To some people, getting a kidney transplant can feel like getting another chance at life. There are many great things that come with getting a kidney transplant, like having more time in the day and more freedom. There are also many things you should consider in your life after transplant that involve taking care of your new kidney.

Preventing rejection

One risk of a kidney transplant is that your body will reject (fight) the new kidney. This can happen if your body’s immune system realizes that the kidney is from someone else. To prevent this from happening, you must take medicine to weaken your immune system. This medicine is called an immunosuppressant, or an anti-rejection medicine. You should take your anti-rejection medicine exactly the way your doctor tells you to. If you miss even one dose, you could risk losing your new kidney. But anti-rejection medicine also comes with risks and side effects. Talk to your doctor about what you might experience with the type of anti-rejection medicine you take.

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Diet and exercise

If you were on dialysis before your transplant, you will notice a difference in what you can eat and drink once you have your new kidney. You should still eat a diet low in salt and fat to prevent high blood pressure, and if you have diabetes, you will still need to manage your blood sugar. However, you will be able to eat many more fruits and vegetables and drink more fluids than you could when you were on dialysis. Ask your dietitian to help you make a healthy eating plan that will work for you with your new kidney.

Once you have recovered from the transplant surgery, you may be able to start a new exercise routine. Exercise can help improve your heart and lung health, prevent weight gain and even improve your mood. Talk to your doctor about the types of exercise that are right for you, how often you should exercise and for how long.

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