Spokesperson: Dr. Venkatesh, Consultant Nephrologist, Apollo Dialysis Clinics
Due to lack of awareness, there are certain myths in people’s mind while considering a transplant. Chronic Kidney disease is a progressive loss in the kidney function over a prolonged period of time. When the kidney loses its ability to function properly, the need to treat them in a systematic way becomes a necessity. Patients with advanced kidney failure need dialysis to survive. Dialysis and Kidney Transplant are the most common and convenient ways to deal with kidney dysfunctioning.
Kidney Transplant is a treatment but not a cure. It is a surgical procedure performed to treat kidney failure. Therefore, even after a transplant, patients might suffer from certain kidney issues.
According to the Organ India organization, transplants from deceased donors have an 85 to 90% success rate for the first year, which means after one year, 85 to 90 out of every 100 transplanted kidneys are functionable. Live donor transplants have a 90 to 95% success rate.
Kidney Transplant is recommended when the extra waste and fluids get built up in the body due to the kidney dysfunction. It is extremely harmful for one’s health and can impose serious health implications in the later half of the life. In comparison to dialysis, transplant has a couple of advantages to offer. It helps to improve the quality of life by helping a person gain more energy, get a lot more free time from not having to go for daily dialysis sessions, more flexibility to travel and work with fewer restrictions on diet plans.
Alongside, the survival rates are much higher after undergoing a transplant. However, patience is the key to moderation and understanding the limits. Initially, the patient will probably have less energy than they did before the surgery. It takes time for an individual’s body to heal and adjust to the new medications. It is advised to stay as healthy as possible.
Things to keep in mind during kidney transplant:
- Always stay hydrated: Water is the best medicine to a successful recovery when one has to undergo the transplant. Try to limit the intake of caffeine as it is a weak diuretic drink which contributes to dehydration. Drink plenty of water, typically 2 litres to keep your body and kidneys healthy.
- Reach out for help: This is a fact that family members have an increased chance of getting a match for the kidney donation but we can also reach out to our friends and strangers to seek help. Living donations provide better outcomes who are in need of a kidney transplant. Try to spread the word as much as possible, also on social media and never feel ashamed or hesitant to talk about the kidney transplant.
- Consult with the doctor: Kidney transplant can increase the chances of having high blood pressure and diabetes. One can notice symptoms like fever, cough, vomiting,nausea, producing less urine than normal and also the uneasy pain while urinating. These are the alarming signs which call for an immediate doctor consultation. Keep a track on the red blood cell count and having a record of the blood pressure and cholesterol is very important. In this on-going pandemic, being in touch with the doctor is very crucial.
- Maintain a healthy weight: It is important to control blood pressure, blood sugar levels, cholesterol or else it will increase the risk for heart and blood vessel disease. It is advised to continue visiting the doctor in order to monitor the levels.
- Avoid taking OTC drugs unless prescribed: There are a few common over-the-counter drugs available which people take to avoid the pain or the discomfort post the transplant surgery. Avoid taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen which can cause kidney dysfunction. Alongside, do not take antihistamines and antacids which might change the absorption capacity. There are also a few herbal supplements and vitamins which should not be consumed by the patient as it might mix up with the transplant medications and put one’s health at risk by causing weight gain, increased body hair growth, bone thinning, acne and developing certain skin cancer problems. It is always recommended to consult a medical expert before indulging in any of the medicines, as they might know better looking at the condition which medicines need to be prescribed.
- Try to avoid gatherings: People having bad kidney health mostly suffer from weak immune systems, therefore it is highly advisable to avoid infections at any cost. During or after the transplant, infections tend to occur mostly at the site of the incision, or at times we find shingles, a kind of virus causing infection all over the body. To take care of the same, try to avoid visiting crowded places like malls, hospitals, markets, public transport and so on. Alongside, one can also suffer from skin cancer problems and risk of heart and blood vessel disease which needs to be consulted from time to time.
- Make your food choices wisely: After undergoing a transplant, one can have a healthy balanced diet with special dietary considerations, which can help to maintain a healthy weight in place. Intake of proteins is very essential as it helps to build muscles and recover the lost weight. Avoid taking protein supplements as the body might go through excess protein consumption. Also, avoid taking raw or under-cooked food items as it might put the stomach to go through severe illness. Alongside, avoid taking grapefruit or grapefruit juice as it might create a strong chemical reaction with the drugs in the body.