Q:

What dietary changes are made after kidney removal?

A:

Quick Answer

Patients who have had a kidney removed can generally follow a normal diet that provides plenty of fiber, according to MedlinePlus. Staying hydrated is important, and individuals should drink between four and eight glasses of water per day, unless their doctor provides other guidance.

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Full Answer

If the remaining kidney is healthy, it may continue to function properly after a full or partial nephrectomy, according to Mayo Clinic. Patients should follow a daily exercise or physical activity regime to support a healthy diet. If kidney disease develops in the remaining kidney, a doctor may reduce salt and protein in the patient's diet.

Reducing sodium and salt helps regulate blood pressure, and kidney patients should strive for no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, explains the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Tips for reducing sodium include choosing fresh foods over prepared or packaged foods, using herbs and salt-free seasonings in place of table salt, and rinsing canned products such as vegetables and beans before preparing them. The nutrition labels on food products indicate the sodium content as a daily value, and a sodium value of 20 percent or more is considered high. Patients should also monitor the phosphorus and potassium content in foods.

A doctor may recommend a low-protein diet to protect the remaining kidney, as well as the heart and blood vessels, states the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Lean sources of protein are best, including fish, beans, skinless poultry and lean cuts of meat. Broiling, stewing, baking, roasting and stir-frying in a small amount of olive oil or nonstick cooking spray are healthier methods than frying.

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