Kidney transplant diet, together with immunosuppressive (or anti-rejection) medication are essential components of post-surgery care. Transplant surgery diets and anti-rejection medications play a vital role in minimizing the risk of rejection of the transplanted kidney, by the patient's (recipient's) immune system.
Kidney transplant diets should always be determined by an appropriately trained medical professional.
A suitable diet for kidney transplant patients is normally prescribed by a registered dietitian or nutritionist. This is important, since the needs of each patient may be different and would require the guidance of a competent professional, with specialized training in this area.
Diets should be designed to ensure that the patient is receiving essential nutrients, without aggravating any allergies or any underlying conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
After reviewing the patient's medical history and other relevant factors, a dietitian or nutritionist can recommend foods that are appropriate for the patient.
Immediately after a kidney transplant surgery, it is important not to place too much pressure on the new transplanted kidney. There must be an adequate period of time for the patient's body to accept the new kidney and for them to recuperate from the transplant surgery. During this sensitive period (and beyond), their diet must be appropriate to help support and maximize their chances of a successful kidney transplant.
A typical kidney transplant diet is low in sodium, potassium, and phosphorous, three substances that the kidneys regulate. Excessive consumption of any of these three substances can overwork and distress the transplanted kidney.
The following are some very general guidelines that should be considered when formulating a kidney transplant diet.
In addition to transplant diets, doctors may also prescribe medication and vitamin supplements, to treat underlying conditions and to boost any nutritional deficiencies. For instance, patients with hypertension and/ or diabetes may require medication to control blood pressure and blood sugar.
A multivitamin (including vitamin D, which promotes absorption of calcium) along with calcium supplements, may also be prescribed.
Remember, these are general guideline. An appropriate kidney transplant diet should be properly structured by a qualified dietitian or nutritionist and should be tailored to suit each patient's needs.