Being A Kidney Donor

Being A Kidney Donor

What it’s like to Live with One Kidney


Being A Kidney DonorIf you’re considering being a kidney donor, one of the most probable concerns you’ll have is about living a normal life after surgery.

As you’ll be technically giving out one of your organs to someone else, questions involving your health and safety will sure pop in your mind.

Are there long term effects of having only one kidney?

In general, people who have donated one of their kidneys can live life normally. In fact, their life span is considered the same as those who have both organs intact. Very few people experience long-term complications such as high blood pressure and a decrease in renal function later in life.

The screening and assessment prior to donation are what help minimize potential long term effects. If you have an existing kidney disease or if you are suffering from diabetes and heart problems, pursuing kidney donation can surely predispose you to long term debilitating effects. In contrast, if you are found to be fit and in top shape, there’s very little chance that you’ll experience problems post surgery.

Do I need to always see my doctor?

For kidney donors, it’s essential that you see your doctor at least every year. This is to help keep track of you and your kidney’s health. You’ll need to submit to annual urine and blood tests to prevent or, if not diagnose, early complications.

Should I change my diet?

There’s no strict need for you to change your diet radically. However, to ensure your optimum health, it’s still best if you can stay away from foods that have high potassium and sodium content. It can also help if you can limit your sugar and fat intake. These changes won’t only keep your kidney healthy but it can also boost your general health.

In case you’re confused about the food you should and shouldn’t be eating, you can always consult your doctor or your dietitian. He can create the right diet plan based on your activity level and nutritional demands.

Can I participate in contact sports?

There’s no arguing how important exercise and physical activities are. For people who have donated their kidneys or those who have been born with only one kidney, it’s essential to avoid extreme physical sports to protect the remaining organ. Wrestling, extreme martial arts and football are some of the activities you should not engage yourself in.

If skipping these types of activity is out of the equation, make sure that you always wear your protective gears. Padded vests are good examples. Before you start participating in contact sports, it’s best if you can consult your doctors first to a get a clearance or if there are any precautions you’ll need to take to protect your remaining kidney.

Being A Kidney Donor may not be much different than living with two kidneys.