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christygb (@christygb)

Live Donor Weight Loss Prior to Transplant

Transplants | Last Active: Oct 17, 2020 | Replies (21)

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Hi @christygb and welcome to Connect. I applaud your interest in becoming a living organ donor.
Only medical professionals can determine if someone is a suitable donor. Generally speaking, if a person interested in donating has a history of kidney disease, uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, cancers, heart disease, liver disease, lung disease, certain kidney disorders, colon disorders, nerve problems or psychiatric disorders, they may be ruled out as a living donor.

To find out about your personal eligibility, your first step would be to fill out a Health History Questionnaire found here: http://mayocl.in/2oCMZOx. Complete the form when you have adequate time and space to concentrate on each question. Before you begin, please obtain your current height and weight. It is also recommended that you use a laptop or desktop computer.

I’d also like to bring in @jolinda @contentandwell @mauraacro and @rebekahinvt into this discussion as they may have more information or experience about weight loss and gastric sleeve and donor eligibility.

Christy, have you talked your sister’s doctors about your hope to be a donor and weight loss options that will maintain eligibility?

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Replies to "Hi @christygb and welcome to Connect. I applaud your interest in becoming a living organ donor...."

Thank you so much for your response and information! I will fill out the health form soon. Luckily I will be joining my sister for several of her tests an appointments with her treatment team happening in October. This will include an information session, which should be very interesting. I'll take notes. It would be nice to be able to address the issue of my weight and weight loss if I'm given the opportunity to ask. Her transplant coordinator mentioned that she should get an answer as to whether or not she is a candidate for surgery by the end of October.

@christygb @colleenyoung Hi Christy, and welcome to Connect to you and your sister, @birdienanie. I was a liver transplant recipient in September of 2016 – now approaching my third “transplantiversary”! had been trying to lose weight and had been, very gradually, but knowing I was facing very major surgery I decided to try harder. Plus my cirrhosis was caused by fatty liver which I’m sure was due to my weight. So, I stepped up the healthy eating and exercise.

The aids that really helped me were “MyFitnessPal.com”, a application where you record EVERYTHING that you eat. If you are not honest you are cheating yourself. You provide your weight and some other vitals to the program and at the end of each day it gives you an approximation of how much you will weigh in 5 weeks if you continue following what you did that day. If you don’t eat enough it won’t give you that information because it’s not healthy to starve yourself either. It really can be an eye-opener to know just how many mindless calories you are consuming. By doing it I learned a lot. I still use it sometimes if I gain some weight back, but for the most part I’ve learned just what I should and shouldn’t do. If you exercise you can record that too and it will figure that in. At the time I had a “Misfit” fitness tracker and it synced with MyFitnessPal automatically. I still wear a fitness tracker but I can’t get my current one to sync but you can record what you did manually.

My second aid was the fitness tracker. Using it gave me more incentive to reach the goal I had set for myself. There are fitness trackers in every price range. The “Misfit” was very good and reasonably priced. I just checked their website and they no longer have the tracker I had but they do have one, the “Ray”, which is $79.99 and right now is 20% off! I’m sure there other brands also that are in that price range or even less expensive. For me, that really helped to keep me active.

My last aid was my scale. I bought a scale a few years ago that not only gives you your weight but is also gives an approximation of the fluid you are retaining. It helped me because if my weight went up but then I saw I was retaining fluid I realized it was just temporary water weight. When I bought the scale on Amazon it was around $45.

I hope some of these ideas might help you, they sure did help me. My PCP was very impressed with how well I did, and I am keeping it off.

I am very impressed with your selflessness in wanting to be a donor for your sister. Will they allow a live donor to donate both organs? The wait for livers is not nearly as long as it is for kidneys so even if you could just donate that when she got the call that they had a liver it would be great. I waited about a year and a half for a liver. My niece’s husband just had a kidney transplant after about 5 years of being listed and having dialysis.

Please just ask if you or your sister have any questions, that’s what we are here for. I wish I had known about this resource when I was waiting. I hope you will keep us appraised of the progress that you and your sister are making as you move forward to these transplants.