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Old 06-05-2015, 06:39 AM   #1
Max Salmen
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Kidney Donation

Thanks for reading.

I am an avid crossfitter, and I am now considering donating a kidney to a friend in need. Can anyone point me in the direction of good information about this?

My main concerns are: protein intake post donation, recovery time, workout intensity after donation.


Thanks for helping
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:01 PM   #2
Diane Curtiss
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Re: Kidney Donation

I donated a kidney to my husband in 2007. Not sure of your age - I was 50 at the time and had never been in the hospital or had surgery, so my experience may be a bit different. As well, keep in mind that I am not a physician so your individualized items and condition should be discussed with your own physician or the transplant team.

You should have a transplant coordinator and also a donor doctor assigned that would be able to answer questions for you - and I know there are many!
When you discuss protein intake, recovery, etc, make sure they understand exactly what you are doing. When I discussed recovery and when I could begin working out again with the surgeon, he had no clue what I was doing in the gym. So I specifically discussed movements, weights, etc with him and got a very good graduated schedule for return. I can tell you for six weeks, you will not be able to lift any more than 10 pounds and may not feel like working out anyway. I was told no more than 30 pounds for the next six weeks after that and no abdominal exercises for 4-6 months (my surgery was laprascopic). I can tell you from experience that this schedule, for me, was pretty much on the money. I took it slow and if anything didn't feel right, I stopped. I wanted to be sure I healed, and didn't want to end up back in surgery with a hernia.

It took about six months for stamina to really return full force to pre-surgery levels. I do use a good level of protein, but you need that much - moreso than someone who is sedentary. Heck, even my husband who had the transplant has permission to use whey protein (to a degree) because of his level of workouts. But again, probably something that should be discussed with the doctors based on your numbers post surgery.

Hope this helps a little. Your friend is lucky to have someone who is willing to do this for him. Bless you! You are welcome to PM me if you have any other questions. Good luck!
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:04 PM   #3
Diane Curtiss
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Springfield  IL
Posts: 19
Re: Kidney Donation

I donated a kidney to my husband in 2007. Not sure of your age - I was 50 at the time and had never been in the hospital or had surgery, so my experience may be a bit different. As well, keep in mind that I am not a physician so your individualized items and condition should be discussed with your own physician or the transplant team.

You should have a transplant coordinator and also a donor doctor assigned that would be able to answer questions for you - and I know there are many!
When you discuss protein intake, recovery, etc, make sure they understand exactly what you are doing. When I discussed recovery and when I could begin working out again with the surgeon, he had no clue what I was doing in the gym. So I specifically discussed movements, weights, etc with him and got a very good graduated schedule for return. I can tell you for six weeks, you will not be able to lift any more than 10 pounds and may not feel like working out anyway. I was told no more than 30 pounds for the next six weeks after that and no abdominal exercises for 4-6 months (my surgery was laprascopic). I can tell you from experience that this schedule, for me, was pretty much on the money. I took it slow and if anything didn't feel right, I stopped. I wanted to be sure I healed, and didn't want to end up back in surgery with a hernia.

It took about six months for stamina to really return full force to pre-surgery levels. I do use a good level of protein, but you need that much - moreso than someone who is sedentary. Heck, even my husband who had the transplant has permission to use whey protein (to a degree) because of his level of workouts. But again, probably something that should be discussed with the doctors based on your numbers post surgery.

Hope this helps a little. Your friend is lucky to have someone who is willing to do this for him. Bless you! You are welcome to PM me if you have any other questions. Good luck!
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Old 07-30-2015, 11:58 AM   #4
David Bloomquist
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Re: Kidney Donation

Max, as a kidney recipient, I want to think you for even considering donating. The recovery is not short, but after it is unlikely you will notice anything but the surgical scar. You can do fine on one kidney. I was on the list for over 4 years, I credit Crossfit for not having to go on dialysis during any of that time. Now that I'm recovering I'm starting back up, but have lost a lot of my stamina.
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