Polycystic Kidney Disease affects 1 in 500 people. A person at any age can be diagnosed with this hereditary disease. A proper diet can improve quality of life and prolong kidney function.
What Nutrients Should be AVOIDED:
SODIUM: It is important to reduce salt intake as much as possible as excess sodium can increase blood pressure.
CAFFEINE: There is some evidence suggesting that caffeine may promote cyst growth.
PROCESSED FOODS: These foods are typically high in salt and sugars.
CORN SYRUP: This is a form of liquid calories and should be avoided whenever possible.
What Nutrients to REDUCE:
CARBOHYDRATES: Many breads, and pasta contain excess salt, and corn syrup. Carbs are also caloric and can lead to weight gain. Carbohydrates should be eaten in moderation.
PROTEIN: Depending on your level of kidney function, your doctor may recommend a lower intake of protein. The kidneys process proteins and when there is function lost, it is more difficult for the kidneys to filtrate these proteins. This can lead to a backup of excess waste in the blood.
ALCOHOL: Should be consumed in moderation and high sugar mixed drinks should be avoided.
FIBER: Foods with fiber assist the body with digestion.
FRUITS & VEGGIES: These foods are lower in calories and can help lower the blood pressure. Be aware of potassium and talk to your doctor about any potassium restrictions specific to you.
Calories & Exercise
Weight control is a key factor for those diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease. With those struggling to maintain a healthy weight, working with a nutritionist and counting calories can make all the difference. How many calories consumed and how many calories are burned is the foundation for weight loss/maintenance. Exercising is how the body burns off calories. A consistent exercise plan can help with weight loss and also reduce blood pressure.