• Roscoe Nelson, MD

Can a person survive on 1 kidney that is not failing but not in perfect condition?


This is a patient question. Answer: Yes but carefully. I was taught that a person needs about ½ of 1 good kidney to live. The problem is that most of us that are not 20 years old anymore don’t have 2 good kidneys. Our kidneys have normal wear and tear, which is worsened by diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, infections, lipid issues, and some genetic issues among others. Most people that donate a kidney or lose one to cancer will do fine. If your kidneys aren’t working perfect or if you only have one kidney I tell my patients to avoid NSAIDs (ibuprofen like drugs) & high protein intake and to stay hydrated. If there is any question about their function I’ll have them see a nephrologist. A nephrologist will work with the patient to optimize the function of their kidney.

Thanks for asking!

#kidney #kidneyfailure

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