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Post kidney transplant, most people have a low immunity due to the powerful medications that are prescribed to avoid rejection of the organ. These medications tend to make the patients more prone to infections and hence, following strict dietary guidelines is necessary to avoid any complication. Also, as most people suffering from kidney failure are diabetic, hypertensive or suffer from heart disease, dietary control is mandatory. Moreover, the use of immunosuppressive drugs can increase your risk of diabetes, hypertension or heart disease.
#1: eat a protein rich diet
After a kidney transplant, the body requires more proteins to aid in the healing process and improve immunity. This is the reason, why consuming proteins should not be limited. Also, patients who were previously on dialysis had a lower protein intake, post kidney transplant, the consumption of proteins is recommended to be increased. Here are 6 protein sources for vegetarians.
#2: do not eat raw fruits
Intake of raw fruits is not advised as there is a high risk of infection due to raw food. However, you can eat fruits in stewed form as cooking lowers the active bacterial load, thereby lowering your risk of infection.
#3: include curd in your diet
Curd contains good quality protein, which is required for healing post-transplant, hence, curd should be eaten. As far as sour foods like lime and tamarind are concerned, eating them is also okay. But avoid eating grapes as they are known to interact with immune suppressive drugs and hinder healing of the kidney. Also read about 11 diet do’s and don’ts for people with kidney problems.
#4: you need not avoid fruits/ vegetables with seeds
Foods with seeds like tomato, brinjal, ladies finger, guava, watermelon, etc are considered harmless and can be taken after transplant, provided other biochemical parameters like electrolytes and cholesterol are within normal range. Also, ensure that the level of potassium in the blood is within control. However, if you are suffering from kidney stones, it is better to avoid these foods.
#5: you might need to take protein supplements
People who undergo kidney transplants are recommended protein supplements during the initial stage, however, it varies from person to person. In most cases, post kidney transplant, patients recover their appetite, hence there’s no need for any supplements. However, if the patient feels that his protein intake is not optimal, he can continue taking supplements post-transplant, but only after consulting a nephrologist.
Unlike the common misconception that kidney transplant recipients can eat everything after a transplant, you need to follow a disciplined dietary routine with numerous restrictions, depending upon your overall recovery and health. You can start eating out after three to six months of kidney transplantation, as it is the average time taken for the immuno-suppression to be stable and be at a low level. However, raw food, salads, fruits and foods kept open should be strictly avoided, even in general.
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1. Eat calcium-rich foods
In addition to dairy products, choose fish with bones such as salmon, sardines or whitebait. For additional benefits, serve them with a side of dark leafy green vegetables or broccoli. Almonds, dried figs, fortified tofu and soy milk are also calcium-rich choices, says registered dietitian laura jeffers, med, rd, ld.
2. Take calcium supplements
The u. S. Recommended daily allowance for calcium is 1, 000 mg a day during your 20s, 30s and 40s. But your need rises as you age. Check with your doctor before starting supplements to find out what amount is right for you. For example, after menopause, most women need 1000 to 1, 500 mg a day unless they take hormone therapy. Your body only absorbs 500 mg of calcium at a time, Ms. Jeffers notes, so spread your consumption out over the course of the day.
3. Add d to your day
To help absorb calcium, most adults need 1, 000 to 2, 000 iu of vitamin d daily, combined calcium-vitamin d pills usually do not meet this requirement. And most of us who live north of atlanta do not get enough vitamin d the old-fashioned way — from the sun. Taking a vitamin d supplement will ensure you meet your daily needs.
4. Start weight-bearing exercises
To boost your bone strength, try exercise that “loads” or compresses your bones, says exercise physiologist heather nettle, ma. “running, jogging, high-impact aerobics, repetitive stair climbing, dancing, tennis and basketball are best for building bones. But if you have osteopenia, osteoporosis or arthritis, try walking or using an elliptical or other machine,” she says. Be sure to clear any exercise plans with your doctor first.
5. Don’t smoke, and don’t drink excessively
Bad news for bad habits: loss of bone mineral density is associated with tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption, Dr. Sikon says. If you smoke, look into a program to help you quit. If you drink, stick to no more than one libation a day, she advises.
6. Get your bone mineral density tested
Doctors can get a quick and painless “snapshot” of bone health using a simple x-ray test called dxa. This test measures bone mineral density and helps determine risks of osteoporosis and fracture. Dr. Sikon recommends testing for women within two years of menopause. Earlier tests are recommended for men and women with certain diseases and for those taking medications that increase risk, such as long-term steroid therapy.
Perimenopausal women may consider hormone therapy to increase waning estrogen levels, which are linked to bone loss. And women and men diagnosed with osteopenia or osteoporosis can take various medications to prevent dangerous hip and spine fractures.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women about 1 in 8 women in the USA develop invasive breast cancer. The incidence of breast cancer has increased with changes in lifestyle including smoking, drinking and loss of physical activity. The risk factors are age, ethnicity and family history cannot be changed. However, there are some risk factors that can definitely be acted upon to reduce the chances of developing breast cancer.
- Weight management: Obesity is one of the major risk factors for breast cancer and managing weight and a good body mass index will help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. This is especially important in women undergoing menopause.
- Reducing smoking: The benefits of quitting it are manifold and reducing the risk for breast cancer is one of them. This will, as a byproduct, also result in a host of other benefits including improved quality of life, reduced chances of heart disease, stroke, and other cancers.
- Physical activity: In addition to helping in weight management, this also helps reduce the risk of breast cancer. Ideal recommendation is 30 minutes of physical activity per day, plus strength training.
- Breastfeeding: This helps in reducing the risk of breast cancer. Prolonged feeding is shown to have a greater protective benefit.
- Hormone replacement therapy: When possible, limit the use of hormone replacement therapy for prolonged periods of time. Explore options of non-hormonal substitutes or use the least permissible or required dose. Be sure to get periodic check-ups when on hormone therapy.
- Reduce exposure to environmental pollution: Higher levels of pollutants are linked to a higher incidence of breast cancer. When possible, avoid getting exposure to environmental pollutants.
- Screening: If there is a strong family history or other risk factors, then screening can help detect breast cancer very early in the process. Recommended ages for mammography are as follows:
- If you are age 40 – 44: Go for annual mammograms after discussing risks and benefits with the doctor.
- If you are age 45 – 54: Go for annual mammogram.
- If you are age 55 or over: Mammograms are recommended every other year. You can choose to continue to have them every year. Self-breast exams are not sufficient. However, if being done, they can also be an input to an abnormality.
- Cautious use of birth control pills: Birth control pill usage to be discussed with your gynaecologist if you are above 35 years of age and smoke. The good news is that the risk associated with it disappears slowly after the pill is stopped.
These will help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, early detection, and improved prognosis.
The presence of a lump or a tumor in the breast is not always indicative of breast cancer. In some instances, the breast tumor can be benign or noncancerous as well. Thus, to understand breast cancer better, one should know the difference between a benign and malignant breast tumor. In this article, we will discuss the factors that differentiate a benign breast tumor from a malignant one.
- Breast Fibroadenomas are benign breast tumors that often affect women in their early 20s and 30s (can also affect women of other age groups). Research suggests that in spite of being benign and noncancerous, breast fibroadenomas make a woman more susceptible to breast cancer in the future.
- It may be difficult to decipher the underlying factor that triggers fibroadenomas. However, increased use of birth control pills (that results in an elevated estrogen level) can be a contributing factor.
- Thus, in spite of no discomfort, it is safe to get fibroadenomas removed by lumpectomy or by radiation therapy. There are also instances when fibroadenomas dissolved on their own.
- Sometimes, the lobules of the breast can undergo enlargement resulting in the formation of lumps (can be a tumor or a cyst) that are non-cancerous in nature. Such tumors are known as Adenosis.
- The benign tumor growth can also develop in the milk ducts of the nipples, a condition known as Intraductal papillomas (characterized by discharge from the nipples).
- To stay safe and lower the risk of breast cancer, doctors often recommend the removal of the tumor.
Differences between Benign and Malignant Breast Tumors
- One of the major factors resulting in a tumor is the abnormal growth of cells that could be triggered by an injury, an infection or prolonged inflammation.
- A factor that plays a pivotal role in differentiating malignant from benign breast lumps or tumors is its ability to metastasize or invade other organs, cells and tissues of the body.
- A malignant tumor starts off as a primary tumor that remains confined within its point of origin. Gradually, the cancerous growth metastasize, invading other neighboring as well as distant cells and body organs (Secondary cancer or tumor).
- Benign tumors, on the other hand, contains chemical adhesions that prevent their metastasis and invasion to the other vital organs in the body.
- As compared to malignant tumors, benign breast tumors, once removed, do not recur.
- On the cellular level, microscopic examination reveals that malignant breast tumors often contain unusual, mutated, and modified genes and chromosomes.
- More than often, malignant breast tumors give rise to Paraneoplastic Syndrome. The Paraneoplastic Syndrome is characterized by an elevated production of substances (can be antibodies or hormones) by the cancerous growths or tumors. The hormones or the antibodies circulate in the bloodstream and can alter the functioning of a host of vital body tissues and organs with deleterious health consequences.
Such things seldom take place in the case of benign breast tumors. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Breast cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the tissues of the breast. Mainly it occurs in females but less than 1% of all the breast cancer cases develop in males. The majority of breast cancers start in the milk ducts. A small number start in the milk sacs or lobules. It can spread to the lymph nodes and to the other parts of the body such as bones, liver, lungs and to the brain.
With more reliable early detection methods as well as the trend towards less invasive surgery, there is hope that even more women with breast cancer will be treated successfully and will go on to resume their normal lives.
Signs & Symptoms
It is painless, especially, during the early stage. Watch out for the following changes in the breast:
- A persistent lump or thickening in the breast or in the axilla.
- A change in the size or shape of the breast.
- A change in the colour or appearance of the skin of the breast such as redness, puckering or dimpling.
- Bloody discharge from the nipple.
- A change in the nipple or areola such as scaliness, persistent rash or nipple retraction (nipple pulled into the breast).
Consult a doctor immediately if you notice any of these changes.
Being a woman puts you at risk of getting breast cancer. There are certain factors that increase the risk of breast cancer. Some of them have been listed below:
- The risk increases with age; most cases of breast cancer develop after the age of 50
- Genetic alterations in certain genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2
- Family history of breast cancer
- Being overweight
- Early menarche (onset of menstruation before the age of 12)
- Late menopause (after the age of 55)
- Never had children
- Late childbearing
- No breast feeding
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Use of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) for a long period of time
However, most women who have breast cancer have none of the above risk factors. Likewise, not having any of these risk factors does not mean that you will not get breast cancer.
Early Detection and Screening
More treatment options are available when breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage and hence the chances of recovery is also higher. So regular breast screening is important for early detection even if there are no symptoms. Following are the ways of screening:
- Breast Self-Examination (BSE): Perform BSE once a month about a week after your menses are over. If you no longer menstruate, choose a date each month which is easy to remember e.g. your date of birth or anniversary.
- Clinical Breast Examination: Get a breast specialist to examine your breast once a year if you are 40 years and above.
- Mammogram: Go for a screening mammogram once a year if you are 40 to 49 years old and once every two years if you are 50 years and above even if you do not have any symptom. It is not recommended for younger women (less than 40 years of age) as they have dense breasts, making it difficult for small changes to be detected on a mammogram. So ultrasonography of the breasts is advisable to them.
Types of Breast cancer
- Non-Invasive Breast cancer: These are confined to the ducts within the breasts. They are known as Ductal carcinoma in-situ (DCIS).
- Invasive Breast cancer: It occurs when cancer cells spread beyond the ducts or lobules. Cancer cells first spread to the surrounding breast tissue and subsequently to the lymph nodes in the armpit (Axillary lymph nodes). These cells can also travel to the other parts of the body such as bones, liver, lungs or brain and hence known as metastatic breast cancer.
Making A Diagnosis
If you notice any unusual changes in your breasts, you should see a doctor immediately. He will examine you clinically and may ask you to undergo some tests so that a definitive diagnosis can be made. Further, the staging work up is done to find out the stage of the disease and management accordingly.
Treatment of breast cancer may include various methods such as surgery with or without breast reconstruction, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy. Treatment options offered, depend upon the number of factors such as the stage of cancer and likelihood of cure, your general health and your preference. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an oncologist.