Can You Live with One Kidney? What You Need to Know

Although most people have two kidneys, you merely need one functioning kidney to live an active, healthy life. If you have alone one kidney, it ’ mho authoritative to protect it and keep it functioning well because you don ’ t have a second one to take over if it fails. Maintaining a healthy life style by eating a alimentary diet, exercising regularly, and getting regular checkups with your doctor of the church helps keep your kidney healthy.

Keep read to learn more about living with one kidney.

What is it like to live with one kidney instead of two?

Your kidneys filter out lay waste to and excess fluid from your blood so it can be excreted from your body in your urine. One kidney can filter enough blood to keep your body functioning normally. This is why you can survive and be goodly with lone one kidney. The recommendations for goodly living if you have only one kidney are basically the like for people with two kidneys. They include :

  • eating a healthy diet
  • exercising regularly
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • staying hydrated
  • maintaining a normal blood pressure and blood sugar (managing high blood pressure or diabetes if they develop)
  • seeing your doctor regularly for checkups

In accession, if you have a alone kidney, you should be extra careful about keeping it functioning well. This includes :

  • protecting it from injury
  • avoiding medications that can be harmful, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)

Are there any short- or long-term problems associated with living with one kidney?

Your kidneys play a function in maintaining fluid libra in your body, keeping protein in your lineage, and controlling your blood atmospheric pressure. If your kidneys stop work, you may :

  • develop high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • lose protein in your urine (proteinuria)
  • retain fluid

Most people with a single kidney live a normal life without developing any long- or short-run problems. however, the risk of developing balmy high blood imperativeness, fluid retention, and albuminuria is slenderly higher if you have one kidney rather of two. This is because a second kidney can compensate and make up for a kidney that has lost some serve. Since it has no accompaniment, the loss of function of a unmarried kidney could lead to proteinuria, fluid retentiveness, or high rake imperativeness earlier than if you had two kidneys .

Protecting your single kidney from injury

If you have a individual kidney, injuring it can be a big problem because there international relations and security network ’ triiodothyronine another one to compensate. If the injury is severe and your kidney stops working wholly, you would need dialysis or a kidney transfer to survive. To avoid this, it ’ mho very significant to protect your one kidney from injury. Avoid contact sports that could lead to kidney injury. These include :

  • boxing
  • football
  • hockey
  • martial arts
  • rugby
  • soccer
  • wrestling

If you do play contact sports, wearing slog and early protective gear makes kidney injury less probably, but doesn ’ metric ton eliminate the hazard completely. other bad activities must be avoided or done with extra precautions. These activities include :

  • rock climbing
  • water sports like jet skiing or water skiing
  • motorcycle riding
  • motorsports like racing
  • horseback riding
  • bungee jumping
  • skydiving

Over the long term, unless your kidney gets injure, loss of function in your single kidney is normally very balmy and unnoticeable.

Should you follow a special diet?

Most people with a single kidney don ’ thyroxine want to follow a extra diet, but like people with two kidneys, you should eat a healthy balanced diet. Staying normally hydrated and drinking when thirsty is better than overhydration or dehydration. If you have a single kidney because you had a graft or if you have kidney disease, you may need to limit the come of sodium, phosphorous, and protein in your diet. This is because your kidney can ’ thyroxine remove them from your blood identical well, so they build up. You may besides have to limit the total of fluids you drink. talk to your healthcare supplier about your nutritional needs and dietary restrictions.

Can you drink alcohol with only one kidney?

many of your soundbox ’ south organs are affected by alcohol including your kidneys. Drinking in moderation ( one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men ) normally won ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate damage your kidneys. alcohol increases the measure of urine you produce but reduces your kidney ’ second ability to filter blood. This disrupts the fluid and electrolyte proportion in your consistency, and you become dried. Without adequate fluid in your body, the cells in your organs, including your kidneys, can ’ t officiate properly. finally it may cause permanent damage. Your liver-colored is besides significant for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance. liver-colored price from excessive alcohol interferes with this symmetry, making it even harder for your kidneys to work correctly. The risk of kidney damage is even higher for heavy drinkers who besides smoke. alcohol has this effect whether you have one or two kidneys, but it may lead to kidney bankruptcy more cursorily when you alone have one functioning kidney .

Will you need dialysis?

dialysis performs the officiate of your kidney by filtering your lineage and removing waste and extra fluid. It ’ s only done when you ’ ve temporarily or permanently lost most or all of your kidney officiate. According to the National Kidney Foundation, dialysis should be started only if your kidneys have lost 85 to 90 percentage of their function. Since you normally have closely normal kidney officiate when you have one kidney, you won ’ t need dialysis unless your kidney fails.

How often should I see a doctor?

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 frequently. Two tests are used to evaluate your kidney serve :

  • The glomerular filtration rate (GFR) indicates how well your kidneys are filtering blood. It’s 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 coerce besides must be measured. high blood pressure can be a gestural of kidney dysfunction. It can besides damage the lineage vessels in your kidney, which can make kidney dysfunction bad. life style changes and medicine can lower your blood press and avoid far kidney damage .

What about a kidney transplant?

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Health, about 200,000 people in the United States have a function transplanted kidney. A kidney transplant is alone done when you have no function kidneys. The risks of the operation and side effects of the medications you ’ ll need for the rest of your life outweigh the small increase in routine you get from a second kidney. If your nongregarious kidney gets injured or pale and hold on work, you might be eligible for a transfer. No matter how many kidneys you started with, you only receive one kidney in a transplant. The transplant kidney normally gets bigger and works harder over clock. finally, your transplanted kidney will function about equally well as two kidneys.

The takeaway

Most people with a single kidney lead normal, goodly lives. Whether you have one kidney or two, a healthy life style is authoritative to keep them functioning well. This includes eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol, staying hydrated, and seeing your healthcare provider at least once a year. Avoiding liaison sports and other activities that could cause an injury is one of the most significant things you can do to keep your individual kidney functioning well .

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