You may wonder what to do if you have only one (1) kidney. There are numerous reasons a person might have only one kidney including congenital abnormalities (being born with an abnormality), kidney donation, trauma, cancer, disorders of circulation, and damage to one kidney due to kidney stones, infection. Regardless of the cause, having a solitary kidney means that you have a very precious commodity to protect with extra care: learn how at thekidneyprotector.com
THE SOLITARY KIDNEY: WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE ONLY ONE (1) KIDNEY
There are a few reasons a person might have only one kidney and may even people who have a solitary kidney do not even know that they have only one. The reasons for having include:
- Being born with only one kidney or a disorder that compromises one kidney: examples include renal agenesis
- Being a kidney donor: donation of one kidney will leave you with only one kidney
- Having a disorder that decreases the blood supply to one kidney resulting in loss of function of that kidney, for example renal artery stenosis
- Obstruction of one kidney that is not corrected, causes include Kidney stones
- Surgical removal of one kidney for various reasons including
- Tumors: most commonly Kidney Cancer
- Severe Kidney Infections especially when combined with obstruction
- Severe kidney stone disease
- Trauma to one kidney due to an injury
- Bleeding from that cannot be controlled
Increasing your awareness of your body, your diagnoses and ways to protect your are essential aspects of what to do if you have only one (1) kidney.
How to Protect Your Only Kidney
It is very important to know what to do if you have only one (1) kidney because small, simple changes, and awareness can offer protection of not only your kidney function but also your life.
- Avoid painkillers called Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs [NSAIDS]: for example Advil, Aleve, other names like ibuprofen, naproxen and related meds they can cause kidney failure especially if taken in larger quantities and frequently. Find more information from the National Kidney Foundation and on our site here.
- Avoid over the counter medications that treat heartburn: medications like Prilosec and nexium (omeprazole, esomeprazole, and related meds) because they can injure the kidneys and also increase your risk of heart disease, pneumonia, C. difficile diarrhea among other possible complications
- Know the list of all medications including prescription medications that can harm your kidneys: see the helpful list on our page “WARNING: MEDICATIONS TO BE AWARE OF IF YOU HAVE KIDNEY DISEASE“
- Avoid meat meals prepared medium rare or rare as there is a risk of getting an infection with certain dangerous bacteria (like Enterohemorrhagic E. coli) which can cause severe damage to kidneys.
- Talk to your doctor regarding your kidney function and get advice about how much water/fluids is safe enough to drink.
- Avoid getting kidney stones because an obstructing kidney stone (a stone that blocks the flow of urine from your kidney) is catastrophic when there is only one kidney. Please be aware that even if you have never had kidney stones, there are some factors that will put you at risk of kidney stones like obesity, taking high dose vitamin C tablets (high doses can help cause the most common kidney stone type Calcium oxalate stones), taking sinus, allergy, cold or flu medicines that contain the decongestant pseudoephedrine, and consuming excessive amounts of some high-oxalate foods like starfruit and starfruit juice!
- Watch salt limit salt in diet: aim for about 2000mg of Sodium (0.88 of a teaspoon of table salt per day)
- Eat healthy: A vegetarian diet helps protect kidney function and is associated with slowing the progression of Chronic kidney Disease (CKD)
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle to avoid developing Diabetes or Hypertension as they are the 1st and 2nd leading causes of kidney failure in the US
- During the COVID-19 Pandemic: wear your mask, wash your hands, maintain social distancing and avoid crowded places to avoid getting COVID-19 because there is growing evidence that it can damage kidneys in normal healthy people