Kidney transplant is a major surgical operation and you need to take good care of your new kidney post a successful transplant. Unlike dialysis, post a kidney transplant your diet will definitely get more flexible but there are still certain precautions that you need to take. It is important to discuss your post-operation diet with your dietician and follow the given instructions carefully.
The medications prescribed in your post-operative regime might elevate your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. This is why it is necessary to make certain lifestyle changes. We have come up with 7 effective diet and recovery tips for you to abide by after a kidney transplant:
- Low intake of salt: Make a conscious effort to eat less salt in your food, post your kidney transplant. This step is taken to control the fluid retention and blood pressure. Also, avoid preserved foods that are high in sodium content like canned foods, processed meat, high sodium snacks, pickles and packaged foods.
- Restrict fat intake to the minimum: There will be elevated blood cholesterol levels after the kidney transplant due to the anti-rejection drugs. Try to cut down on fried foods, full-fat dairy items and anything that is loaded with excess fat. A low-fat diet is a must after a kidney transplant.
- Ensure lots of protein intake: Till about six weeks after your transplant, extra proteinaceous diet is recommended to speed up the post-surgical healing process. Since high doses of corticosteroids are prescribed after the transplant, high protein covers up for the muscle breakdown due to these drugs. A couple of months after the surgery (healing period), you can again get back to your usual protein intake.
- Step up on phosphorus intake: Renal failure would have resulted in significant reduction in bone mass. After a kidney transplant, the bones start to re-build. Hence, post your transplant it is important to eat foods with high phosphorus content since the blood phosphorous levels could drop.
- Monitor your weight: If you want a quick recovery, make sure you keep your weight in control. Certain post-operative drugs might push you towards weight gain after a kidney transplant, which is not good for health. Consult your doctor about recommending exercises to help keep your weight in check.
- Balance the potassium levels: Some drugs tend to cause a potassium imbalance in your body, post the kidney transplant. Monitoring your potassium levels is important to control or increase the potassium in your diet. In case your potassium levels have fallen, introduce potassium-rich in your diet regime like oranges, banana, potatoes, etc.
- Get sufficient rest: Postoperative care in kidney transplant not only includes dietary modifications, but it also includes rest. After you are discharged from the hospital, relax at home for quick recovery. For the next 3 to 4 weeks do not drive or lift heavy objects that weigh anything more than 10 pounds. If you face no complications, you will be able to resume certain activities as early as six to eight weeks after the transplant.