While a kidney transplant is a life-saving procedure that gives a new lease of life to the recipient, life after a kidney transplant has its own challenges. Filled with transformations and transitions, this period can become a very difficult phase for a kidney recipient. Managing your expectations of recovery and taking care of your new kidney can be stressful.
Stress and anxiety are common in this transition phase. However, there are ways to navigate through this period that will leave you feeling better, both physically and emotionally. Here are the four things to keep in mind:
After 2 to 4 months of a kidney transplant, you must get into a habit of regular exercise to maintain overall improved health. Start by walking 10-15 minutes a day, and increase the pace gradually.
When you take out time to exercise every day, it helps your stress and anxiety levels while keeping your lungs and heart healthier. It can also help you control your blood pressure, high cholesterol, and weight. An overall healthy lifestyle increases the time period of your new kidney.
- Avoid Infections
After a kidney transplant, you’re more prone to infections and sustaining injury. Your immune system is at the weakest, and you must pay your regular checkups while staying up to date on your vaccinations. Avoid large crowds or visiting places where you could contract an infection.
Moreover, don’t share food, drinks, or your personal items with anyone as such in this period to avoid risks.
- Stay hydrated
This is one of the most crucial things you should do after getting a kidney transplant. Taking care of your new kidney is the only way to prolong its health and wellbeing. Drinking enough water reduces the risk of infections while also doing away with the chances of getting kidney stones.
Drink water before your morning caffeine intake, and remember to drink water every other hour.
- Look for kidney rejection symptom
While most kidney transplants are successful, some fail. Your body shows you signs if that has happened. Kidney rejection is of two types, namely acute and chronic.
If you notice ankle swelling, fatigue, flu symptoms, fever, high weight gain, or very high blood pressure, it might be a symptom that your body is unable to adjust with the kidney transplant. While all doctors give you immunosuppressants as anti-kidney rejection drugs to ensure your new kidney is not rejected, look out for the symptoms and get in touch with your doctor.
Getting used to a new lifestyle is not easy
With that being said and done, the key to a successful life after a kidney transplant is doing things in moderation. Quit smoking, reduce caffeine intake, exercise more, and lead a healthy routine life marked by discipline to live longer. While getting used to a new lifestyle at first might be challenging, it will all be quite worth it.