What if I was born with only one kidney?

Kidneys are very indispensable for the survival of a human being. They perform some very essentially filtering the surplus fluid from the body to keep a human beingfit and fine. These kidneys perform a multiplicity of functions to maintain the bodily balance of sodium, phosphate, and calcium and also control the blood pressure and keep the blood and bones healthy. Usually every person is born with two kidneys but sometimes people even have one. This is referred to as Solitary Kidney. Solitary kidney is a birth defect called as “Renal agenesis” which denotes that a person is born with single kidney however another birth defect “Renal dysplasia” denotes that a person was born with two kidneys but only a single works well.

There are few things one should know about the solitary kidney

1. The single kidney grows quickly and is larger and heavier than a normal kidney therefore it is more at risk of injury in case you participate in games like wrestling, boxing, martial arts etc. 2. You can lead a normal life with one kidney as long as you keep yourself fit and healthy. 3. Your body may be prone to infections or you may have an urge to urinate very often. Though it is seen that a person who is born with one kidney leads a normal life but going forward in the long term some health problems may arise such as hypertension, lowered glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and Proteinuria which are explained as under: 1. A solitary kidney is at a higher risk of maintaining and controlling the blood pressure resulting to 2. People with a single kidney often have a lower glomerular filtration rate which means the speed of filtering is rather slow. 3. Proteinuria means surplus protein in the blood which can be very harmful for the solitary kidney to process. These problem can be monitored with the GFR test and blood pressure regulation.

Given below are some of the tips to keep yourself healthy if you have one kidney:

1. Avoid such sports which may put your kidney in danger. Make sure consult you physicist before participating in any of such sports. If you are actively involved in sports, keep yourself adequately hydrated. 2. You must consult your doctor to make changes in your diet as you might be losing a lot of protein through urine which may cause swelling and discomfort. 3. In case of any Infection, or if you are urinating more than usual you must see consult your doctor immediately 4. In case you are going to get medicines, let the pharmacist know that you have a solitary kidney. 5. Most importantly stay away from medicines which may cause kidney damage such as ibuprofen, Aspirin etc. Conclusion Mostly people born with one kidney can live a life similar to those who have two. The single kidney is usually able enough to recompense for its other counterpart. Those who have a single kidney can lead a very healthy life as long as they eat sensibly, get adequate exercise, go for regular health checkups and keep their blood pressure in control. There are various treatment options available in case your single kidney also develops some complication.
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