Can I train with kidney pain

Can you do sports with kidney problems?

The kidney is the most important filter in the body and those who have a weak kidney often have to struggle with many health problems. However, a few cases in the past have shown that you can do sport even with kidney problems.

In Germany, the current FSV Mainz 05 player, Ivan Klasnic, is probably the best-known case for a professional footballer with kidney failure. In 2011, the Polish international Slawomir Peszko moved to 1. FC Köln. The special thing about the transfer was not that a national player wanted to move to the cathedral city, but that Peszko has a so-called double kidney. Instead of 2, Pezko has 4 kidneys, which has earned him the nickname “four kidney Pole” in fan circles. But despite this restriction, both Klasnic and Peszko, who is now earning his money with Wolverhampton Wanderes, have had an impressive career.

Repeated unnecessarily

A phenomenon like Peszko's is medically referred to as a double kidney system and can be on one side, as in the case of the Pole, on both sides, and is not even that rare. It is estimated that around 1% of the population has this double kidney without any problems. Most of the time, it only becomes apparent when those affected seek treatment for a urinary tract infection. This is because the likelihood of a urinary tract infection increases due to this abnormality. But that is the only health problem that people face. The fact that you have to go to the toilet more often with the extra kidney is just a misconception. The kidneys share the work that only one kidney would otherwise do. Therefore, those affected have neither an advantage nor a disadvantage.

Weak kidney

While Peszko has a double kidney and therefore no problems, the case with Klasnic is somewhat different. Born in Hamburg, he suffered from renal insufficiency, i.e. from a weak kidney. Here the kidney does not work at full capacity. Sometimes she even stops working entirely. The consequence of this is that toxins are no longer filtered out of the organism. Unless you notice it early, the body slowly poisons itself. It starts with harmless factors such as tiredness, feeling sick, susceptibility to illness and impaired performance. This can of course indicate a variety of diseases and can only be detected with a comprehensive blood test. If left untreated, kidney failure can lead to death.

Unfortunately, according to the current state of medicine, there is no therapy for the weak kidney - apart from a transplant. Until a donor kidney is found, those affected usually have to go on dialysis, which cleanses the blood, for a few hours three times a week. A total of 600 to 1,000 hours a year can easily be spent on dialysis. If you find a suitable donor, you have to hope that the body will accept the new kidney. For this, the patient usually has to take appropriate medication so that the body does not reject the foreign organ.

Exercise after transplant

Ivan Klasnic got a kidney from his mother very quickly. This shows that you can achieve top athletic performance again with a new kidney. However, there is one limitation, even if the donor kidney is accepted: the foreign kidney does not sit as well in the body and is less surrounded by protective fat and connective tissue. It is transplanted into the abdomen above the pelvis and is therefore not as well protected by the body. Contact sports and martial arts should therefore be avoided after a kidney transplant or at least exercised with appropriate caution against injuries.

Exercise with renal failure

It is a little more difficult with acute kidney failure. Since dialysis is very strenuous and takes a lot of time, it is difficult to find enough time and energy for training. Elite sport with renal insufficiency is therefore hardly possible. But that doesn't mean that you can't do sports.

Because dialysis patients should also do sports, sometimes even while the blood is being cleaned. For example, there will soon be a pilot project at the Cologne University Hospital in cooperation with the German Sport University Cologne, in which children and adolescents with renal insufficiency should train on a spinning bike during treatment. After the first pre-tests, this should improve the performance again. As a result, the extreme drop in performance can be alleviated immediately after dialysis. In addition, exercise generally improves patients' quality of life. However, the sports plans should be discussed with the attending physician.

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Christian Riedel