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Kidney Transplant Patient Support
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Anyone got their fitness back and how did you do it?

Hi, I had a transplant from a live donor last August 14. The donor was my Mum who is 73 and she's doing fine now.

My function is around 30% now (creatinine c 220) but I am struggling to achieve any kind of fitness. I'm 48 and played a lot of sport pre transplant.

I've decided to be proactive and have signed up with a Personal Trainer. Had two sessions to date of high intensity (well, high in comparison to the little I had been doing!) cardiovascular and resistance exercises and though it's a shock to the system, I think it's doing some good. We make sure my heart rate doesn't exceed 100bpm.

What I've found surprising is that there seems to be v little info on fitness programmes post transplant ie how much, how often, to what intensity, what specific exercises etc

I don't know what level of fitness is possible on a function of 30% - can anyone tell me?

I'd be delighted to hear of personal feats of endeavour with accompanying fitness regimes and kidney function! Please help, and here's hoping your health is on the up. Many thanks.

12 Replies

Hi, I felt the same as you when I had my kidney from my dad in 2013. I had to wait to have both my knees replaced (2014) before I could look into getting fit again and there is a lot of support out there. I've joined the Transplant Sport Tennis Facebook page. You could also have a look into the World Transplant Games & find out what is available for you locally. Your local renal unit should also be able to help you and give you advice on what to do & what is happening around your area in terms of support. All the best to you

1 like

Thanks Kennie that's very useful. I don't get much advice from the renal unit, it's mainly 'do what you can without overdoing it' - which isn't that helpful! I used to play a lot of tennis before transplant & am determined to get back to team tennis (whether or not it will be the same team who knows?) The transplant games also look great - fancy doubling up for the tennis next year?


Hi Jez - I'd love to work toward the Transplant Games next year. Where are you based. I'm in Northants now but may be moving back to Kent this year. I'm waiting for some advise from the Physio Team at Kettering hospital re my knees but once I get the go ahead, I have a trainer standing by & I can't wait to start playing again


Hi Kennie - sorry taken so long getting back to you - just got out of hospital after bout of gastroenteritis and some infection that couldn't be identified - took ages! Like you I can't wait to start playing again but haven't managed to get on court yet! I'm based in Cardiff, which would make training a little difficult but we could always just go straight in and play our first match together at the Games?! Let's see how we go. Jez


Hi Jez. Hope you're feeling better now - I've never suffered from gastroenteritis but I know people who have & it sounds very painful. I see my physio on the 17th August & hope to get the green light to play after that. Take care of yourself & hopefully we'll achieve our goal. See you at the games, lol. Tracy


Hi. I had a transplant from my sister 5 years ago and I am 58 next month. We were different blood groups so alot of tablets!! (Was 55 a day now a more manageable 25). My creatinine is steady at 160ish.

I was struggling for the first couple of years, out of breath walking up stairs etc and getting dizzy. It turns out I was on very strong blood pressure tablets, my consultant changed them 2 years ago and I haven't looked back.

Currently run 30-40 miles a week, 5k pb 24 mins, 10k pb 48mins , entered the Windsor half in September and the Valencia marathon in November.

(Also entered Edinburgh marathon last year but broke my collarbone after 5 miles) .

I was fit before the transplant but I am much more driven now feeling I have something to prove.

I would suggest you speak to your consultant and discuss medication side effects or if you can change.(I was lucky my consultant at Hammersmith hospital is a long distance cyclist). I also take my tabs after I have run.

Stick with it it will get better and easier and you will be surprised what you can achieve, good luck.


Thanks for that Bluedog - that sounds really encouraging, I'd be very happy if I could just complete 5k - sounds like you've worked really hard to get where you are. I will talk to my consultant about my meds to see what could be done - I'm on 60mg Nifedipine for BP & also 10mg Bisoprolol (beta blocker) amongst other things - what were the BP tabs that you changed?

Many thanks


Hi. Currently on irbesartan 150mg twice a day, coracten 20mg twice a day and enalapril 20mg twice a day. It was doxazosin 2mg twice a day that was cancelled and changed everything. I suspect it is the beta blocker that is the problem for you.


thanks bluedog - sorry took so long getting back, just got out of hospital after bout of gastroenteritis and a mystery infection - thought I'd never get out! One upside though is I only seem to need the bisoporol now to control my BP - not sure how that happened but maybe it'll help energy levels?


This is really motivational (just jumping onto the bandwagon). Although I wish I could exercise more (my chaotic travel for work really restricts me, I'm hardly in the country). I had a live donated kidney from my mum in 95. And recently ran my first half marathon in Mumbai. Consultants were great, they advised me to pace myself and always keep hydrated. I stayed on a low protein diet, although my kidney felt the pressure post run. I managed to complete in 3 hours 25 minutes. I recommend asking your consultants to put you in touch with the nutrition team, they can advise on your diet vs medication.

I would love to attend the next transplant games. Do I just ask my hospital?



Hi Anjana - nice one! That's impressive - can I ask how long you've had your transplant & how old your Mum was when she donated? Yes, I believe your hospital can put you in touch with the Transplant Games. Thanks, Jez,


Hi, I'm now 4 months post op and I started going to the gym 3 weeks ago to tone up following my operation and I'm 58 on my next birthday.. I go to the gym with my husband who was a donor to another recipient as we weren't compatible..I received  my kidney via the live uk paired pool, and I'm really grateful to both my husband and my donor for my gift of life.. 

I've just joined  this group tonight on here  and I have already enjoyed reading positive feedback from many others ,and we all have one thing in common the wonderful  gift of life..👍🏻😊


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