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Living Well with One Kidney

Tips for maintaining long-term health with one kidney:

  • Exercise at least four times a week for 30 minutes.
  • Eat a balanced and appropriate caloric diet.
  • Avoid saturated and trans fats.
  • Eat whole grains, and plenty of vegetables and fruits.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Talk to your doctor before taking over-the-counter medication or supplements for more than a week
  • Monitor you blood pressure. A desirable blood pressure is less than 120/70. You may need treatment if your blood pressure is greater than 130/80.
  • Stay well hydrated and drink at least 2 liters (about eight glasses) of fluid per day. Drink more if you are sweating.
  • Avoid high protein meal plans, such as the Atkins Diet, and high protein drinks. High protein diets can overwork and damage your kidney.
  • Avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS). Talk to your primary care provider about alternatives if you need a pain reliever.
  • Avoid nicotine.