Congratulations to the 17 Dallas Nephrology Associates' physicians voted to the D Magazine Best Doctors in Dallas 2018!
October 9th, 2018
After any surgery, you need a few weeks to heal and recover. During this time, a high protein diet will speed the healing along. Good high protein choices after a kidney transplant are nonfat and low fat dairy products, lean meats, fish, poultry and eggs. Vegetable foods that are high in protein include various beans, tofu and nuts. Your dietitian in the hospital will help start you on this phase of your care.
Sometimes the new kidney does not work well right away. For a while, you might have a diet like the one you followed before your transplant.
Until your incision has healed, slow walking is enough. After healing, it is time to gradually rebuild your muscle strength. You may not have had much energy before your transplant. Now, you may be surprised that after you recover from your surgery, you are ready for more activities. Choose those that could be fun for YOU! Talk with your doctor about all your options now that you have a transplant. Whatever you decide, a regular schedule of activity will give you the best results.
There are several reasons why people tend to gain weight after getting a new kidney.
Weight gain may not happen right away. You may have the new kidney for a few months before noticing a change. You may even want to gain weight! Talk with your dietitian about what you want for your future and ways to make it happen.
Some of the “short-term” problems you just read about may continue. Others may also occur. Your dietitian will help you and your family work through short-term and long-term concerns.
It may happen soon after your transplant or at a later time. Having a family history of diabetes is a risk factor. The chance for diabetes usually increases if you gain weight. There are ways to help manage blood sugars. Regular meals are important. You will want to learn about carbohydrates in foods and drinks.
Safe foods are important for everyone. After a transplant, you will be on strong medicines that lower your immune system to avoid rejection. That means your body will not be able to fight off germs and bacteria like it used to. It will be easier for you to get sick from foods that are not safe or not clean.
After your transplant, you will meet with a dietitian at the hospital for more details. The dietitian at DTI will also talk to you about keeping your food safe. Some ideas on food safety are:
Before your kidney transplant, you were probably on vitamins and minerals made for people with kidney disease. With a new kidney that works well, your appetite will be much better and supplements may not be needed. With your doctors and dietitian, you may decide that supplements could be of benefit. Usually, a general product with 100% of the Daily Value is enough. Sometimes the doctor orders extra minerals, like phosphorus, magnesium, calcium or iron.
You may have heard about many kinds of herbs and botanicals. It is true that herbs are the base for many medicines. But at this time, the FDA does not regulate these for dose or strength. Some products are advertised to enhance the immune system. Since this is not known, a person with a kidney transplant would NOT want to use these products. Your immune system is being suppressed intentionally by your post-transplant medicines. Herbal products may interfere with the medicines you take after transplant. Do not take any herbal product without first discussing this with your doctor and dietitian.
After a transplant, intake of liquids is very important to keep your new kidney working. At least 2 quarts (2 liters) is the minimum amount. If you have been drinking very little on dialysis, this is quite a change! Keep a drink handy throughout the day. This is even more important in hot weather. If you are trying to control your weight, choose drinks without calories. Even fruit juices can be high in calories!
Research has found that grapefruit juice, and other fruits, can change the way some drugs are absorbed by the body. One group that may be affected is transplant medicines. Grapefruit products are not recommended after a transplant. It is safest to take medicines with water.
The dietitian at Dallas Transplant Institute will be available to help you and your family with nutrition and lifestyle changes. Ask to see the dietitian when you are at DTI. You may also leave a message on her extension and she will call you back later.
October 9th, 2018