If you or a loved one has advanced or permanent kidney failure, your best option for treatment may be a kidney transplant. A kidney transplant is when a kidney that no longer functions properly is removed and replaced with a donated kidney.
While a kidney transplant is not a cure for kidney disease or renal failure, it is a highly effective treatment. People who receive a new kidney are required to take medicine for the rest of their lives — lives that can, for the most part, be led normally. One important aspect of post-operative care after a kidney transplant is maintaining a heart-healthy, kidney-friendly diet. This will not only help keep your kidneys functioning well, it will help you live a healthier, longer life.
Recommended diet post kidney transplant surgery
Good nutrition plays a key role in successfully recovering from a kidney transplant. Here are some recommendations to keep you and your new kidney healthy:
- Drink plenty of fluids – Dehydration can be harmful to a new kidney, be sure to drink plenty of water.
- Increase your protein intake – You need more protein than normal to heal and fight infection following surgery. Fill your plate with lean means, poultry, fish, low-fat or non-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs (or egg substitutes), nuts, peas and soy-based foods.
- Decrease your potassium – Transplant medications may cause a high potassium level in your blood, try to AVOID foods high in potassium like melons, bananas, avocados, oranges, potatoes, tomatoes, dark leafy greens, chocolate, and lentils.
- Avoid foods high in sodium – Limit sodium to help control fluid retention that could send your new kidney into overdrive, AVOID foods high in sodium like cured meats, lunch meats, pickles, olives, frozen or canned foods with more than 600 mg of sodium per serving, as well as fast foods.
It’s important to follow a heart-healthy diet to control your weight and lower your risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. High cholesterol, if left untreated, can clog the renal arteries and limit blood flow to the kidneys, causing kidney failure. Contact the experienced transplant team at South Texas Renal Care Group at 210-212-8622 for more information about our compassionate, experienced kidney transplant surgery team.