Q:

What kind of diet should you follow if you have a single kidney?

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Quick Answer

People with only one kidney do not require a special diet, but those with a reduction of kidney function should take steps to lower the chances of developing kidney disease, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Controlling blood pressure and injury is also important with only one kidney.

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Full Answer

People can control blood pressure by quitting smoking, eating a good diet and taking medications, explains the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The medications that people take for blood pressure may also help to slow the development of kidney disease. These include angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers, and some people also take a diuretic medication to help the kidney remove excess fluid from the blood.

Those with one kidney must also ensure the protection of the remaining kidney, states the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. If the patient loses the remaining kidney, the person must await a kidney transplant and go on dialysis. It is also important for people with one kidney to ensure all doctors know they only have one kidney as medical procedures, and medications may damage the remaining organ. Those who play sports, for example, must wear protective equipment when participating, and ensure that the equipment remains in place throughout the activity.

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