Donated my kidney: Food/drinks taste weird. Related?
Hi all. I donated a kidney to my sister a few weeks ago (Cleveland Clinic) and one thing I noticed is that a lot of foods/drinks taste weird now. I have my sense of taste and smell but many things now taste metallic. Does anyone out there have similar experiences? I'm not taking anything except Tylenol for pain so I don't really think it's that.
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@2kids Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect! It is really a gift to be able to test to see if you are a match for your sister!I hope all goes well, and if you cannot be her match, be sure to talk about a paired donation where you can donate to someone and a match is found for your sister, so everyone benefits.
Here is an article from the National Kidney Foundation, about donating a kidney and what to expect afterwards: https://www.kidney.org/transplantation/livingdonors/what-expect-after-donation. As you can see there are some preferred restrictions involved after donation. Living a healthy and active lifestyle is best.
What is the reason your sister needs this transplant?
I donated my kidney in May of 2020. I can't even tell in my body that I donated. I feel 💯 like I did prior to donating. I do keep up with my annual exams and my numbers are terrific. I do try to live a mostly healthy lifestyle but I do go out and endulge once in awhile. I live life joyfully but I do keep in mind that if I damage my right kidney, I don't have a back up. I am very happy I chose to be a donor. Good luck with your days of testing. The testing time was actually the biggest eye opener for me. If you aren't a match for your sister, you are able to donate in a chain donation and still help her plus multiple others if you choose. If you have other questions on your journey I am happy to share my experience. They take great care of you at Mayo in my experience.
She found out around 20 years ago that she only had 1 working kidney. We are not sure why the other one stopped working. I am wondering how people are feeling 20-30 years after they have donated a kidney. Have they had health issues, has it shortened their life span or quality of life?
@2kids A person can successfully live with one kidney. It's the only organ we have that we get a spare at birth! Any medical professional will counsel a healthy active lifestyle no matter your situation. In the case of kidney donation, they also tack on no motocross motorcycle riding/racing, no wrestling to eliminate chances of hurting the remaining kidney.
My wife donated her kidney to me 32 years ago. She says, “I remember that at first certain tastes and smells seemed weird. I ignored it and after a while it diminished. One day I realized that it was gone!” She’s had no adverse health effects since then and at 67 is very healthy and strong.
Then, 11 years after the first one, my son donated one of his kidneys to me. He has never noticed a difference in anything. In fact, the only issue he ever had was right after he donated. They had shaved some of his pubic hair so thay could take the kidney out through a central incision. The itchy and sore pimples as his pubes grew out was a huge problem for him.
I have confidence that your tastes will return to normal. I know how it is tho… after my cochlear implant things tasted metallic, salt was super strong, sugar intolerably strong (!) and citrus fruits were terrible. by the 6 month mark that had all returned to normal, though I am still not liking salty foods I once loved.
Take care and be patient.
You were so generous to donate to your sister, I applaud your decision.
@lizzy102 thanks so much for your detailed response. Just a curiosity question…you mentioned that your first kidney transplant lasted 11 years from your wife. How long did your transplant from your son last? …
Is it still working well 22 years later? 🙂
@2kids, Have you started the evaluation process yet? Which Mayo campus?
I am a recipient (Mayo Rochester) and I am aware of how involved the process is from a recipient point of view. How can I be of assistance as you navigate the tests and the busy schedule? What questions would you like to ask?
I have finished the testing at the Mayo in Rochester, MN– and am WAITING for the results (they said I would know last Thursday or Friday). I have a good understanding, I think, of the recovery period after the surgery —– I am wondering more about the long term — 2, 5, 10 years down the road. How has your daily life changed? Can you do all that you did before the surgery? I realize it may be different from the recipients point of view, but still would like to know.
I donated a kidney at the Mayo in Rochester in June 2021 and I feel 100% normal now. I am able to do anything physically that I want, including mountain bike…I do that 3-5 times a week. My fitness isn't quite were it was pre-donation, but I trust it will get there. I don't follow a special diet, and the thing I concentrate on most is staying hydrated. I have a glass of ice water in front of me almost all the time. I realize you are looking for longer term recovery, but thought I'd share my short term perspective.
Thank you for donating a kidney! You are fairly new on your recovery from the surgery, and it is nice to hear you're progressing so well!