There are significant advantages a kidney transplant can bring you. Research suggests that a kidney from a healthy living donor can function on average for 12-20 years as compared to dialysis which has an average life expectancy of 5 years.
But, once you have received a transplant, you need to follow certain steps to keep your kidney healthy.
Getting back to your normal life may seem a tad challenging after a kidney transplant. But, don’t worry, to ease this transition for you, we have compiled a list of measures you can practice to keep your new kidney healthy.
Do Eat a Healthy Diet
Your nephrologist will advise you to follow a healthy diet after the transplant. This is important to reduce the chances of complications like diabetes. Your diet should consist of
- Plenty of bread, potatoes, starchy foods, pasta, and whole grains
- Some dairy foods and milk
- Some eggs, fish, meat, pulses, and beans
- Minimum 5 portions of vegetables and fruits in a day
Don’t Skip Your Medications
Your doctor will prescribe immunosuppressants to prevent transplant rejection. You should take these medicines as recommended by your doctor. You may have to take these medicines for life since rejection can occur even years after the transplant.
Do go for follow-up Sessions
After your kidney transplant, you will have to go to the hospital for regular follow-up sessions. This allows your healthcare team to observe your health and how well your kidney functions. The team conducts tests for checking kidney function, blood counts, electrolytes, and liver function. You’ll see the kidney transplant team weekly or every other week during the first year after your transplant.
Don’t Smoke and Drink
In case you are a habitual smoker, it is strongly advised to stop smoking as soon as possible because it can affect the health of your new kidney and reduce its life. It can also increase the possibility of developing some kinds of cancer. As a patient of a kidney transplant, you should also regulate your alcohol intake. You are advised not to consume above 14 units of alcohol in a week. Since alcohol is high in calories, you can gain weight if you consume it regularly. Being overweight can also increase blood pressure.
Do Exercise Regularly and Monitor your Weight
Once the effects of the surgical procedure have worn off, you should start exercising regularly. Adults should aim for doing approximately 150 minutes of moderately intensive exercises every week. Some of these include swimming, fast walking, riding a bike, and many more. You should talk to your doctor to determine the best exercise regimen for you. In case you are obese or overweight, you should try to attain a healthy weight. This can be done by using a combination of exercise and a healthy diet.
Don’t take any Medicine Unnecessarily
You should avoid taking painkillers or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pills regularly as these can be harmful to your kidney. Also, you should consult with your doctor before taking any medications as some drugs can react with your immunosuppressants and may even raise your blood pressure.
Avail Kidney Transplantation Across the World
A kidney transplant gives you another chance at life. Still, it is possible that you feel anxious or nervous after the transplant. This is an understandable concern. But, by staying in touch with your transplant team and following the instructions given, you can keep your kidney healthy.