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A 43-year-old member asked:

tell me how people can survive with only one kidney.?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Madhu Kandarpa
Nephrology and Dialysis 9 years experience
Compensates: If the kidney is normal, it can compensate without any major problems. Majority of healthy living donors don't have any problems and lead normal life.

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A 21-year-old member asked:

Is it true you can survive with only one kidney?

29 doctor answers43 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kenneth Cheng
Family Medicine 31 years experience
Yes: A person can survive normally with only one kidney. When one kidney is surgically removed, the other kidney can compensate and perform the work of two. This is how one can be a living kidney donor.
A 36-year-old member asked:

Are there any physiological issues from having only one kidney?

1 doctor answer5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Tarek Naguib
Nephrology and Dialysis 40 years experience
Yes,: The remaining kidney will be overworked to compensate for loss of tissue. Sometimes scarring occurs (called fsgs). However, if the kidney is normal to start with, it usually handles the pressure over the years with no significant problems.
A 31-year-old member asked:

What could cause a hypolastic kidney (only one kidney)?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Jared Fialkow
Specializes in Nephrology and Dialysis
Single kidney: There are several reasons why people have a single kidney. Often during development before we are born, one of the kidneys can fail to form (renal agenesis). This can occur for many reasons (issues with the ureteral bud or mesonephric ducts, etc). There can be renal dysplasia, where the kidney just does not form quite right. Also severe renal artery stenosis can result in renal dysplasia.
A 41-year-old member asked:

How can you not know you have only one kidney?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Thomas Namey
Rheumatology 48 years experience
Pretty easy!: An ultrasound can readily identify if you have one or two kidneys. Renal function itself cannot answer that, since if born with one kidney, the sole kidney increases its function. Even with a person donating a kidney later in life, their function will soon approach pre-donation staus. Imaging will give you an answer!
A 25-year-old male asked:

How to keep kidney healthy if person have only one kidney?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jack Rubin
Nephrology and Dialysis 48 years experience
A healthy kidney: Preserving the health of one kidney is the same as preserving the health of two. You need to eat a healthy diet, limit your salt intake, exercise and control any illness you may have, or develop such as diabetes and/or hypertension. Kidney donors have one kidney and can live long lives. Go to your own doctor or a nephrologist for more advice.

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Last updated Apr 16, 2015

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