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What should be the lifestyle of a person with a single kidney?

Q: I am 43 years old, married and working as a technician. About 6 months back I had a kidney infection and my right kidney was removed because it was non functioning. I had an accident 8 years ago and I stongly belive that my right kidney failed due to that accident. I am a fooball player and never get tired. Before the nephroctamy my blood prssure was 100/140mmHg but after the operation my blood pressure is normal and creatinine 1.2mg/dl. But i have mild pain in my left kidney area. I am still playing but some days I get a headache. My questions are: 1) Should I stop playing and doing hard work? 2) How to avoid load on the kidney and improve its function? 3) What are the foods I should avoid and please suggest a diet? 4) Can I live a normal life? 5) Should I take any madicine? 7) Is this mild pain a serious one or only a muscular pain?

A:You now have a solitary functioning kidney. It is not surprising to learn that your blood pressure has returned to normal after removal of your diseased kidney which was causing your blood pressure to rise. As far as life style goes, I shall suggest to avoid sports where you may be prone to injury specially to your left loin area. Otherwise, there is no need to restrict your sports-related acitivites. Dietary advice will consist of avoiding salt intake in excessive quantities and to consume proteins in moderation (1.0 gm/Kg/day) since excess amount of protein increases the work load on your kidneys. I must emphasize that you should not cut down your protein intake to become malnourished and you should only avoid excessive consumption (i.e., more than that is necessary). It is important to maintain your blood pressure within nornmal limits which for you should be < 130/80mmHg. If you smoke, you must give that up. Lastly, it is important to identify the cause leading to removal of right kidney which you have vaguely mentioned. Because the factor leading to right nephrectomy must be rectified or ensured that it is and will not affect your remaining kidney.

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