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What to Expect When Recovering from a Kidney Transplant

As you await a new kidney, you likely have many concerns and questions about life after the transplant. At Kidney Clinic of North Florida, we want you to be knowledgeable and have the best outcome.

Toward this end, it’s essential to be well-informed ahead of the operation. Let’s take a look at what you can expect after kidney transplantation and how to promote its success.

Kidney Transplant Medical Follow-Up

After your hospital discharge, you’ll return to our clinic frequently for check-ups where Dr. Gaurav Tandon will oversee your ongoing care. Dr. Tandon and our team will support you as you go through the entire recovery process. Additionally, our team will update your primary care physician on your medical status.

At your first postoperative exam, we’ll review your medication use, diet, and the precautions to follow.

You’ll also need to have monthly blood tests. Regular labs will reveal any blood markers of kidney rejection, thereby preventing organ damage.

Diet After Kidney Transplantation

As you recuperate, it’s normal to feel weak and tired. During this period, your body needs optimal nutrition to ward off infections and heal. Of particular importance is getting ample protein to build muscle tissue and strength.

Dr. Tandon can inform you of what to include in your diet to help your recovery and will ensure you have everything you need to treat any kidney-related conditions you’re dealing with as well.

Exercise Guidelines

One week after your transplant, you can start doing dome light walking but you will want to limit your activity. Walk for as long as you’re comfortable, increasing the time gradually. At home, you can also do light chores.

Beyond that, you’ll need to avoid lifting anything over 10 lbs. for the next six months. You’ll also want to avoid any strenuous activities as that level of movement could cause complications as you heal.

Most kidney recipients can resume working or attending school within one to two months post-op.

Medication Regimen

You’ll need to take anti-rejection medications for the rest of your life. Make sure to follow Dr. Tandon’s instructions and take all your doses as prescribed. These drugs enable your body to accept the new kidney. Without them, your immune system will attack the organ, viewing it as foreign and threatening.

Still, immunosuppressants can raise your risk of infection. Meanwhile, your body will be adjusting to the new drugs, so be alert for any adverse side effects and notify us immediately if you’re having any issues.

Red Flags for Kidney Rejection

Even while taking immunosuppressants, your body can reject the new kidney. Indications of postoperative problems include:

  • tenderness or pain at the surgical site
  • fever
  • elevated blood pressure
  • debilitating weakness and fatigue
  • swollen hands or feet
  • weight gain
  • voiding less urine than usual

If you have any of these warning signs, promptly call our office. You must receive timely treatment to safeguard your kidney.

On the other hand, some transplant patients have no signs of kidney rejection. However, blood tests will catch any brewing problems at the outset.

Symptoms of Transplant Complications

Some other symptoms that will let you know you’re having transplant complications include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Feeling lightheaded or unusually weak
  • Fluid retention, such as abdominal bloat
  • Bruising or bleeding
  • Dry or productive cough with yellow or greenish phlegm
  • Skin abnormality, such as a rash
  • Vaginal itch or discharge
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Orange-brown or reddish urine
  • Black stools

Again, if you’re experiencing any of these issues, call our office as soon as possible.

Kidney Transplant Recovery Tips

Typically, kidney transplant patients return to work or school in one to two months. Complete healing takes about six months. To ensure you’re staying on track, you’ll want to:

  • Take your medications as prescribed.
  • Avoid strenuous activities, sports, and lifting more than 10 lbs.
  • Eat nutritiously and walk as regularly as you can
  • Report any medication side effects or red flags of kidney rejection.
  • Promptly call our office with any questions or concerns.

Schedule A Consultation

Dr. Gaurav Tandon is a board-certified nephrologist and has been treating people with kidney disease for over 10 years. As Dr. Tandon’s valued patient, you’ll receive the most advanced kidney treatments available. No matter what your kidney concerns are, he can answer your questions and provide the best treatment for you.

To arrange a consultation, call our Jacksonville, FL office today at 904-593-5333 or use our online scheduling form.

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How to Prevent Kidney Stones: Diet and Lifestyle Changes That Can Help

Kidney stones are quite common and are most prone to happen in people with certain health conditions, like diabetes. That being said, they can also occur without any known underlying cause.

There are a lot of misconceptions about what causes kidney stones and how to get rid of them. Let’s take a look at what a kidney stone is and some recommendations on how to prevent them from occurring.

What Is a Kidney Stone?

Kidney stones are pieces of material that have accumulated in a person’s urine. They often are made up of salt, the waste products of protein, and potassium. Sometimes a stone can be broken down to pass harmlessly through the urinary system but other times, when they pass, they can be extremely painful. Most kidney stones are formed made of calcium oxalate and are formed when oxalate, a byproduct of certain foods, binds to calcium as urine is being produced by the kidneys.

Diet Recommendations for Kidney Stones

Eating a healthy diet is crucial for keeping kidney stones at bay. By changing a few specific things in your diet, you can help prevent them from forming. Let’s take a look at a couple of suggestions.

Drink Plenty of Fluid

Drinking fluids is essential to flush your kidneys with fresh, clean water. The more water you drink, the less chance you’ll have of forming kidney stones. Sports drinks containing electrolytes are another way to replenish hydration. They will also help the kidneys function properly and keep materials that can cause kidney stones out of the body. Maintaining hydration is especially important for people who have chronic conditions like diabetes.

Eat a Moderate Amount of Protein

Excess protein intake, including red meat, poultry, and eggs, can boost the levels of uric acid, which can lead to kidney stones. A high-protein diet can also decrease the levels of urinary citrate in the body which is the chemical in your urine that can help prevent kidney stones from forming in the first place. Aim to have a balanced diet including fruits, vegetables, lean protein, fish, and grains.

Limit Foods With High Oxalate Content

Oxalate foods are often a problem for people who have kidney stones. Oxalic acid is a substance that’s very common in the human body but it’s also found in many foods as well. Foods that have the most oxalates include green leafy vegetables, soy, almonds, potatoes, tea, rhubarb, cereal grains, and beets. Try to limit yourself to three servings daily. While these foods offer great nutritional benefits, they aren’t always the best for those trying to prevent kidney stones.

Schedule A Consultation

Kidney stones can be very painful when they form in the body and are passed through the urinary tract but with some changes to your diet, you can prevent them from occurring.

If you struggle with kidney stones or other kidney issues and are looking for help, Dr. Tandon and our team of professionals at the Kidney Clinic of North Florida are more than happy to help you figure out what’s wrong and to provide a customized treatment plan that fits your needs.

To schedule a consultation today, call our Jacksonville, FL office at +1 904-593-5333 or use our online scheduling form.