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Living With Single Kidney

Kidneys remove waste and harmful substances from the body via urination, keep salt and water balance in the body and various minerals in the blood at constant level.

However, a healthy single kidney can fulfill these duties easily. If the existing single kidney is healthy, these persons will live without any problems.

Why do some people have single kidney?

About one of 750 persons is born with single kidney. The frequency of incidence of congenital single kidney is more in males and generally non-existence of left kidney is seen. In addition to this, since one of kidneys of the person is injured seriously as a result of it the kidney must be excised by the operation or one of kidneys may be donated for organ transplantation. 

We are born with double kidneys but our absolute need is the single kidney. A healthy single kidney can fulfill duty of two kidneys easily. A person will need dialysis treatment or kidney transplantation to maintain his life if renal failure is in question for both kidneys. 

What kind of a change does the single kidney?

A healthy single kidney grows fast and reaches to bigger sizes compared to double kidney. For this reason, since single kidney is larger and heavier than usual, it can be accepted as more prone to the trauma. For this reason, person with single kidney should avoid strong contact sports. These supports include box, wrestle, football and riding. These people should be aware of the fact that losing single kidney may lead to serious results.  

Are there any future problems for the person with single kidney?

High protein levels in urine and some changes of kidney functions may be observed in patients born with single kidney and kidney of whom needed to be removed when they were children about 25 years later. Although the possibility of hypertension is higher, changes of kidney function are mild and there is no difference in terms of life expectation.

Does single kidney require dietint?

A person with single and healthy kidney doesn’t need special nutrition or diet. Healthy nutrition and life style recommended for all people is suggested for these people.

How often should a person with single kidney be controlled by the doctor? 

Annual urinalysis and tension measurement should be performed once a year and kidney functions should be controlled once in a few years. In fact these suggestions are not different from annual check-up protocols recommended for healthy individuals with two kidneys.