SOLITARY KIDNEY CARE
- Solitary Kidney Condition:
Solitary functioning kidney (SFK) may be due to congenital absence of the other kidney, significant disease in the opposite kidney or removal of one kidney for medical reasons or for kidney donation.
Those who had significant disease in the opposite kidney or undergone removal of one kidney for medical reasons are at higher risk for subsequent kidney disease; they should not neglect care of the other kidney and should strictly follow up with their nephrologists periodically.
In patients who have undergone renal transplantation, the transplanted kidney will be the sole functioning kidney and they have to be on lifelong medications for suppression of their immune system and lifelong follow up with their nephrologists to protect their kidney function.
Management of SFK focuses on prevention of disease and deterioration in its function, rather than treatment of an established problem.
If you have SFK, inform this to your doctor attending on you for other medical problems, that you have only one functioning kidney.
Hypertension and diabetes mellitus are the two most common medical problems that can affect the kidneys. With a single functioning kidney, the possibility of the kidney getting affected by diabetes mellitus and hypertension is much higher as the kidney reserve is limited; ensure that you have good control of diabetes mellitus and blood pressure if you have SFK.
Drugs, especially those prescribed over the pharmacy counter are one of the most common causes for renal disease. Avoid self prescription or over the counter medications. If you are prescribed any new drug, confirm with your treating doctor that it does not harm your single kidney and the dose prescribed is appropriate for your kidney function.
Avoid alternative medicines (ayurvedic, siddha, homeopathic, unani or other native medicines). The benefits of these medicines have not been proven or documented scientifically. The metabolism of these medicines may be different in patients having kidney disease or limited kidney reserve and this can result in side effects.
Make sure that your annual health check includes serum creatinine and urine analysis, apart from screening for hypertension and diabetes mellitus (if you do not have them before).
- Other Points:
- In case of dehydration due to vomiting, diarrhoea, inadequate fluid intake or other water loss, ensure that you remain well hydrated either by oral intake or by IV infusion.
- Quit smoking; smoking increases the risks of kidney disease and hypertension apart from its well known bad influence on the heart and blood vessels.
- In case you have urinary tract infection, ensure immediate attention and treatment at a specialized centre for kidney disease.
- If you develop urinary tract stones, you may require some urological intervention; always consult a Nephrologist or Urologist if you are diagnosed so.
- Physical activity:
It is not necessary that you should limit physical activity or change your life style apart from the above mentioned advices; in fact, it is advisable to involve in routine physical activity every day at least for 30 – 40 minutes. If indulging in contact sports activity, ensure that protective pads are used under vests for loin area.