COVID-19 and Transplant Patients

Posted by jolinda @jolinda, Mar 14, 2020

As a kidney transplant recipient I have been extra vigilant/worried about protecting myself as COVID-19 spreads. Like most transplant patients I am used to washing my hands, carrying hand-sanitizer, avoiding sick people, getting flu shots, etc. The COVID-19 outbreak has caused me to take additional steps to try to remain safe but I am worried for my health. I would like to hear what you are doing to stay safe and how you are feeling.

Let's accept the fact that people are provided personalized medical instructions from their doctors based on their prognosis and medications, that their dosing will vary and that our experiences with anti-rejections will differ. I believe that this moment in our lives can provide us a time to be more compassionate and open to others. (This is not directed to any one "poster" in particular).

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@ca426

Okay guys ,I don't know who your transplant team, but I've been taking Vit.C for years. My transplant team, knows I take it and have never told me not to, not once have I ever had a problem with rejection, and I've had my transplant for 5 years, but I do most defiantly agree that avoiding additives in processed foods, and eating healthy.

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@ca426, You have said the KEY words, "My transplant team knows." Remember that we have all come into the transplant world with a variety of underlying conditioons, and our life long care reflects how individualized our treatments are.

Do you remember why you started taking vitamin C?

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Hi all, I see that this discussion has taken a slight diversion to vitamin C.

The National Kidney Foundation provides a list of foods and supplements that kidney transplant recipients should avoid. See:
– What You Need to Know Post-Transplant: Common Nutrient and Herbal Interactions https://www.kidney.org/transplantation/transaction/TC/winter14/What_You_Need_to_Know_PostTx

Foods to avoid include citrus fruits such as grapefruit, pomegranate and Seville oranges. Top of the list of supplements to avoid is vitamin C. "For transplant recipients, the most frequent interactions are those that activate the immune system and those that affect the ability of the drug to enter or exit the blood. As a result, some foods and herbal products are no longer safe to consume after receiving a transplant."

If you have been told differently, it may be wise to review the list with your transplant team or pharmacist, and let them know if you have been eating or taking some of the things on the list. It never hurts to be certain what is right for you.

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@colleenyoung

Hi all, I see that this discussion has taken a slight diversion to vitamin C.

The National Kidney Foundation provides a list of foods and supplements that kidney transplant recipients should avoid. See:
– What You Need to Know Post-Transplant: Common Nutrient and Herbal Interactions https://www.kidney.org/transplantation/transaction/TC/winter14/What_You_Need_to_Know_PostTx

Foods to avoid include citrus fruits such as grapefruit, pomegranate and Seville oranges. Top of the list of supplements to avoid is vitamin C. "For transplant recipients, the most frequent interactions are those that activate the immune system and those that affect the ability of the drug to enter or exit the blood. As a result, some foods and herbal products are no longer safe to consume after receiving a transplant."

If you have been told differently, it may be wise to review the list with your transplant team or pharmacist, and let them know if you have been eating or taking some of the things on the list. It never hurts to be certain what is right for you.

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Good day to all participants. For liver transplants they told us about the fruits such as grapefruit, pomegranate and Seville oranges. They recommended calcium for me as i have problems with my bones. However I am not sure about vitamin C, no body told me to avoid it.Thank you for your comments I should check again…

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I just came across this and it’s cautiously reassuring for those of us on immunotherapy. I hope that this proves to be true. It is from the autoimmune hepatitis organization but I would think it would apply to anyone on immunotherapy.
It says “ the increased risk of severe disease did not appear to be linked to patients taking immunosuppressants.” but it does not say if we are more apt to contract the virus.
https://www.aihep.org/
JK

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@ca426

I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with you. First are immune system suppression, is a little more complicated than that. Are Immune suppressants , target specific immune cells. If in fact you say that you shouldn't take higher doses of Vit C, then it would be the same to say, you can't eat oranges, tomatoes, bananas, etc., which are high in Vit. C , now as far as the herbs go, you do have to be carful with those, because there are some that do directly affect absorption of are immune suppressers. Long and short, make sure you do your research, from reliable sources, probably the best thing you can do is not eat junk food, soda, drink plenty of water .

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@ca426
You will find more information in The Journal of Renal Nutrition from a study conducted by Linda Moore et. al. We are so blessed as a transplant community to have such amazing scientists researching on our behalf. The study looks at supplements and herbal remedies including but not limited to:

Vitamin C
St. John’s Wort
Herbal teas: green tea, chamomile, peppermint, dandelion…
Echinacea
Dong quai
Ginseng
Feverfew

Here is a portion of the article which I will cite below as well as a link to the Journal of Renal Nutrition:

"More research is needed regarding how transplant recipients could safely incorporate any of these products into their lifestyle. Until then, clinical teams should help transplant patients understand that these products will affect how their bodies absorb, distribute, metabolize, and excrete the antirejection drugs and could affect the outcome of graft survival."

1. Moore LW. Food, food components, and botanicals affecting drug metabolism in transplantation. J Ren Nutr. 2013 May;23(3):e71-3. doi: 10.1053/j.jrn.2013.02.002. PubMed PMID: 23611558
https://www.jrnjournal.org/article/S1051-2276(13)00061-7/fulltext
Foods known to interact with transplant meds are: grapefruit, grapefruit juice, pomegranate, Seville oranges.

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@jerrynord

For all us transplantees, I do wear a glove on one hand that I use to open store doors, touch ATM keys, etc that others touch. Also have credit card ready to use instead of using cash and receiving change that has been touched by many people. Remove the glove before you enter your car and use hand sanitizer. Also take your oun bags and pack your own items.

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Hi, @jerrynord. Welcome to the Connect Transplant discussion. I am happy to meet you and even more happy o read how you are implementing some great ideas to prevent exposure to the coronavirus. I think that we transplantees could teach others about how we do it day after day as our normal.
I like your idea for wearing a glove while pumping gas. Just today I have seen several people (not on here) questioning whether they could get COVID-19 by pumping gas.
I am a liver and kidney recipient. Please tell me a little about yourself. What organ did you receive? When? How is life going since the transplant?

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@rosemarya

Hi, @jerrynord. Welcome to the Connect Transplant discussion. I am happy to meet you and even more happy o read how you are implementing some great ideas to prevent exposure to the coronavirus. I think that we transplantees could teach others about how we do it day after day as our normal.
I like your idea for wearing a glove while pumping gas. Just today I have seen several people (not on here) questioning whether they could get COVID-19 by pumping gas.
I am a liver and kidney recipient. Please tell me a little about yourself. What organ did you receive? When? How is life going since the transplant?

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I had a liver transplant in 2009 in Jacksonville when I was 68. One of the medicines I was put on immediately was Tacrolymus twice a day. I have been well ever since with no complications. I go to Mayo for my yearly checkup.
Amazing you have had both kidney and liver transplants. How have you been doing?

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@jerrynord

I had a liver transplant in 2009 in Jacksonville when I was 68. One of the medicines I was put on immediately was Tacrolymus twice a day. I have been well ever since with no complications. I go to Mayo for my yearly checkup.
Amazing you have had both kidney and liver transplants. How have you been doing?

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@jerrynord, This is fantastic! I transplanted in 2009, too. At Mayo Rochester. I would love to continue a conversation with you in a liver transplant discussion where other liver patients can join in.
Let's take our liver transplant conversation to the Liver transplant support group.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/liver-support-group/

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@almula

Good day to all participants. For liver transplants they told us about the fruits such as grapefruit, pomegranate and Seville oranges. They recommended calcium for me as i have problems with my bones. However I am not sure about vitamin C, no body told me to avoid it.Thank you for your comments I should check again…

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@almula, I see that you are a liver transplant recipient. I want to invite you to the Liver transplant support group and meet some other liver transplant recipients.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/liver-support-group/

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@rosemarya

@almula, I see that you are a liver transplant recipient. I want to invite you to the Liver transplant support group and meet some other liver transplant recipients.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/liver-support-group/

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I thought I was there but maybe not.

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@rosemarya

@jerrynord, This is fantastic! I transplanted in 2009, too. At Mayo Rochester. I would love to continue a conversation with you in a liver transplant discussion where other liver patients can join in.
Let's take our liver transplant conversation to the Liver transplant support group.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/liver-support-group/

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OK.

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