Fasting On One Kidney


Greetings! I just wanted to introduce myself because I will be lurking and reading your posts! My name is Katy and I live in New Orleans. I am new to the forum, but not to Keto.

Eight years ago I was doing great on Keto/IF until I had the opportunity to donate a kidney. Although I had great biomarkers and passed all the other tests, etc., the docs refused to do the surgery while I was in Ketosis! SO, I changed to CAD until the surgery and then never got back to full Keto. Until a few months ago! Since then I have been 100% (which is much easier for me than 99%, if that makes sense), and am thrilled with all the results, and how I feel!

I have been part of the FB group for women over 40 which is great, but was finding that the food postings are too much for me. I am definitely a KISS gal. I am SO happy to have found this forum and the 2KD podcast.

Although I had done IF/OMAD in the past, I had never really heard about the EF until the podcasts. I love the idea - and it seems like it will help me take good care of my remaining kidney! I did my first fast last week for 36 hours, and just finished my second (48 hours) with a high fat meal. (0 cal drinks, water and broth - perhaps not a real fast?). I believe I will eat two high fat meals tomorrow mid-morning and early evening and start another fast and try to get to 72 hours. I am REALLY curious what the 3rd day feels like!

Anyway, I am learning SO much from y’all, and although not a science person I’m trying to understand all that you share and enjoy the incremental education that I can pick up!

The best to all of you! And thanks for starting/maintaining this forum!

(Jules Swart) #2

Another donor! I donated in 2001 and used Atkins to drop a few pounds to get as healthy as possible. My surgeon said the same thing…no ketones during the final round of tests.
Welcome to the forum!


Great! That is so cool! So that is why the elimination of the visceral fat from my organs is something of keen interest to me. That, and I want to continue to feel great! I’m so very pleased to meet you!

(Michele TP) #4

Hi, I’m an old head–donated a kidney to my sis in 1986. Interestingly enough I find it VERY difficult to get into ketosis. But I feel great and my number still look good 31 years later!


Excellent! Very pleased to meet you! I don’t have ketone strips, etc. With the exception of the labs with my annual physical, the only way I know I’m in ketosis is because of the lack of hunger, heightened energy and the feeling of well being – SO much different than when I am eating carbs! BTW - when you donated that was probably not laparoscopic, right? You must have had a more difficult recovery. But, I am confident, so very worth it. I still think it was one of the greatest honors of my life. (And my other kidney is now teaching at a local college! Obviously it was the smarter of the two kidneys!)

(betsy.rome) #6

Would you kidney donors kindly share what that experience was like for you? And is there a recommended age cap for donation? TIA.

(jilliangordona) #7

Can anyone better explain why the doc refused surgery while in ketosis? Just curious about the mechanism behind it, if there is one


Just my experience: Mine was in 2008 for a friend whose family members and the first person who volunteered to donate could not donate for medical reasons. Our children were the same age and had been friends for years. I was 49 at the time (there, I just gave away my age!) and I think I may have been at the top range of the age possibilities. There were a couple months of testing - EKGs, blood, psych, etc. before the surgery. I had already had two vertical C-sections, so they used that whopper scar to go in for the laparoscopic procedure. I think there may have been another tiny incision, too. I do remember that they wanted to release me the next day and I said “hell no” and kept my morphine drip for the next 12 hours! (I am a wimp!) The home recovery time was probably 2 weeks, but I milked it for 4 (again, wimp!). As I remember it was no more or less challenging than my C-sections.

My friend, though, did really well initially after the surgery - she was walking the halls hours before me! She did, though, experience much more after that as she went through the process of her body adjusting to the new organ and fighting not to reject it. But she won! She has had several other medical issues since that time, but all were related to damage done to her body when she was in kidney failure. The kidney has been fine. She even had WLS in December and flew through that process.

I hope that was not TMI!


Oh! I hope someone can explain this!

(betsy.rome) #10

Not TMI at all! was wondering as my baby sis has always had probs with her kidneys, but I’m 62 so not likely that I would end up donating now. Hoping to convince her to go keto! but her nephrologist has her on a special low protein diet, I think low fat as well.

(Michele TP) #11

Yes, back in '86 there was no laproscopic surgery, so I have a 24 inch scar on my left side. I was also in the hospital for a week on morphine. But I recovered–I was in my 20s at the time. Unfortunately, my sister lost the kidney to a staph infection and had to go on dialysis. She died from complications of diabetes and heart disease at the age of 47.


I’m very sorry for your loss. What a wonderful sister you are. It is such a terrible disease that it is heartening to read so many are changing the course of it through keto. Thank you.

(Jules Swart) #13

The answer I got (2001) was that it ‘could’ indicate underlying kidney and/or metabolic issues which could contraindicate donation. The pre-surgical labs needed to be ‘perfect’ for my doc to give the okay. I read that as the docs playing cya in case there were any issues (for either of us) following surgery.
As for the experience, I had some pain the next day (from the gas they use to expand my abdomen) and a wicked case of tendonitis in my arms (which five minutes of occupational therapy on sitting up without straining my abdomen OR my arms would have prevented). It was worth every second, though. My mom got the kidney and it served her well until she passed from unrelated issues in 2014.


Thank you! The doc concerns about the 'could’s, and the cya, makes a great deal of sense. I wonder if Dr. Fung would have made the same call? Peace.

(Meagan Cross) #15

Ive just found this forum 3 days before I donate. Thanks for your words of wisdom. Ive told the doctors I keep a strict diet but didnt mention ketosis. Ive been eating this way through all my testing. How would they know if you were in ketosis? No one has picked it up in any of my testing to date? I mean I could just have more vegies the night before & still be low carb but perhaps reduce ketones. Did anyone say why they wont operate?


Bless your heart, I just saw this and wish you and your person a very speedy recovery! To answer your question my donation was 8 years ago, so it may not be an issue now. They found the ketones in the multiple urine and blood samples during testing. Again, perhaps they have realized that this is not an issue - and may be a positive. I know some places, like Cleveland Clinic, are realizing how beneficial a ketogenic diet is for so many physical challenges. Please post and let me know how you are doing after your donation. Again, sending loads of healing thoughts your way!

(Michele TP) #17

I donated a kidney to my sister in 1986–32 years ago! My doc has encouraged low carb and keto, and my one kidney is working fine. I dont go overboard on the protein (a palm sized serving), but I do keep the fat high. Good luck to you.

(Chris S) #18

I’m glad to hear that your doctor recommended this diet. I donated a kidney 3 years ago and have been reluctant to start this diet (on which I had great success years before my surgery) because warnings discourage people with kidney disease from being on it.


Greetings! Great that you had that opportunity! Just so you know, I have had NO problems what-so-ever on Keto (18+months) with my one kidney. My primary did say that I was if I was healthy enough to donate then I am overall healthy person! All of the people on this thread have been very encouraging as well. My primary does like to check my creatinine (sp?) levels each year as a way of ensuring my remaining kidney is fine. Last year was perfect, and I am assuming this year will be as well. If you are really interested in this way of eating, good luck!