Category Archives: Nephrectomy / One kidney

Dear Dr. Spry, I’m a 185 lb (84 kg) male kidney donor. I run, bike & lift weights. My protein intake is 100% from food (no supplements). My daily protein intake ranges from 80 to 140 g strictly through food (my go-to power snack is dry roasted edamame). My water intake is about 120 fl oz. per day. Do you believe I should cut back on protein from food in order to protect my kidney? Thanks.

I do not recommend a high protein diet for patients with a single kidney.  I typically suggest protein intake in the form of high biological value protein and intake of between 0.8 and 1.2 grams per kilogram per day.  Hence, … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Diet/Nutrition, Donation, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Living Donation, Nephrectomy / One kidney

I have one kidney, right one removed due to renal cell carcinoma, and my creatinine is high 1.5 and my GFR is 46. My surgery was 5 years ago and my CT’s are negative for re-occuring cancer. What should my creatinine and GFR be. My doctor tells me to drink more water but my enlarged prostate is a problem for drinking more of anything, between a rock and a hard place?

Removing a kidney should decrease to estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) by 50%.  Hence, if you had normal kidney function for two kidneys, that would mean that the normal eGFR of 90 to 120 milliliters per minute per 1.73 meters squared, should … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, GFR, Kidney Cancer, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrectomy / One kidney, Serum Creatinine

I only have 1 kidney….no kidney disease. Is it OK to take 600 mg of calcium and 1000 units of Vit D daily? This would be for osteoporosis

Yes.  I commonly recommend extra calcium for my female patients with and without kidney disease.  1000 units of Vitamin D is also recommended on a daily basis.  

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Medication and Kidney Disease, Medication and Kidney Function, Nephrectomy / One kidney, Treatments

As of 1986, I have had only one kidney. The right kidney was removed due to a “ birth defect “. I was 19 at the time. In 2016 I had a heart attack and have been on a lot of medication. As of the last week or so I have noticed dark urine. I have been sleeping much more than I ever have and today, after sleeping for almost 16 hours, I woke with pain in my left side. Which is the side with my one remaining kidney. My primary doctor has never set me up with a urologist to monitor my kidney. My question is am I at risk of losing my remaining kidney, with all the medications and contrast x-rays ?

I am unable to link your symptoms to any specific kidney disease.  I am unable to make any specific diagnosis without performing a complete history and physical examination.  I would suggest that you need to consult with your primary care … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Laboratory Testing, Nephrectomy / One kidney, Symptoms and Side Effects, Treatments

Hi, I am 44 yrs old. I have had kidney issues since I was a kid. I had a urinary reflux problem that damaged my kidneys and a lot of UTI’s. Since I was 16, I started getting kidneys stones in my left kidney and now I get them in both and still get multiple UTI’s every year. I was told when I was younger that my left kidney was 30% functioning and the right was 80%. In saying that, my right kidney is hypertrophied and measuring 13.3 cm and is medullary sponge kidney. My left kidney has diffuse atrophy and measures 8.1 cm. Over the last 4 years I had more issues with the kidney stones mainly on the left side and each time they act up I seem to get very ill with an UTI infection and have elevated temperature despite the use of antibiotics. I always get told the same story by my urologist and nephrologist the “keep drinking more fluids and continue the low oxalate diet”. I am told they will pass on their own as they are all under 5 millimeters. Unfortunately, the only ones I seem to pass are slightly bigger than a grain of salt and I suffer for weeks to months before anything is done. My Creatinine is 75 umol/L and my GFR is 84 ml/min. What I’m wondering, is it worth considering a left nephrectomy in this case? The reason I ask is a nephrologist that I saw as a teenager had recommended that, once I was done having children. My current nephrologist stated it is such a major surgery and that wouldn’t be considered unless I get a lot of kidney stones and a lot of UTI’s; I guess he never really looked at my chart very well. I’ve only been seeing this doctor just over a year. At the beginning of the year out of 40 days that I was to work I was only able to work 15 days and I had the lithotripsy done in April and now again I’ve been off work for 2 1/2 weeks with UTI and multiple stones, 1 of which is 4 mm. I also have a large family history of kidney stones on my mom’s side out of 12 siblings and my grandparents 8 out of 14 have had stones. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

I am a nephrologist and I have no surgical expertise. Hence, I am unable to comment on whether a left nephrectomy should be done. In patients with stone disease, removing one kidney is often associated with an increase in passage … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Diet/Nutrition, Kidney Stones, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Medullary Sponge Kidney, Nephrectomy / One kidney, Nephrologist

Hello Dr., I was born with left Renal Dysplasia. I had a left nephrectomy when I was 10 years old and since have had and continue to have normal (right) kidney function. GFR 110, Cr 0.69, negative urinalysis (no proteinuria). With my normal right kidney function, would I still be considered to have CKD with the mere fact that I just have a sole kidney? Or just AT RISK for CKD? Thank you kindly.

You would be at risk for chronic kidney disease because of your history of prior nephrectomy and renal dysplasia. Your kidney function is normal and you are not spilling any blood, protein or infection in your urine, so you would … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrectomy / One kidney

In 2012 my right kidney was removed (falsely diagnosed with cancer!). Now I am trying to make sure the left one works properly. I just had the lab test done and the creatinine is elevated (1.18), GFR is low (53); blood was drawn afternoon (non-fasting). In addition the red blood count /hemoglobin/ hematocrit (5.17/16.1/47.9) slightly elevated. I also have high cholesterol/LDL/Tryglicerides. Since April this year I am on the Atkins diet and my question is, if this way of eating (high protein/fat) could have caused the out of range results for creatinine/GFR and what would be the best way (food) to make sure my only kidney works properly? Thanks in advance for your response.

A normal estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) for a single kidney is going to be somewhere in the range of 50 to 70 milliliters per minute per 1.73 meters squared. You have had one kidney removed and so your testing … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Diet/Nutrition, GFR, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrectomy / One kidney

I lost my left kidney to cancer. I am in good health 8 years later. I want to know if I can take oral Minoxidil and/or Spironolactone for hair loss. It was recommended by the dermatologist but they advised to find out if it would be safe with one kidney. I appreciate your time to help me with this. Thank you.

Oral minoxidil is a very potent blood pressure lowering drug. It is generally used topically for hair loss. It is effective treatment for hair loss when taken orally but causes low blood pressure. When used topically, it does not lower … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Hypertension/High Blood Pressure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrectomy / One kidney

I’m 18 years old and I have nephrotic syndrome and I also have just one kidney. What future complications can occur?

The nephrotic syndrome is a form of kidney disease that results in loss of excessive protein in the urine and is usually greater than 3.5 grams of protein loss per day. The nephrotic syndrome also results in edema or swelling … Continue reading

Posted in Acute Kidney Injury, Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, Diet/Nutrition, Hypertension/High Blood Pressure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrectomy / One kidney, Nephrotic Syndrome

I have started having a scoop of collagen, type 1 and 3 in my tea about 5 times a week. When I had my last nephrologist visit, last week, my function, which has been at the 53-56 mark, had gone down to 46. The only change I have made in the last 6 months, is the addition of collagen powder to my diet. I have 1 kidney and donated the other 22 years ago. I currently take bp medicine and my bp has been great. The only diagnosis for my decreased kidney function, was that it was due to the high blood pressure. All tests for other culprits came back fine. Is the collagen safe for me? I never saw anything negative about it and kidney function, until today. I do not want to lose any more function than I already have. I am 55 years old and run about 22-26 miles a week. I also do step classes 2x a week and body pump 1x a week. This is all normal for me as I have been an avid exerciser my whole life. Is there a specific blood work test that can check my collagen levels? Any thoughts or facts about taking collagen powder would be appreciated. Thank you.

I do not know of any ill effects of collagen powder on kidney function. This is a natural substance for your body and likely is not having any effect on your kidney function. In the world of laboratory medicine, the … Continue reading

Posted in Ask the Doctor, Blood/Urine Testing For Kidney Disease, GFR, Hypertension/High Blood Pressure, Kidney-Related Health Questions, Nephrectomy / One kidney, Serum Creatinine