Myth 6: One can’t catch a kidney infection after kidney transplant


The patient housing a new kidney needs to strictly follow the guidelines of their respective orders to avoid catching a kidney infection. Because the chances of catching the infection are more and the condition can get worse.

So, to avoid catching infections, the patient must follow a healthy diet, do regular exercise and reside in a clean & hygienic environment.

Myth 7: Restrictions are imposed on the donor’s diet


Donors are not subjected to any restrictions on the meal. Yes, for a specific time donors need to eat what their doctors suggest else there are no restrictions, and the donor needs to consume a healthy diet.

Myth 8: You can’t undergo a kidney transplant if you are on dialysis for a longer period


The early you decide to get the kidney transplant, the better the quality of life you live. Accompanying the healthy lifestyle, you get to live longer. Even if the patient decides to get the transplant after a more extended period of dialysis, he/she still reaps the benefits of the new kidney.

Myth 9: Donating a kidney decreases the life expectancy of the donor


Pieces of evidence are enough to prove that kidney donors outlive ordinary people when it comes to life expectancy. Also, the estimated risk of kidney failure among donors is lower as compared to the general population.

They live a much healthier life than the general population.

Myth 10: Kidney transplant is your last resort


Most of the doctors recommend the patients not to choose dialysis over kidney transplants because dialysis can put you in medical beds for the entire life where the chances are on the higher side when one opts for the transplantation process. The treatment is an assurance of longer and healthier life.

Day 229 of 365: Frequently asked questions on Kidney transplants

Who qualifies for a transplant and is there an order of qualifications?

There are rules that determine who is the highest on the transplant waiting list. These are based on expected survival, time on dialysis, and other factors.

How long can one expect the kidney transplant to last?
On average, transplanted kidneys last between 10 and 12 years.

What is the recovery time after a kidney transplant?
Two weeks after the surgery, you should start to feel much better, however, you need to take drugs to prevent rejection for the rest of your life.

What kind of lifestyle changes do you need to make?
The only other lifestyle change we encourage is for transplant patients not to be involved in contact sports. We recommend that you stay active, avoid smoking and alcohol, and stick to a healthy diet.

Can competitive athletics continue after a kidney transplant?
We recommend that people avoid contact sports: football, basketball, wrestling, soccer, and certain other sports that could result in injury to the area of the body where the transplanted kidney has been placed

Day 230 of 365: Frequently asked questions on kidney transplant part 2

What causes rejection after a kidney transplant?
Rejection is due to the same immune response that protects yourself against colds and other viruses. Though we run tests to indicate how likely rejection will be, there is no way to be sure about whether rejection will happen or not.

What is the percentage of rejection in kidney transplantation?
Early rejection happens in about 15 percent of patients, which is the lowest it has ever been. However, most people will not lose their kidneys from this kind of rejection.

Where do kidneys come from for transplantation?
Around 30 percent of transplanted kidneys come from relatives or friends of the person with kidney failure who volunteer to donate a kidney (living donation). The other 70 percent come from patients who have died suddenly and are organ donors

Can someone who is not a close relative be a living donor?
Yes, a kidney from someone who is not a relative can work very well.

How does living donation affect the donor?
The risk of serious injury from a donation is low, around 1 in 10,000. Patients who donate a kidney may also be sore for some period of time, as after any major surgery.

Day 231 of 365: Why kidney transplant?

Why it’s done
A kidney transplant is often the treatment of choice for kidney failure, compared with a lifetime on dialysis. A kidney transplant can treat chronic kidney disease or end-stage renal disease to help you feel better and live longer.

Compared with dialysis, kidney transplant is associated with:

-Better quality of life
-Lower risk of death
-Fewer dietary restrictions
-Lower treatment cost

-Some people may also benefit from receiving a kidney transplant before needing to go on dialysis, a procedure known as preemptive kidney transplant.

Day 232 of 365: When should you not do transplants?

For certain people with kidney failure, a kidney transplant may be more risky than dialysis. Conditions that may prevent you from being eligible for a kidney transplant include:

-Advanced age
-Severe heart disease
-Active or recently treated cancer
-Dementia or poorly controlled mental illness
-Alcohol or drug abuse
-Any other factor that could affect the ability to safely undergo the procedure and take the medications needed after a transplant to prevent organ rejection.

Day 233 of 365: What risks come with kidney transplantation?

Kidney transplantation can treat advanced kidney disease and kidney failure, but it is not a cure. Some forms of kidney disease may return after transplant.

The health risks associated with kidney transplant include those associated directly with the surgery itself, rejection of the donor organ and side effects of taking medications (anti-rejection or immunosuppressants) needed to prevent your body from rejecting the donated kidney.

Deciding whether kidney transplant is right for you is a personal decision that deserves careful thought and consideration of the serious risks and benefits. Talk through your decision with your friends, family and other trusted advisors.

Day 234 of 365: Taking care of the kidney

Stay hydrated
Drinking plenty of fluid will help your kidneys function properly. Your urine should be straw-coloured. If it’s any darker it may be a sign of dehydration.

During hot weather, when travelling in hot countries or when exercising strenuously, you need to drink more water than usual to make up for the fluid lost by sweating.

Eat healthily
A balanced diet ensures you get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, and grains such as wholewheat pasta, bread and rice. Don’t eat too much salty or fatty food.

Published by Stephen Ogweno

a global health practitioner, NCD advocate and mHealth Innovator

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