Kidney transplant is the therapy chosen to treat most kinds of chronic kidney disease because it improves patients’ quality of life, avoids dependency on dialysis and increases the rate of survival and overall lifespan of the patients.
In the case of a kidney transplant that is functioning correctly, diet and treatment will be determined by other considerations: obesity or being overweight, being underweight, dyslipidemia (having high cholesterol or triglyceride levels), arterial hypertension and impaired levels of glucose in the blood.
There are various nutritional disorders related to kidney transplants; the majority of these are a consequence of glucocorticoid therapy (immunosuppressant). These include:
- Normal or increased appetite, from which it’s normal to gain body weight and fat.
- High glucose levels in some patients. In these cases, from the nutritional point of view, it’s important to control the portions of simple carbohydrates: sugar, juices and common sodas, candy, other sweets, etc.
- Deterioration in the growth of children produced by the low absorption calcium and by reduced levels of vitamin D, which are necessary for that absorption. They can develop osteoporosis and bone fractures.
- Loss of muscular mass due to the consumption of muscular proteins.
- 5. An increase in cholesterol levels and/or triglycerides. In these cases it is key to control the amount of fat in the diet and select which fats should remain in the diet.
Diet guidelines and kidney transplants
- Consume sugar and fats in moderation, to prevent becoming overweight and to control dyslipidemia.
- Increase the consumption of dairy products, to increase the levels of calcium and vitamin D, which are necessary for forming bones.
- Select lean cuts of meat and skim milk, to control fat intake.
- Consume salt or salty foods in moderation, to prevent the development of hypertension and high blood pressure.
- Consume protein in moderation, to prevent deterioration of the function of your new kidney.
- Restrict the portions of foods with high content of potassium. How much you may have will depend on the levels of potassium in your blood.
- Consumption of liquids will depend upon medical recommendations depending on the diuresis of the patient (increased production of urine).
THESE DIETARY GUIDELINES NEED TO BE BASED ON MEDICAL RECOMMENDATIONS, WHICH WILL DEPEND ON EACH PATIENT AND ON THE RESPONSE OF EACH NEW KIDNEY.
IF THE KIDNEY DOES NOT RESPOND APPROPRIATELY, FROM A NUTRITIONAL POINT OF VIEW, IT IS NECESSARY TO FOLLOW THE INDICATED GUIDELINES FOR CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE.
Guidelines for hygiene
- Wash food and vegetables thoroughly with drinkable water.
- Cook meat thoroughly so that no juice runs from the meat.
- Avoid consuming pre-prepared foods which have been made outside of the home or which contain raw ingredients (for example homemade mayonnaise, raw vegetables, raw egg, etc.), or any food that may have been made with those ingredients or in poor hygienic conditions.
- Drink bottled water or water that you are sure can be drunk safely.
- Avoid drinking dairy or juice products that have not been pasteurized.
- Choose bottled condiments that you are sure are stored under hygienic conditions.
- Use different cutting boards and utensils for cutting raw meat and for cutting vegetables.
- Double-check the expiry date of foods.
- Maintain a high level of hygiene when cooking or handling food.