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Dietitian Q/A

Because of the contents of some questions and the large number we receive, the MUSC Dietitians only answer selected questions. Although we discourage questions regarding personal health problems, scheduling an appointment with the outpatient dietitian to address these concerns is encouraged. Appointments can be made after a physician referral is received.

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 Question:  Is there a recommended diet that a person should use after a kidney removal?


I am going to assume that you have only had one kidney removed and not both. If you had both removed, you would require dialysis and would be followed by a dietitian there for your diet. If you have only one removed, you do not have to follow a special diet; however the following recommendations will help keep you healthy throughout your life:


1. Maintain a healthy body weight, eat a healthy diet and participate in regular physical activity. This will decrease your risk of developing high blood pressure and diabetes which are the top two causes of kidney disease.


2. Limit sodium intake. Avoid adding table salt to foods and limit your intake of high sodium processed foods. Eating a diet high in sodium increases your risk of developing high blood pressure.


3. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated because the kidney needs fluid to do its job effectively. It is recommended that you drink at least 64 ounces of fluid per day, most of this should come from water.


4. Eat protein in moderation. Protein is an important part of a balanced diet but an excessive amount of protein can be hard on the kidney. Avoid high protein fad diets where other food groups are eliminated. Always check with your doctor before taking a protein supplement.


5. Avoid megavitamins and herbal supplements. These products are not approved by the FDA and may be harmful to your body. Often these products are filtered by the kidney so intake could damage your kidney function over time. A regular multivitamin is safe to use to supplement your diet.




The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics         1-800-366-1655             www.eatright.org


USDA’s MyPlate                                           1-888-779-7264             www.choosemyplate.gov

Answered: 02/18/2013

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