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Living With Single Kidney - What Can Be The Potential Health Risks Of It?

Dr. Kalyan Kumar 88% (58 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Urology, DNB
Urologist, Secunderabad  •  21 years experience
Living With Single Kidney - What Can Be The Potential Health Risks Of It?

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

Who has a solitary kidney?

  1. Their body functions normally and are generally not unhealthy. This is also known as renal agenesis.
  2. 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.
  3. A person who had to undergo a kidney removal surgery (nephrectomy); such a surgery is conducted when a person has an infected kidney or diseased, malfunctioning/cancerous growths on the kidney.
  4. 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?

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

What kind of special diet must a person with a single kidney follow?

  1. There is no need of any such special diet for a person with a single kidney.
  2. Normal healthy balanced diet with all the essential nutrients should suffice.
  3. You must be careful about your animal protein intake and calcium supplements.
  4. Drink sufficient quantity of water to remain hydrated all day and prevent the urine from turning acidic.
  5. Controlled consumption of alcohol and caffeine is a must. It is also important to reduce the consumption of aerated drinks.

Exercises and Physical activities for a person with a single kidney:

  1. A person with a solitary kidney can function like any other normal individual.
  2. You may also participate in sports. However, you must take enough precaution to prevent injuries to your kidney. Proper padding and protection around your lower abdominal region and back is of utmost necessity.
  3. You can hit the gym, run a marathon and nothing is impossible for you.
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