What is Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)?
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic disorder and type of chronic kidney disease that affects about 500,000 people in the United States (1).
PKD causes cyst-filled sacs to grow on the kidneys, leading to reduced kidney function and potentially kidney failure.
Pain, high blood pressure, cysts on the liver and problems with blood vessels are signs, symptoms and complications of PKD.
There is currently no cure for PKD, however, changes to lifestyle and diet may help manage symptoms.
Top Eight Dietary and Lifestyle Changes for PKD
1. Consider Taking KetoCitra®
This medical food supports the dietary management of PKD by:
● Providing the ketone BHB to support ketosis.
● Helping your kidneys be more resilient against harmful crystals by providing citrate, calcium and magnesium to normalize urine pH.
● Contains potassium which may help with managing blood pressure.
2. Stay Hydrated
The amount of water you drink per day depends on your stage of kidney disease. A typical goal for CKD stages 1-3 is 3 liters of water per day.
Carry a water bottle with you or use a nutrition app that reminds you to drink. Talk to your renal dietitian about drinking coffee, tea and any other unsweetened, flavored beverages.
3. Limit Sugar
Sugar may promote the growth of kidney cysts (3). Limit added sugars found in sweetened beverages and desserts and naturally occurring sugars in high glycemic fruit, honey and syrups.
Remember to check nutrition labels for added sugars. Try stevia and monk fruit-based sweeteners instead of artificial sweeteners.
4. Limit Sodium
High sodium foods can increase your blood pressure.
Learn about how much sodium is in your food by reading package labels. Enjoy minimally processed foods and rely on methods other than salt, like herbs and spices, to season your food.
5. Plant-focused PKD Diet
Eating animal foods can lead to acidic urine which makes the kidneys work harder, increasing risk for crystals and kidney stones.
Balance moderate amounts of animal products with an abundance of plants to help protect the kidneys and increase your fiber intake.
6. Consider Low-Carb Foods and Ketosis
High carbohydrate diets may accelerate the progression of PKD (4). Following a very low carbohydrate, high fat, moderate protein ketogenic diet may help.
Time restricted eating, for example eating only during an 8-hour window, can also help manage blood sugar levels.
7. Avoid Phosphate Additives
Phosphates, a common food additive in processed foods, can increase the risk of crystals and kidney stones. Try to avoid foods with phosphate additives by reading labels.
Look for anything containing “phos” in the name (like dicalcium phosphate).
8. Reduce Oxalates
Oxalates are compounds found in plants and waste products excreted by the kidneys. Kidney damage can occur when too many oxalates are consumed.
Replace high oxalate foods with low-oxalate alternatives. Stay under 100 mg of daily oxalates if possible.
To learn more about the top 8 dietary and lifestyle changes for PKD visit:
Disclaimer: this post is for educational and informational purposes only. Consult a medical professional for individualized advice.