Q. I have only one kidney by birth. Can I live a normal life?

Answered by
Dr. Anshul Varshney
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 29, 2016 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hi doctor,

Recently, I came to know that I got unilateral renal agenesis. My left kidney is absent. Basically, I am a physique model and use to do bodybuilding. I use to take lots of supplements. Also, I was on anabolic cycle for a few months as well. Being with unilateral kidney, will these supplements and anabolic affect my existing kidney? Can I live a normal life without any cautions. I would like to know the precaution of safeguarding my one kidney.



Welcome to

We are here to help you.

  • Congenital renal agenesis is not as such any disease. However, since you have a single functioning kidney, you should be cautious before taking high protein diet, medicines and painkillers.
  • You should get a kidney function test and a urine for microalbumin done to check the status of the kidney.
  • You can live a normal life, but make sure you do not take painkillers and should see your doctor whenever you are ill. My point is to avoid self-medications.

For further information consult a nephrologist online -->

Hi doctor,

Thanks for the feedback. I got my physique model show after three months. I have worked one year for this. I would like to finish this competition. I am planning to take anabolics to do this. Will anabolic intake for shorter period affect my kidney? I want to compete this event very badly. Shall I proceed to take anabolic medicines on limited dosage till my competition?



Welcome back to

  • No, I would not recommend you to take anabolic steroids. Your life is more important than such competitions.

For further doubts consult a nephrologist online -->

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