Side Effects of Living with One Kidney

The kidneys carry out lots of functions that are vital to health, but it is not unusual to have only one kidney to do the work of two.

What Are Side Effects of Living with One Kidney?

Many people are born with a single kidney. It is more common in males, and the left kidney is the one more typically missing. The ureter (tube that takes urine from the kidney to the bladder) on the afflicted side is typically abnormal or absent. A problem of the reproductive tract may likewise be seen on the same side, regularly in females than in males.

Sometimes, one kidney may need to be surgically gotten rid of, leaving a single continuing to be kidney. Elimination of the kidney (a “nephrectomy”) may be required as a result of an anatomic irregularity such as obstruction, or because of a tumour, or from a severe terrible injury after an accident. Alternatively, one kidney might be contributed to a liked one who has kidney failure.

Kidney donors will need to know the simple precautions that will assist their kidney health– see below.

How Is a Single Kidney Different?

The single normal kidney will grow faster and get larger than a normally paired kidney. For this factor, the single kidney is larger and much heavier than typical therefore is more susceptible to injury. It is essential to be knowledgeable about the increased risk of injury with particular heavy contact sports, so that mindful choices can be made relating to participation in numerous physical activities. Other side effects are that people with one kidney ought to prevent sports that involve greater threats of heavy contact or accident. These might include boxing, field hockey, football, ice hockey, martial arts and fumbling. Anyone with a single kidney who chooses to participate in these sports should be additional mindful and use protective cushioning. She or he need to understand that the consequences of losing a single kidney are extremely major.

one kidney

How does living with one kidney affect you

Exist any long-lasting issues to dealing with a single kidney?

Most individuals with a single typical kidney have couple of or no issues, especially in the first couple of years. However, some longer-term issues have been identified and many physicians think that individuals with a single kidney, particularly from birth or during early youth, need to be followed up more closely than individuals with two typical kidneys. Children who have actually had a kidney surgically removed might have some slightly increased chance of establishing abnormal quantities of protein in the urine and some irregularity in kidney function in early adult life. Similar irregularities have actually been discovered in people born with a single kidney. In addition, there is a higher possibility of establishing a slightly greater blood pressure than regular. The reduction in kidney function is normally mild, and life span is regular.

Any Special Diet Needed to Live With One Kidney Diet?

In basic, unique diets are not required by people who have one healthy kidney. You should have a healthy well-balanced diet, decrease your salt consumption and objective to drink six to 8 glasses of water a day, or a minimum of two liters. Speak with your doctor or a registered dietician if you have concerns about the standard active ingredients of a healthy diet. Likewise see healthy eating for kidney patients and food labelling composed by Marianne Vennegor, Renal Dietician.

Over-the-Counter Medicines

Those coping with a single kidney should be cautious how they use non-prescription medicines. For additional information, please see our pages on nonprescription medicines and analgesia and kidney disease.

How Frequently Should Somebody With One Kidney See Their GP?

A urine test (urinalysis) and blood pressure check ought to be done yearly, and kidney function must be checked every few years – regularly if an abnormal urinalysis or blood pressure is found.

What Special Preventative Measures Are Advised for Transplant Patients?

  • Due to the fact that the transplanted kidney is generally positioned into the hips, these kidneys are less secured and more quickly hurt. Subsequently, the exact same suggestions of avoiding heavy contact and collision sports apply to people who have had a kidney transplant.
  • Mindful screening has actually revealed that the transplanted kidney can (as in other circumstances resulting in a single kidney) increase its function, reaching a level of function that has to do with 70 per cent of that normally accomplished by two kidneys.


Many people live normal, healthy lives with one kidney. However, it’s crucial to stay as healthy as possible, and protect the only kidney you have.

Last Update - September 23, 2017


The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures. Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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