came very close to experiencing complete kidney failure, while those who ate more fruits and vegetables did not even come close to kidney failure. Researchers estimate that an acidic diet can make it three times more likely for your kidneys to fail.1

    Says lead study author Dr. Tanushree Banejee,

    Patients with chronic kidney disease may want to pay more attention to diet consumption of acid rich foods to reduce progression to kidney failuredialysis treatmentsmay be avoided by adopting a more healthy diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables.1

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    Living With One Kidney

    According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the term for having only one kidney, or one working kidney, is solitary kidney 111. There are three common causes of solitary kidney 3.

    Birth defects like renal agenesis or kidney dysplasia lead to solitary kidney. Renal agenesis happens in around 1 in 2,000 babies, and kidney dysplasia affects about one in 4,000 babies.

    Surgical removal of a kidney to treat a disease or injury can also leave someone with just one functioning kidney. According to the Mayo Clinic, nephrectomy is one potential treatment for kidney cancer 10.

    Finally, some people are eligible to donate one of their kidneys to someone in need of a transplant, leaving them with one functioning kidney. In the U.S., more than 5,000 people make a living kidney donation every year.

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    • According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
    • Finally, some people are eligible to donate one of their kidneys to someone in need of a transplant, leaving them with one functioning kidney.

    How To Treat Low Kidney Function

    What is Kidney Failure?

    Although there is no cure for chronic kidney disease , your doctor can work with you to treat and manage your existing symptoms, reduce underlying issues, and find ways to slow down disease progression. Some of the treatments are universal, while others depend upon the stage of CKD you are in.

    A healthy diet and lifestyle combined with appropriate medications for symptom control is the most common treatment for kidney disease in its early stages. Renal replacement therapy, such as dialysis or a kidney transplant, is reserved for end-stage kidney disease .

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    What Happens When Your Kidneys Fail

    The slow loss of kidney function over a few months or years is called chronic kidney disease . Chronic kidney disease can occur when a condition damages your kidneys and keeps them from doing their job to keep you healthy. When your kidneys fail, dangerous levels of fluids and waste can build up in your body and make you feel sick. Kidney failure occurs when you have less than 15% of your kidney function. When your kidneys fail you may require dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive.

    Chronic kidney disease may be caused by:

    • High blood pressure and diabetes the most common causes of kidney disease
    • Inflammation or infections
    • Inherited genetic conditions such as polycystic disease
    • Long-term blockage in the urinary system

    Early detection and treatment can help prevent chronic kidney disease from getting worse.

    Can I Keep Working With Kidney Failure

    Many people with kidney failure continue to work. KidneyWorks is a program to help people with kidney disease keep working. The program focuses on Americans with CKD whose kidneys have not yet failed or who are living with a transplant. If you are on dialysis, the information in the KidneyWorks paper may also provide tips to help you keep your job.

    The Americans with Disabilities Act means that an employer cant legally fire you just because youre on dialysis or have had a kidney transplant. The law requires an employer to make reasonable changes to the workplace for a person with a disability. For example, your employer may give you lighter physical jobs or schedule your work hours around your dialysis sessions. If youre on peritoneal dialysis, youll need space and time to change the dialysis solution in the middle of the work day. Most employers can make these adjustments.

    If your employer isnt willing to meet your needs, your dialysis clinics renal social worker may be able to help find a way to satisfy both you and your employer.

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    Kidney Failure Definition And Facts

    • Kidneys are the organs that filter waste products from the blood. They are also involved in regulating blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and red blood cell production in the body.
    • Symptoms of kidney failure are due to the build-up of waste products and excess fluid in the body that may cause weakness, shortness of breath, lethargy, swelling, and confusion. Inability to remove potassium from the bloodstream may lead to abnormal heart rhythms and sudden death. Initially kidney failure may cause no symptoms.
    • There are numerous causes of kidney failure, and treatment of the underlying disease may be the first step in correcting the kidney abnormality.
    • Some causes of kidney failure are treatable and the kidney function may return to normal. Unfortunately, kidney failure may be progressive in other situations and may be irreversible.
    • The diagnosis of kidney failure usually is made by blood tests measuring BUN, creatinine, and glomerular filtration rate .
    • Treatment of the underlying cause of kidney failure may return kidney function to normal. Lifelong efforts to control blood pressure and diabetes may be the best way to prevent chronic kidney disease and its progression to kidney failure. As we age, kidney function gradually decreases over time.
    • If the kidneys fail completely, the only treatment options available may be dialysis or transplant.

    Improving Your Kidney Function Can Be Simple

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    So you see for many, improving kidney function doesnt need to be difficult. In most cases, simply by stepping to the side and getting out of your own way, checking your thoughts, fears, and excuses at the door, you can catalyse massive changes in your health, by simply allowing the healing to take place.

    Rubbing Lanterns Wont Help Improve Your Kidney Function, But Heres What Can

    Now stay with me I am not saying that that you can cure all by thinking just happy thoughts, wishing, and getting out of the way, no definitely not. There are many practical things you can do every day, with little to no fuss that are very effective in helping increase kidney function. Very helpful indeed.

    Note: thinking positive however sure wont hurt, in fact it will go a long way your mindset is the single biggest determining factor on how quickly you heal.

    So in tune with todays theme of simplicity, I would like to share with you 10 effortless tips that can be applied immediately to help your kidney function, no need to leave home, and no need to spend a dime.

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    Diagnosis Of Kidney Failure

    A number of tests can be used to measure kidney function. If CKD is found, tests may be used to determine:

    • the cause of the kidney damage
    • the amount of kidney damage
    • treatment options.
    • blood tests to establish the estimated glomerular filtration rate , which measures how well the kidneys filter wastes from the blood
    • urine tests for albumin, blood, glucose and red or white blood cells
    • a blood pressure check
    • ultrasound, computed tomography , x-ray and other imaging techniques to take pictures of your kidneys
    • a kidney biopsy, where a needle is used to remove a small piece of kidney tissue for examination under a microscope.

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    Whats The Prognosis For Stage 4 Kidney Disease

    Theres no cure for stage 4 chronic kidney disease. The goal of treatment is to prevent kidney failure and maintain a good quality of life.

    In 2012, researchers found that men and women with low kidney function, especially less than 30 percent, had substantially reduced life expectancy.

    They noted that women tend to have longer life expectancy in all stages of kidney disease except stage 4, where theres only a slight difference by gender. Prognosis tends to be poorer with age.

    • At 40 years old, life expectancy is about 10.4 years for men and 9.1 years for women.
    • At 60 years old, life expectancy is about 5.6 years for men and 6.2 years for women.
    • At 80 years old, life expectancy is about 2.5 years for men and 3.1 years for women.

    Your individual prognosis also depends on co-existing conditions and what treatments you get. Your healthcare provider can give you a better idea of what to expect.

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    Hemodialysis And Kidney Transplantation For Keeping Life Longer

    Hemodialysis and kidney transplantation are employed to keep a person with a complete kidney failure live longer. Hemodialysis is a treatment that helps remove wastes and fluids from the body the kidney cannot do any longer.

    This procedure pumps the blood through soft tubes to a dialysis machine where it goes through a filter before pumped back into the body.

    Quite differently, kidney transplantation is done by placing a healthy kidney into a body of a person with a complete kidney failure. This kidney may come from someone who has died or a living donor. Although the kidney is replaced, the kidney transplant is not considered as an exact cure for a kidney failure. Otherwise, it is a treatment wherein medications might still be required by the transplanted kidney.

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    Can I Prevent Injury To My Solitary Kidney

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    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.

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    What Does Alcohol Do To Kidneys

    In rare cases, binge drinking five or more drinks at a time can cause a sudden drop in the function of the kidneys. Its a serious condition when alcohol toxins build up in your blood so fast that your kidneys cant keep up with hydration.

    It can lead to kidney failure and even death. What you can do If youre concerned about your drinking habits, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to recommend ways to reduce your intake of alcohol.

    Why Does This Happen

    Normal kidneys remove waste products from the body, and make sure the body has the right balance of water and salts. They also control blood pressure, help keep bones and teeth strong and healthy, and control the production of red blood cells. If there are no kidneys, the body cannot do this work.

    While a baby is growing in the uterus , he or she floats in amniotic fluid. This protects the baby from getting hurt from the outside and helps the lungs mature so that he or she is ready to breathe after birth. The baby swallows or breathes in the amniotic fluid.

    Normally, the kidneys develop and start making urine. The baby passes the urine out, adding to the amount of amniotic fluid. If the baby does not have kidneys, he or she cannot produce urine, and this leads to not enough amniotic fluid this is called oligohydramnios. This can stop the lungs fully developing.

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    What Is Stage 4 Kidney Disease

    Stage 1 and stage 2 are considered early-stage chronic kidney disease. The kidneys arent working at 100 percent, but they still work well enough that you might not have symptoms.

    By stage 3, youve lost about half of kidney function, which can lead to more serious problems.

    If you have stage 4 kidney disease, it means your kidneys have experienced severe damage. You have a glomerular filtration rate, or GFR, of 1529 ml/min. Thats the amount of blood your kidneys can filter per minute.

    GFR is determined by measuring the amount of creatinine, a waste product, in your blood. The formula also takes age, sex, ethnicity, and body size into account. The kidneys are functioning at 1529 percent of normal.

    GFR may not be accurate in certain circumstances, such as if you:

    Other tests that help determine the stage are:

    • bloods tests to look for other waste products
    • urine test to look for the presence of blood or protein
    • imaging tests to check the structure of the kidneys

    Stage 4 is the last stage before kidney failure, or stage 5 kidney disease.

    In stage 4, symptoms may include:

    • fluid retention

    If your potassium levels get too high , it can affect your hearts ability to function.

    Other potential complications include:

    If youre pregnant, kidney disease can increase risks to you and to your baby.


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