Up and down

13 Nov

Last time we talked about low GFR.

Today let’s talk about other ways your GFR might be affected.

Dehydration: if you are not properly hydrated,your body will lack the exact thing it needs to flush the toxins and waste products out (like rinsing a cup out with a couple of spoonfuls of water). Also,as a result of lower fluid levels,your blood chemistry levels and urine contents will be more concentrated,making it look like your numbers are higher (like making hot chocolate with half the water/milk than it calls for in the recipe). It is important to stay properly hydrated. Being dehydrated can damage your kidney. Try to drink a fair amount of water throughout the day and keep pop,especially diet pop,to as much as a minimum as you can (most artificial sweeteners are bad for kidney function and carbonated pop is bad for calcium/phosphorus balances,regulated in part by the kidneys,of which you only have one now. Also,steering clear from pop more often is helping steer away from the risk of developing type 2 diabetes,also bad for kidneys). Try to keep alcohol & caffeinated drinks to a minimum as well,these can cause dehydration by themselves. If you’re not sure how much to drink,consult the doctor conducting your follow-up care.

Muscle gain: the higher your muscle mass,the higher your creatinine levels.This is one occassion a lower GFR might not mean lower kidney function. If you plan on weight training/bodybuilding,anything that involves raising your existing muscle mass, you might notice your GFR being a bit lower/creatinine levels a bit higher. Creatinine is a waste product in your blood that is produced after muscle activity…the more muscle,the more waste.

Age: as we age,all our bodily functions slowly decline. So will your kidney function. Normal,aging-related kidney function decline is slow and generally dangerous unless it reaches a really low level. You as a uninephric living kidney donor though have to keep in mind that your GFR is already lower and in your older years,your GFR will be even lower (in fact,donating a kidney can make your GFR drop by as much as 25 years’ worth of aging). Keep a good eye on changes in your GFR.

Medicines: there are a lot of nephrotoxic medicines out there that can temporarily impair your kidney’s function…or damage it long-term. These include NSAIDs,ibuprofen(Advil),CT scan contrast,certain antibiotics & supplements. You should be careful with protein supplements,as well. Make very sure any medicine you are prescribed throughout the rest of your life are not a danger to your kidney function & do your own research as well.

Weight gain: while this is not exactly GFR, a lot of weight gain can cause increased proteinuria. Also,being obese puts an extra strain on your kidney in terms of waste elimination and can cause high colesterol as well as high blood pressure,the last being a big cause of kidney disease. Since a kidney donor is already at risk for increased blood pressure,it makes sense to try & stay at a healthy weight.

Ninth truth: your GFR can fluctuate.

All these previously described possibilities can make your kidney function fluctuate. Fluctuations are normal even pre-donation. What you want to watch out for is abnormal differences or a steady,non-fluctuating downward change(either a sudden downward change that doesn’t seem to come back up or a steady downward trend). Just because there was no evidence of kidney disease pre-donation doesn’t rule out the chance that you might still  develop it. The transplant work-up can only tell whether you have kidney problems or not,it cannot predict whether you might develop problems,donation or no donation,20 years down the road.

So remember: even if your GFR is ‘acceptable’ or even good now (yes,there are a few people out there with wonder-kidneys that do manage to do two kidneys’ job…at least for now),have checked at least once a year,but especially if and when you don’t feel well. You’re stuck with this for the rest of your life now,make sure you stay as healthy as you can and practice preventative medicine.


Doctors in the big after

4 Nov

Your health care after donating a kidney is very important. At the very least,you will need (after your alloted follow-ups with the hospital,donor team & surgeon) annual visits to your family doctor. Your post-donation follow-up,long- and short-term,of course,depends on how you feel. This is what determines the level of healthcare you should seek.

As long as you feel well after donation,if you are not experiencing any symptoms that cause you unease or make you feel unwell,if you are satisfied with your bloodwork numbers,annual check-ups should suffice. Just remember two tips of caution:

Sixth truth: no symptoms don’t necessarily mean no problems. Don’t skip your annual check-up.

Seventh truth: our health does not stay static. Just because you have no problems now,doesn’t mean that as your body ages and changes,you won’t have any. Add to that the unknown factor of being minus a kidney & those changes became that little bit more unforeseeable. Once again:don’t skip check-ups.

But let’s say for a minute something is bothering you post-donation. It could be a little thing,it could be a big thing. What matters is how you feel about it & how much does it affect you. Remember,it’s your life and your body–if a health problem is impacting on it,you need to deal with it.

A good start to finding a diagnosis and a solution is either your family doctor or your donor team. They can do preliminary tests & perhaps find a solution. Some healthcare issues may fall outside the level of expertise these healthcare providers are equipped with and this is when you might get referred to a specialist. Here’s a few of them:

Nephrologist: you’ve of course met at least one,pre-transplant. To recap,they monitor kidney function and deal with kidney malfunctions & diseases. You might keep seeing one,depending on how well or not so well your onesy bounced back after being dumped with a double shift. Sometimes your one kidney has trouble bouncing back quick enough and might even freeze up for a short while. Sometimes,down the line,you might notice your kidney function declining (sometimes illnesses,medicines or pregnancy can damage your kidney) or you might sustain an injury ( this is why you’re supposed to try to stay away from contact sports…but accidents can be dangerous,too). In those circumstances,it will be a nephrologist that follows your kidney function.

Endocrinologist: this is a specialist dealing with the glands of the body. If you went into the donation process with a thyroid issue,you ought to be periodically assessed by an endocrinologist,especially if your family doctor is not comfortable or experienced with thyroid issues. Also,sometimes fatigue symptoms can be related to a low cortisol level,which is produced by the adrenal glands and sometimes adrenal glands can become damaged during the donation process (there is an adrenal gland on top of each kidney). Adrenal & thyroid diagnoses and treatment ideally require an endocrinologist.

Cardiologist: we all age and with age generally comes at least some level of heart problems. Donating a kidney brings with it the additional risk of elevated (compared to pre-donation) blood pressure. You need to regularly monitor your blood pressure to keep on top of it. You should do this even if you’re fairly young,because high blood pressure has no symptoms and it’s better to catch it early. Another added risk is if you are a woman at close to menopausal age as this also increases your risks of heart disease (this is also true for men over 40,but if it runs in your family,it might be earlier). If you start hitting a certain blood pressure level,age or start to experience heart disease symptoms,you will need a cardiologist.

You might also meet or need other specialists or need different tests done. One VERY IMPORTANT thing to remember: if you need a CT scan,MRI or angiogram that requires contrast,make it very clear that you only have ONE kidney. Make sure they use the less nephrotoxic contrasts,the least amount possible or if possible,none at all and make sure you you receive prophylactic measures beforehand (like Mucomyst). Never forget you only have one kidney. Always make sure everybody involved in your healthcare is aware of this,especially if you ever need to have another procedure or surgery in hospital. Also,make sure any medicine you might have prescribed,whether from pre-donation or post-donation is safe to take. The same goes for any supplements or vitamins or other natural remedies.

When you go for a follow-up,make sure you voice everything that concerns you.Make sure that when discussing your test results,you are told the numbers and what they mean,not just that ‘it’s great’.Make them explain the number and how it relates to you,not some reference range (this is why it’s important to have your pre-donation numbers handy). If you aren’t satisfied with the explanation,diagnosis or care you receive,find another healthcare provider that gives you and your issues the attention they need to be resolved. Never be afraid to ask for an explanation,a test,a referral to a specialist,an opinion. Never settle for not feeling right,for the ‘it’s normal’ brush-off,for not being able to live life like you are meant to. Don’t be afraid to do your own research. Be vigilant about your health even if you are well now….being proactive in maintaining your health now will pay off in the long run that is the rest of your life.

Eighth truth: it’s your body and your life. You know when it’s well and when it’s not.Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

Pre-donation levels

30 Oct

If you’re thinking of donating a kidney ,if you are in the process of getting assessed for a kidney donation,definitely read this post.I’m sorry if you’re reading this after you’ve already donated.

When you get assessed for a kidney donation,they tell you this is to make sure you are healthy enough. This is only partly true. They will most probably care only about these things:do you have anything infectious(like STDs),high blood pressure,pre-existing kidney or liver disease,diabetes and cancer. Oddly enough, having any of these conditions (except the infectious diseases,of course) might not disqualify you,especially if you are in the US. Think very hard if this happens to you. Donating a kidney will almost surely acerbate any pre-existing condition you have.

But what they never do is to see if you have any other underlying conditions,especially ones you might not be aware of. This is very dangerous,because by donating a kidney you could make a condition you didn’t know you had much worse. It’s very important that YOU make sure of this.

During the average live donor work-up,there are blood tests they’re (work-up team) are supposed to do,like hemoglobin,creatinine,white blood cells,electrolytes,liver function (if they don’t do liver function blood tests,make them do it —& then there are blood tests you really have to get them to do on top of their tests …or get your GP to do. Make sure you know and keep these pre-donation blood test results.

Cortisol :this hormone is produced by your adrenal glands which are sitting right on top of your kidneys. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrenal_glandCortisol is very essential to your body’s function.You cannot live without it. It is very important to get your am-pm cortisol checked at least once but twice would be better,in order to know what level of cortisol  your body uses and is used to running on. This baseline reading is very important,because doctors generally don’t pay attention to your cortisol levels until it goes below 160…at which point one basically has Addison’s. The reason it’s so important is that your adrenal gland could get damaged or removed during the donation surgery. You need to know what level you were at pre-donation so you can prove a drop in your cortisol levels if you need to.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epinephrine,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortisol,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addison’s_disease

ACTH: this is the hormone that tells your adrenals to produce cortisol. It’s important to know the balance between your cortisol and your ACTH levels.

TSH :this is your Thyroid Stimulating Hormones. They tell your thyroid to produce thyroxine (T4)hormones. A lot of people have subclinical hypothyroidism and don’t know it. Even subclinical hypothyroidism can be made worse by giving up one of your kidneys. Keep this in mind if you plan on having children post-donation…it’s been proven it’s hard to conceive with low thyroid function. It’s also important to check your T4,T3 and free T4 hormone levels,especially if your TSH levels come back abnormal (or close to).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thyroid-stimulating_hormone

Estrogen: you are about to upset your delicate (yes,everybody’s is delicate)inner hormone balance. Make sure you know what your hormone levels are before you go upsetting them so you’ll know if you did upset the balance afterwards. Estrogen levels,needless to say,are important if you’re a female. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estrogen

Aldosterone: another hormone your adrenals produce and you need a baseline level the same reason as for the cortisol.

B vitamins : these are essential to using your energy and helping to make more red blood cells. Living donors tend to run low on them. http://ajprenal.physiology.org/content/291/1/F22.full

If you can get a D vitamin test,that helps,too…although you will surely need D supplements post-donation,it’s been proven living donors run low on D. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19857678, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcitriol

Hormone balances are labile things at best. But after donation,when the production of at least one hormone is upset,it can trigger other glands to behave unbalanced in different ways. It is possible for glands to underproduce hormones…or overproduce hormones. This is why it’s important know your numbers. You need to know YOUR personal baseline numbers. I emphasize the ‘personalhere,as the optimal hormone levels differ from person to person…everybody. You need these number in order to be able to compare them to your post-donation numbers. This way nobody can convince you of being ‘in range of normal values’ when it’s not your normal range…or not your optimal range.This is another important distinction.’Normal’ is a set of range that most people fall into on average,but some are on the low end,some on the high end. You need to know where you,personally,are on that scale. Optimal  is the level an individual functions at best. You need to know your normal/optimal levels so nobody can lie to you about it or white wash your levels to be better than they. If anything might go wrong, you need to be able to prove it did. Make sure you know ALL your pre-donation levels,from all the tests the work-up team does and from any other tests.

Fifth truth: we are all different.Don’t let anybody tell you what level/number range should be normal–know what is optimal for YOU.

(I am aware I use a lot of Wiki links…I do find them to be fairly accurate compared to other sources and this way I can keep it consistent.)

Is it ok?

26 Oct

Well,here you are,minus a kidney.

I bet you’re wondering if everything is ok.You’re worried about at least one thing that never used to happen to you.

I bet you were told everything will go back to normal,you’ll be your old self in just a couple of weeks,don’t go jogging just yet,har har.

I bet at least one of these has happened or is happening to you:

Fatigue: this is a very common symptom.The question is,is it time-related or donation-related. You will feel very very tired for about two weeks post-donation. This is normal. If everything is fine,you will feel tired for about three months and then slowly recover up until about a year post-donation. This is just the basic recovery time for any surgery,it takes about a year. But if a year goes by and you still feel listless,fatigued,unable to muster a fraction of your former energy up,that is not normal. You need to see if any of your blood values are low (iron,potassium,B vitamins,sugar,cortisol),or high (TSH,ACTH,creatinine,sugar) and you need to check your blood pressure at the very least.

Pain: it is perfectly normal to feel pain,whether you’ve had keyhole or traditional nephrectomy. Pain is time-,quantity- and quality-related. Most of the big pain should be gone by a month at the latest. This is basically the pain of the actual physical injury you’ve undergone. You will keep getting sharp twinges,some of them may be quite startling,especially if you forget about your incisions and move suddenly or too far. These will grow farther apart and less vivid as time goes on and should be really unfrequent by around a year & a half. But if you have excessive pain at any point or if the pain’s strength or frequency doesn’t diminish with time or especially if it gets worse,that’s not normal. You need to have proper diagnostic tests done (ultrasound,CT scan,MRI) as well as blood tests at the very least to find out the cause.

Memory problems: believe it or not,this is an unacknowledged side effect of anesthesia and the brain fog it causes can last for the year it takes to recover from the surgery. You might find yourself blanking out before you finish the sentence or fishing for simple words that seem to have fallen out from your head. Walking into a room & forgetting why,forgetting appointments,pills,the day of the week,the shopping & forgetting to write the shopping list are all part of this post-donation mental fuzziness. The good news is,it gets better. While it’s immensely frustrating,especially if you are the type of person who had great recall pre-donation,it will eventually subside. In the meantime,practice memory tricks to help with recall & information retention. If it doesn’t pass or get better,it’s not normal. You need regular & hormone blood tests done at the very least,especially if you’re a woman,as it might be a menopause symptom. People with kidney disease tend to get menopause earlier,it’s not a far jump to link it to the suddenly lower kidney function of the kidney donor.

‘Something is moving’: now this is something nobody tells you. When they take the kidney out,it leaves a space inside you. Your other organs will rearrange fairly quickly to fill this space. But until then,you will feel things in motion inside you,especially if you try to turn in bed. When you do that,you will feel the contents of your insides literally shift from one side to the other. This is an extremely unsettling feeling but it shouldn’t last more than a couple of weeks.

Bleeding on & off (women): your body was not happy with the catheter,that’s why. Normal for the first one or two weeks. If your period pattern is disturbed afterwards,it might be settling into a new pattern,or if it persists long-term,it might be hormone imbalances & then you need blood tests to check them out.

‘I don’t know when I need to go pee’: for a few weeks afterwards,you might have trouble feeling the urge to ‘go’. Not in the sense that you’ll have an accident (if that happens,especially more than once,seek help!definitely not normal),but in that you might feel a bit numb and be less sensitive to the ‘I gotta go’ tickle. Just make regular trips to the bathroom until your sensations down there come back. Also,you will be constipated after any surgery both because of the anesthetics and the painkillers (even extra-strenght Tylenol will bind you up). Keep taking your laxatives and DON’T strain!

Skin issues: as you continue to recover (hopefully),you might notice your skin is different. You might break out in acne,face/chest/back/elsewhere. You might notice your skin darkening in unusual places. It might be getting drier or you might sweat more. Skin issues are a grab bag of minor & major causes. Newly out-of-balance hormones might cause acne and so can excess toxins and waste from your now diminished kidney function. Vitamin deficiencies (and yes,there are vitamin deficiencies related to kidney donation) could do the same. Excessively dark spots,especially under arms & inside of joints (knee/elbow/groin) & dark palm lines could be a sign of adrenal insufficiency or even failure,especially when coupled with excessive lethargy. What you need is to test your B vitamin levels and your cortisol/ACTH levels at the very least…B vitamin deficiencies can cause dry red patches around the mouth and acne while the aforementioned dark areas can be a harbinger of adrenal problems. Also,low calcium levels might indicate a co-existent D-vitamin deficiency which has been proven in kidney donors.

Joint pain: this is something you might not notice until years after. But if you get pain in your big toes or joints or even hip and your uric acid levels are high,you might have gout.

‘My shoes don’t fit’: if you are a woman,this can be either a devastating or fortuitous side effect….depending on whether you love your current shoes or would you be happier shopping for new shoes. In either case,your one lone kidney now has to deal with all the fluid load by itself and this results in an increase in your body’s retained water volume…which results in feet that might be a size larger post-donation,much like pregnant ladies. In addition,your feet might intermittently swell,making flip-flop season look very desirable. Can’t be helped and is normal as far as I can find out.

Dizziness: check your blood pressure! It might be too low,especially if you tend to experience dizziness after standing up or standing too long (too long depends on you,by the way). This is not normal. You need to get your blood pressure and blood electrolyte levels checked.

Bulging at the incision: this could be a sign of a hernia and should be checked out by a healthcare professional.

‘My legs itch’: have you noticed more spider veins (those little red clusters of veins) 0r more prominent/more numerous varicose veins? Well,guess  what,spider veins & varicose veins can itch! These unwelcome guests are probably the result of the same extra fluid load that makes your feet swollen…& you’re kind of stuck with them. You could try the traditional therapies for old-lady legs…put your legs up,support hose (yes,joking,kind of),don’t stand too long,etc…..

Leg cramps: annoying and inconvenient,probably the result of blood deficiencies…low iron,potassium,vitamins,red blood cells.A blood test will tell you what you’re lacking. In the meantime,don’t stretch too far in the bed and the charley horses will stay away.

Worse allergies: your immune system can go into overdrive after a surgery as it heals your body. This can result in temporary increases in allergy reaction severity,triggers or frequency. For example,you might have been fine with Fluffy the cat pre-donation but now you get a bit itchy around her. A good kidney-safe allergy medication is Benadryl,this is what ESRD patients use,too.

These are some common things you will experience after kidney donation. You might not experience all of them or you might experience other things,as well. They are the results both of having general surgery and having a kidney removed. While it’s perfectly normal to have side-effects after surgery,if something is really out of the norm for you,if you feel ill or if something really worries you,DO NOT HESITATE to consult a health professional—or as many as it takes to get the answer. If you have a follow-up team,make use of them. If the answer you get is unsatisfactory,get a second or third or as many-est opinions as it takes. Remember,just because you have given up a kidney & now ‘should be fine’,that’s not necessarily true and it’s not an excuse. While side-effects from surgery and kidney donation are unfortunately normal, health professional ignoring those side effects is NOT normal. If you feel unwell,get help & don’t stop trying until somebody does help.

IMPORTANT: if soon after surgery you develop a high fever,if your incision(s) is hot or there something wrong with it,IF YOU STOP URINATING at any point down the road,if you gain a lot of weight really quick (it could be fluid overload),seek help fast!!!!

Fourth truth: side-effects are the norm but that doesn’t mean it’s ok to for the side-effects to make you ill…and it’s not ok for doctors to ignore the side-effects ‘because it’s normal’.

Low GFR and the kidney donor

23 Oct

Here’s something interesting that the transplant community will try to deny till the cows come home.

When you donate a kidney,most likely you will have been told that your remaining kidney will take over the work of the absent kidney. You also most likely will have been informed that your post-donation kidney function will be around 70-80% of the your pre-donation kidney function. You will be told that this is perfectly normal and also that this is quite all right,it will not change anything.

Then you will find out afterwards that this means that say,if your pre-donation GFR was 90,now it’s maybe in the 70s. If your pre-donation GFR was closer to 80,now your GFR is more around in the 60s. This technically means you have kidney disease.

Not so,says the transplant community. You don’t have kidney disease,you just donated a kidney. Your leftover kidney is perfectly fine and your GFR  is perfectly normal,why,some people with two kidneys wish they had your kidney function.

Third truth: low kidney function is low kidney function,regardless of the number of kidneys we possess.

Low GFR means low kidney function,whether you have two kidneys and kidney disease,two kidneys slowly declining with age or one kidney that cannot possibly do the job that two kidneys were doing previously. Low GFR means the toxins and waste aren’t getting filtered properly out of your body. Low GFR has nothing to do with the number of kidneys,it has to do with the level of clearance the kidney or kidneys are achieving.

To say you have nothing to worry about because you have no kidney disease is a huge moot point. After donation your kidney function drops drastically (I mean drastically because it is a sudden change,not a gentle decline) and stays relatively where it lands,with possible minor fluctuations up or down. You,by donating a kidney,have in effect suffered a traumatic kidney injury (imagine,say,if you were injured in a crash and your kidney had to be removed due to damage). This will irrevocably result in a drop in GFR. So rather than not having kidney disease,you now have sub-optimal/sub-par/diminished kidney function.

When you had two kidneys,they worked as a team,each of them did approximately 50% of the work. Whatever needed to be filtered out,got filtered out. You had minimal waste & toxins floating around in you,polluting up the works. But now you have just one kidney,all of a sudden faced with the burden of filtering out everything by itself. That one kidney just can’t do it all,though. It can only do so much. That’s what your new,lower GFR signifies. The flip side of that coin is that whatever doesn’t get filtered out obviously stays behind and that can cause all sorts of ‘minor’ issues.

What sort of issues? Look up what comes with kidney disease. Skin problems (fancy having breakouts of acne again?)and gout are just two of them. Oh,and forget about eating starfruit,unless you want to risk getting sick.

To recap: low GFR after kidney donation IS normal. But it is not all right and risk-free by any means. Having good kidney function and adequate kidney function is not the same. Just because your kidney function isn’t bad enough to make you seriously ill doesn’t make it good kidney function. Also,just because your new,one-kidney lower GFR is not steadily declining (as it would in kidney disease) does not mean that your kidney function is not at diminished capacity. Your one kidney literally is at diminished capacity.

1 kidney=low GFR=low filtration=increased toxins & waste.

Can you spare one?

21 Oct

The first truth:you don’t have a spare kidney.

We are born with pairs of organs and limbs for a reason. We are genetically programmed  be the way we are for optimal function. One out of your two kidneys is not any more a spare than one out of your two legs or arms or yes,even lungs. There are a number of studies out there based on the fact that people can survive with one kidney or one lung…but that is not the same as actually having both kidneys or lungs.So,no,we do not have a ‘spare’ kidney,no matter who tells you what.Whatever you’re born with,you need for optimum health.

Second truth: you can spare a kidney.

This is not the same as having a spare kidney. A spare is something you don’t need right now,a back-up,if you will. Neither of your kidneys is a ‘spare’.You need and use both of them. Now,something you can spare is something you do need or use but you can get along without it.Not as well.perhaps,as you would with it,but you can.

To recap:you don’t have a spare kidney,but you can,under certain circumstances,spare one.

The big question is:should you?

Certainly you can live with one kidney.Nobody’s disputing that. Just not as well as with the two you’re supposed to have. Why?

Let’s see:what are your kidneys for?

Kidneys are for filtering waste matter & toxins out from your body.They also produce a variety of essential hormones,some of which act on their own and some influence the production of other hormones by other glands. This hormonal cycle is a delicate balancing act. They also have the adrenal glands attached to their top,but that is a subject for another post. You need both of your kidneys to perform these functions at a 100% level. Each of your kidneys do about 50% of the work. Now,if you donate one kidney,you are then forcing the remaining kidney to try to do all the filtering and hormone producing by itself. Obviously this is impossible and the best the remaining kidney can do is an extra 20 or 30%.It will never be able to do the work of two kidneys. Think about it this way:your two kidneys clear out 100% of toxins/etc.(hopefully).If you donate a kidney,you will have appr 70% of your original kidney function (or a bit more,hopefully). This means your lone remaining kidney will be working extra hard to clean your blood but it will only be able to get rid of about 70% of the waste & toxins in your body.This means that 30% or so of your body’s waste products and toxins you have taken in will remain in your body because one kidney simply cannot do all the work.(The hormonal effect of donating a kidney will be the subject of a future post.)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kidney

Simply put,donating a kidney is harmful to you. You are undergoing a surgery to remove a healthy organ that you still use and need. There is absolutely no benefit to you,the donor,from losing a kidney (there’s the much-touted ‘feeling of accomplishment/happiness and rise in self-esteem from having helped someone’. But that is not a benefit. At best,it’s what it is:a feeling.Also,not everybody feels the same way about parting with a piece of their body and donation/transplant procedures don’t always go well,in which case there is a whole different gamut of emotional responses you might gain.Another future post subject). Only the recipient stands to gain from your donation.The crux of a donation/transplant procedure is weighing the risk and loss from your kidney donation to you versus the possible improvement of your recipient.(Yet another future post subject matter.)

If you thought about giving up one of your kidneys,whether because you know someone who needs one or because you’re feeling altruistic,think about it long and hard. Once you go through with it,you can’t take it back. You will be short a kidney for the rest of your life and you will live with the consequences to you and your recipient for the rest of your life. No backsies,no do-overs. Not saying don’t do it.

Just make sure the consequences are worth it to you.


20 Oct

Keep watching here for useful tips and links to help you with your life post donation.