New research is shedding light on the value of exercise programs after kidney transplantation. Scientists have noted people with transplants in the past have had less than spectacular results post surgery.
While their condition is much better than before the transplant, their physical activity and performance levels are much lower. This can increase the risk of frailty, reducing the effectiveness of the new kidney for some time. This could also lead to the patient staying in the hospital longer, cause them to be admitted again, exposed to more illnesses and can cause death in a few cases.
Kidneys filter the blood of a person, removing wastes and toxins produced by the body. They allow the wastes and toxins to be expelled through urine, once they are combined with water. When the
kidneys carry this out at a reduced capacity or can no longer filter the blood at all, the patient is said to have chronic kidney disease. Many times, the only way to treat the person is through transplant,
requiring the patient to be put on a donor waiting list. Other conditions such as traumatic injury and kidney cancer can lead to the patient needing a transplant.
One study looked at 24 patients; 10 on a new intervention group where they would be exercising and 14 receiving the usual care. Those in the exercise program would have supervised aerobic training and physical activity. The patients in the program would begin 6 days after the
procedure and would continue for 2 months. Researchers would look at 6-minute walking distance, isometric knee extensor strength, gait speed, physical activity and quality of life.
Scientists found 2 months after transplant, faster recovery time shown in a patient’s ability to cover more distance in the 6 minute walk. Isometric knee extensor strength was higher in the exercise
group. Not surprisingly, it was not higher in the control group. Neither group saw failure of the kidney graft at 2 months. Researchers found no adverse events or injures and concluded such an exercise
program was a potential avenue for improving kidney transplant patient health.
Recommendation: If you are able to exercise and have a kidney transplant it is very important to implement in your life. The results will speak for themselves. Exercise has also shown to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, inflammation and improve your quality of life.
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