Recuperating after a Kidney Transplant: Diet and Recovery

As more and more cases of kidney complications due to bad eating habits and alcohol abuse are being reported, the solution for some of these patients is a full-kidney transplant, a major surgery. Kidney transplants are a comparatively expensive surgical procedure which requires an individual to have huge financial resources. Luckily, there are several health insurance agencies and medical service providers, who can help such patients to cover the treatment costs under certain schemes. (Information credit: https://www.getsavvi.co.za)

A successful kidney transplant is always a better option than dialysis, albeit more expensive.  A patient’s diet can definitely get more relaxed after the procedure. However, there are still some post-operative measures for you to take regarding your diet.

  1. Protein Intake: Food items with extra protein content should be consumed by patients for up to six weeks after the procedure. Protein is a proven catalyst when it comes to post-surgical healing. Additionally, corticosteroids which are generally prescribed after a transplant can have negative muscle breakdown effect on the body. Regular protein intake covers up the muscle breakdown during this period.
  2. Salt Intake: Too much of salt should consciously be avoided after a kidney transplant. The reason behind this is to control the fluid retention of muscles, as well as keeping the blood pressure in check. Preserved foods rich in sodium content like canned food, processed meat, high sodium snacks, pickles etc, can have a similar effect on your body.
  3. Phosphorus Intake: A significant reduction in bone mass is generally noticed when people suffer from renal failure or other kidney related diseases. Hence, it is always advised to consume phosphorous rich food to maintain the phosphorous level in blood which helps in the bone rebuilding process.
  4. Fat Intake Control: Too much of fat intake is never a good idea, especially after a kidney transplant operation. It has a negative effect on a person’s blood cholesterol level, which usually remainshigh due to the use of anti-rejection drugs. Hence, all fatty elements including fried food, snacks and roasted dishes need to be removed from a patient’s diet and replaced with a low-fat diet.
  5. Potassium Intake Control: Some drugs which are prescribed to the patients after operation have a tendency to cause potassium imbalance in the body. It is important to monitor and control potassium level in the blood by introducing potassium-rich food like bananas, oranges, potatoes etc in their diet.
  6. Monitoring weight: Gaining weight is always a possibility after a kidney transplant, which does not facilitate a quick recovery process. Certain post-operative drugs prescribed by the physicians have been linked with weight gain in the past. Hence, weight should be monitored and controlled. Consulting a physician for advice regarding the exercise routine is always preferred.

Successful kidney transplants can offer people a new life but you still have to look after your kidney. The above tips are useful for maintaining a healthy lifestyle after the surgery.

Comments are closed