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Eating Right for Kidney Transplant Patients

A Well-Balanced Diet Is Important

A healthy and balanced diet still plays an important role in maintaining overall health and keeping the transplanted kidney working well. Kidney recipients need to be on a special diet for a short period of time after the transplant surgery.

A dietitian will coach kidney recipients what they should do and help them plan their meals according to their needs. Kidney recipients may find that this diet is easier to follow than the haemodialysis diet because the new kidney will be able to help the body maintain a healthy balance of potassium and phosphorus.

Here are some tips to keep your kidneys healthy:

1. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight

  • Weight gain after kidney transplant is common.
  • Many people have a better appetite after a transplant due to an improved sense of well-being and the steroid medication taken.
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight in the Body Mass Index (BMI) range of 18.5-22.9kg/m2 can lower risks of developing hypertension, heart problems, diabetes mellitus, and stroke.
  • Weigh yourself regularly, stay active and talk to a dietitian if you need to change your diet.

2. Keep Your Lipid Profile Controlled

  • Dyslipidemia is common among kidney recipients.
  • Elevated levels of total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol) and triglycerides increase the risk of heart problems.
Adopt a healthy diet to keep your blood cholesterol levels controlled for a healthy heart:

3. Keep Your Blood Pressure Controlled

  • Most kidney recipients still need to limit sodium intake.
  • Transplant medicines, especially steroids, may cause the body to hold onto fluid, and high intake of sodium worsens this problem.
  • Blood pressure control is very important both before and after transplantation.
  • Limit your sodium intake to less than 2,000mg per day.

Click here to download Shake Your Salt Habit Pamphlet.

4. Maintain A Healthy Bone

  • Rapid decline in bone mineral density occurs in the early stage of kidney transplant.
  • Reduced calcium absorption due to prednisone, hyperparathyroidism, abnormal vitamin D metabolism are the potential factors that further weakens the bone.
  • There is an increased risk of bone loss for women, particularly in post-menopausal women.
  • Doctor will check for possible bone loss and recommend the best way to keep kidney recipients’ bones as healthy as possible such as taking a supplement, including two servings of dairy products such as low fat milk, cheese and yogurt in the daily diet.

Important! Kidney recipients should not start any supplements on their own as this could cause problems on the new kidney.

5. Prevention of Anaemia

  • Anaemia can also occur among kidney recipients.
  • A diet lacking in iron, folate and/or vitamin B12 may contribute to anaemia.
  • Prevention and management of anaemia are important in maintaining good health and reduce the risk of death.

6. Safe Food Practices ​

  • Organ transplant recipients are more susceptible to food borne illness such as listeriosis as a result of their compromised immune system.
  • Kidney recipients should follow food safety precautions (e.g. minimise or reduce raw food consumption such as salad, raw fish, etc).
  • Consult a dietitian to learn more about food safety.

Frequently Ask Questions

Kidney recipients need to follow a high protein diet right after transplant to help build up the muscle tissue that has been broken down by the large doses of steroids.

However, your protein needs will be the same as healthy individuals several months after your transplant. Your dietitian will tell you how much protein you need to consume to aid with your healing process.

There is no potassium restriction for kidney recipients as long as their transplant is working well. However, some transplant medicines can increase blood level of potassium, while other medicines may decrease it.

If so, you might need to modify your diet according to your blood potassium level. Regular monitoring is important.

A healthy diet, diabetes medication (where needed), and regular exercise are important for diabetic. Work with your doctor and dietitian to keep your diet and blood sugar in good control.

Grapefruit, possibly due to its furanocoumarins content, will alter the metabolism of many of the medications prescribed to kidney transplant recipients, including cyclosporine, tacrolimus, calcium channel blockers and statins. Therefore, kidney transplant recipients are advised to avoid grapefruit in any form.

*The above information and recommendations are general guidelines, and should not be viewed as specific advice for any individual. Please consult your doctor or other health care advisors for personal health decisions.

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General Enquiries

As there are limited car park lots available at NKF Centre visitors may need to park at the nearby HDB car parks in the vicinity.

NKF HQ Mondays –Thursdays
PH / Weekends
8.30am –6.00pm
8.30am –5.00pm
Dialysis Centres Mondays –Saturdays
7.00am –11.00pm
7.00am –11.00pm

We are open on most public holidays except for the 1st day of Chinese New Year.

NKF does not provide ad hoc dialysis treatment. Our patients are on long-term dialysis treatment. You may wish to check with private dialysis centres for ad hoc dialysis treatments.

NKF does not have an outpatient clinic and hence, we are unable to arrange an appointment for members of the public. You may wish to contact a hospital of your choice for outpatient service.

Currently, NKF does not provide health report interpretation service. You may consult your General Practitioner who will be able to assist you.

Someone with kidney failure may not experience any signs and symptoms until it is too late. It is best to do a routine health screening to understand your health status better and detect any abnormalities as early as possible so that you can delay and manage the disease progression.

To know about the signs and symptoms please click here to learn more.

Decreased urination Swollen hands and ankles Sleep disturbances
Blood in the urine (tea-coloured or fresh blood) Puffiness around the eyes High blood pressure
Nausea and vomiting Itching Loss of appetite

All dialysis centres operate on 3 dialysis shifts –morning, noon and evening.

Morning Noon Evening
7.00am –12.00pm 12.00pm – 6.00pm 6.00pm –11.00pm
Timing of your dialysis schedule may vary for each dialysis centres.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday (1,3,5) OR Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (2,4,6)


Our Admissions Counsellor will contact you once your application is finalised. They will be in contact with you soon.

From the day we receive the application form, it will take approximately 3 working days to a week for us to get back to you if you have submitted all completed supporting documents together with your application form to us. Generally, the whole process will take 6 months for the approval.

The overall application review process will take approximately 6 months before the applicant can start the first dialysis treatment. However, if the applicant is able to provide all completed supporting documents and if there is a slot available at the dialysis centre with a right match to the time slot, the waiting time could be shorter.

Currently, we do not have status checking service online. NKF Admissions Counsellor will be in contact with the applicants regarding the status.

You may pick it up from the NKF main office at 81 Kim Keat Road, Singapore 328836 or call us at 6506 2187 to have the forms sent to you.

Means Test is used to determine the amount of subsidies each person needing care is eligible for. Persons from lower income households will be granted higher subsidies under the means test framework.

Means Test subsidies calculation is based in accordance to MOH guidelines.

Our NKF Admissions Counsellor in-charge will contact you in regards to your means test status.

The Medical Social Workers at your hospital will be able to advise you on the different type of subsidies based on your financial situation.

Kidney Live Donor Support Fund

For information on kidney donation in Singapore, you may wish to contact the National Organ Transplant Unit at Tel: 6321 4390 or email

NKF’s Kidney Live Donor Support Fund covers annual health screenings and medical follow-ups; one-time reimbursement for loss of 2 months actual income of $8,500, whichever is lower: reimbursement of hospitalisation and surgical insurance premiums (capped at MediShield Life premiums); pre-transplant screening and evaluation costs for up to 2 potential donors per kidney recipient; and insurance coverage for Group Living. Policy based on sum insured of $200,000.

For more information and eligibility, please click here. 

Donation & Volunteering

You can make the donation through different platforms:

  1. For online donation: please visit
  2. Or you may like to issue a cheque made payable to “The National Kidney Foundation” or “NKF” and mail it to us at 81 Kim Keat Road, Singapore 328836.
  3. Alternatively, you may contact us at 1800-KIDNEYS (5436397) or email us at to send you the donation form.
  4. Road Singapore 328836.

Thank you for your generosity. The cheque should be issued to “The National Kidney Foundation” or “NKF”.

Thank you for bequeathing your CPF contributions to NKF. You can fill up the CPF nomination form which can be downloaded from the CPF website. NKF’s UEN is 200104750M.

Thank you for your generosity. You may like to visit the Ministry of Law’s website where you can find a list of lawyers based in Singapore. Please visit

Our UEN/ Company Registration No. / GST Registration No. is 200104750M.

Please send us an email at or call us at 1800-KIDNEYS (5436397) and we will assist you accordingly.

You may email your new mailing address to , Please include your full name, contact number, old mailing address and UEN or NRIC/FIN (last 3 digits)

You may email us at to get the donation form. Please fill up your new GIRO/credit card number, donation amount and sign the form. Thereafter, post the GIRO form back to NKF for processing.

For credit card, you may wish to scan the form and send it to NKF via either of these options:

Email –

Fax – 6253 0417

Mail – 81 Kim Keat Road, Singapore 328836

Please email us at with your full name, UEN/NRIC/FIN and mailing address.

Please email us at to have the termination form sent to you. Please fill it up and send it back to us for processing and auditing purposes.

All outright cash donations to NKF are entitled to tax deduction because NKF is a registered charity with an IPC (Institutions of Public Character) status. We are able to issue tax deductible receipts for qualifying donations to our donors.

You are entitled to a tax deduction of 2.5 times the value of your donation in the preceding year.

You may sign up via our website at

If you do not have access to the internet, please call us at 1800-KIDNEYS (5436397) to have the application form sent to you. Please fill it up and send it back to us at 81 Kim Keat Road Singapore 328836.

Once we receive your application, our colleague from the Donor and Volunteer Management Department will contact you for a phone interview. After which, you will be invited to attend our volunteer orientation. This is to allow you to have a better understanding of the volunteering activities.

The minimum age is 13 years old. For volunteers who are below the age of 21, you will need to get parental consent. You may download the consent form here.

We strongly encourage our volunteers to commit at least a year so that we can better support our patients. Our programmes and activities are flexible, you can choose your volunteering schedule according to your interest and availability.

You may volunteer with us basing on your availability. We will send a weekly email to our volunteers indicating the up-coming volunteering opportunities. You can then match your availability to the activity schedule.

We have an array of volunteering activities to suit your interest and availability. To learn more about the volunteering activities we offer, please visit

Anyone and everyone can join us as a volunteer. All applicants will be required to undergo a mandatory orientation session where you will gain insights into the Foundation’s cause, kidney disease as well as learn more about the volunteering activities we offer. Regular trainings are also conducted for all volunteers so that they can better perform their role.

Most definitely! We welcome schools, companies and community groups to volunteer with us as part of their Values In Action and Corporate Social Responsibility activities. Please get in touch with us on your interest by sending an email to

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