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Is there any way to revive non-functioning kidneys?

Thursday, 12 February 2004
Answered by: Naveen Atray
Asst. Professor of Medicine and Nephrologist,
Overton Brooks VA Medical Centre,
USA
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Q. My husband was detected to have stones in the left kidney & ureter and underwent lithotripsy procedure to get the stones removed. Due to this the kidney is functioning very poorly (with only 5% of the upper part of kidney functioning that too very poorly?. The right kidney is perfectly OK. Please advise what measures should be taken to keep the kidney in proper condition? Is there any way to revive the non-functioning kidney?

A.  Most importantly, the cause of kidney stone needs to be investigated and recurrence of kidney stone in same or right kidney needs to be prevented since as many as half of patients with kidney stoney will develop another kidney stone in next five years or so. Thus, it is important that recurrence be avoided. While specific advise can be given only after determining what type of kidney stone did he have, some general precautions include generous fluid intake to keep urine output of at least 2 litres/day, restricting sodium in diet, cutting back on oxalate in diet (e.g., tomatoes, tea, rhubarb, lettuce, cabbage, spinach etc), cut back on red meat, and avoid dehydration. Unfortunately, currently there is no medically possible way to revive the nonfunctional kidney tissue. But the good news is that his kidney is functioning normally (based on the info provided). So, if all the precautions are exercised appropriately and blood pressure remains controlled and he is not a diabetic, the problem can be contained.

A.  Most importantly, the cause of kidney stone needs to be investigated and recurrence of kidney stone in same or right kidney needs to be prevented since as many as half of patients with kidney stoney will develop another kidney stone in next five years or so. Thus, it is important that recurrence be avoided. While specific advise can be given only after determining what type of kidney stone did he have, some general precautions include generous fluid intake to keep urine output of at least 2 litres/day, restricting sodium in diet, cutting back on oxalate in diet (e.g., tomatoes, tea, rhubarb, lettuce, cabbage, spinach etc), cut back on red meat, and avoid dehydration. Unfortunately, currently there is no medically possible way to revive the nonfunctional kidney tissue. But the good news is that his kidney is functioning normally (based on the info provided). So, if all the precautions are exercised appropriately and blood pressure remains controlled and he is not a diabetic, the problem can be contained.

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