Top 8

Top 8 Dietary and Lifestyle Changes for Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD).

1 Drink Enough Water

  • The amount of water you should drink per day greatly depends on the stage of your kidney disease. Goal for mild to moderate stage: 3 liters. Check with your doctor if you are in later stage as your water intake may need to be limited.
  • Get some good hydration bottles that you can carry around with you everywhere. Consider buying a reverse osmosis water filter to ensure you are drinking only clean water.
  • Drink water, NOT sodas or fruit juices or anything with sugar. Some teas and coffee may be OK.

2 Limit Sugar Intake

  • Kidney cysts LOVE sugar. Limit added sugar in: Sodas, juices, candies, pastries, deserts, anything with high fructose corn syrup. Read the food labels.
  • Replace sugar with natural sweeteners such as stevia, monk fruit. Don’t use artificial sweeteners.
  • Limit foods with natural sugar: high-glycemic fruits, fruit juices, honey, syrups.

3 Limit Sodium

  • Avoid highly processed foods with added sodium. Read the food labels.
  • Avoid restaurant and cafeteria foods unless you are sure that they are low in sodium. Avoid using salt for cooking.
  • Your daily sodium goal depends on your stage of kidney disease and other factors. Ask your doctor.

4 Reduce Oxalate

  • Oxalate is a toxin and waste product excreted by the kidneys. Oxalate can form damaging crystals in kidneys, lead to kidney stones, and likely worsen PKD. Some plant foods are high in oxalate and should be avoided.
  • Use this table of oxalate contents of food to know what you’re eating: www.SantaBarbaraNutrients.com/oxalate
  • Replace high-oxalate foods with low-oxalate alternatives. Stay below 100 mg of daily oxalate intake.

5 Avoid Phosphate Food Additives

  • Phosphates are common food additives in processed foods. Similar to oxalate, phosphate can form damaging crystals in kidneys and lead to kidney stones, and likely worsen PKD.
  • Avoid foods with phosphate additives. Read the ingredient lists of food labels. Avoid anything containing “PHOS” in their name (such as Dicalcium phosphate, Monosodium phosphate, Phosphoric acid and many more).

6 Consider Low-Carb Foods and Ketosis

  • Kidney cysts LOVE sugar, and high-carb diets likely worsen the progression of PKD.
  • Lower your levels of blood sugar and insulin, and your risk of obesity and diabetes by considering the following diet and lifestyle changes:
    • Time-restricted eating: eat only during an 8-hour window every day (e.g., 11 am to 7pm).
    • Switch to a very low carbohydrate, high fat, moderate protein “ketogenic diet”. Fiber is OK! Even though fiber is counted as “carbohydrate” on food labels, it is OK to eat as much fiber as you’d like.

7 Focus on Plants

  • Animal food sources lead to acid accumulation in the body which must be excreted by the kidneys leading to acidic urine. Acidic urine increases the risk of damaging crystals, kidney stones and likely worsens PKD.
  • Meat contains high amounts of “purines” which leads to the waste product uric acid leading to harmful crystals.
  • Reduce your amount of animal food and increase the amount of plant foods. You don’t have to become a vegan. Some dairy, fish, and seafood are OK and will give you important nutrients that are difficult to obtain from plants.

8 Take KetoCitra®

  • This medical food for PKD supports all of the steps listed above.
    • Provides the ketone BHB and supports ketosis. Healthy cells in the body love to use BHB instead of sugar.
    • Provides citrate which helps normalize the low urine citrate levels that are common in PKD and helps the kidneys fight against damaging crystals.
    • Helps to normalize urine pH that is common in PKD. This can help the kidneys fight against harmful crystals.
    • Contains calcium and magnesium which help to suppress the absorption of harmful oxalate and phosphate from food, as well as potassium which helps control high blood pressure.