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Author Topic: Long Term Post-Donation Care? Also, question on alcohol intake.  (Read 1564 times)

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Offline Porcelina

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Long Term Post-Donation Care? Also, question on alcohol intake.
« on: November 01, 2017, 03:41:41 PM »
Hello. I donated about 8 years ago and have been very healthy since then. My biometric screenings and physical exams always have good results.

However, I would like to find out what other examinations or tests people get long term. Do you see a nephrologist? Or just get tests done through your PCP? Do you get kidney function testing?

I don't have a PCP right now, and I know I should have one, but I have changed insurance a few times in the last 8 years so it was hard for me to just stay with the same doc. I'm looking for one now, but I'm wondering if anyone gets special tests done during their annual?

On a side but somewhat related note, I've read previously that donors should limit their alcohol intake. I work in the beer industry and am very responsible with my drinking, but occasionally I'll indulge in a few extra drinks. My husband gets worried that I am doing long term damage to my kidney, and if I am, perhaps I should consider a career change. Does anyone have any thoughts on how their alcohol intake has affected their kidney health so long after donation?

Offline elephant

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Re: Long Term Post-Donation Care? Also, question on alcohol intake.
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2017, 08:53:08 AM »
Hi Porcelina,

I just get a CBC done annually which includes serum creatinine.  Mine is "higher" than normal, but this is due to the missing kidney.  As long as it is stable that's fine.  My blood sugar is always normal as well, and I keep my weight in the normal range. You can also have a routine urinalysis to check for proteins in the urine.  Those are the basics.

I think the risk for donors is not the missing kidney itself, but developing a condition that stresses the remaining kidney.  Like type 2 diabetes, which can sometimes be avoided with good nutrition and exercise habits.  In addition, we want to avoid NSAIDs and of course any nephrotoxic drug or substance, including "herbal" remedies. 

I do not drink, so I can't help you there.  Of course, excessive alcohol consumption is not good for your liver, kidney or heart. But if your weight, blood sugar, urine , kidney function and liver function are normal who can say?  A "few" extra drinks once a month is different than a "few" extra drinks four days a week...only you know if your husband has a good point about that issue. 

Love, elephant

Offline Fr Pat

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Re: Long Term Post-Donation Care? Also, question on alcohol intake.
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2017, 08:25:50 AM »
I went once to a nephrologist (about 10 years after kidney donation) just to play it safe. He said I was doing O.K., and he told my regular doctor what to include in an annual blood/urine exam (paying special attention to creatinine levels and hemoglobin "A1C" levels.) I think it is wise to get a blood/urine test at least once a year AND RECORD ALL RESULTS! It is good to see if there are any changes, gradual or sharp, from year to year. I also bought a home electronic blood pressure meter and try to take and record my blood pressure a couple of times a week: again in order to recognize any steady changes.
As far as I know, moderate alcohol consumption is no problem for kidney donors, although some donors report that alcohol now effects them more strongly than before.
     In addition to any responses here, you might want to also post your question at the FaceBook page of Living Donors on Line as many more donors check in there these days.
    Fr. Pat (donor, 2002)


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