ADPKD Nutrition Questions

What do I need to know about nutrition?

Staying healthy is important when living with polycystic kidney disease (PKD), and you can take simple steps towards improving your nutrition and diet throughout a diagnosis. Dietary factors can play an important role in alleviating symptoms and slowing the progression toward renal failure. It is important to learn how specific nutrients interact with kidneys, cysts, blood pressure, etc., and how to make the necessary adjustments for an individual situation.

Some other recommendations which play a role in a healthy diet/lifestyle include:

  • Reduce stress in your life
  • Avoid inflammation
  • Eat a (mostly) vegetarian diet high in antioxidants
  • Try soybeans
  • Choose low sodium foods and condiments
  • Watch caffeine intake
  • Watch out for potassium rich foods
  • Eat more omega-3 rich foods
  • Eat high fibre carbohydrates
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How much water should I drink?

Adequate daily fluid intake is a requirement and particularly important for those living with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), as significant dehydration can occur during periods of heavy exercise or extreme heat. The type and amount of supplements and foods to consume varies from person to person and it is always best to consult your doctor.

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Will weight loss affect or improve my ADPKD?

Maintaining a healthy weight is important for many reasons, including protection of kidney function. However, losing too much weight can cause other, possibly unintended complications. Consult your doctor before you take on any weight loss program.

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What’s an ideal weight or BMI for someone living with ADPKD?

For those living with ADPKD, there is no set formula for determining ideal body weight. This is partially due to the varying rate at which kidneys increase in size and weight and the effect of other complications caused by PKD. It is best to work with your doctor to determine an appropriate weight that takes into account all of the various issues you might be dealing with.

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Can I drink beer or wine?

For those with ADPKD who are otherwise healthy, moderate alcohol intake is acceptable, but consider limiting to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.

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Can I exercise if I have PKD?

Yes, exercise is important for cardiovascular health. In fact, participating in physical activity can help lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and generally enhance wellbeing in people living with PKD. Good exercises for people with ADPKD include sports where impact is minimized. These include swimming, tennis, rowing, golf, biking and, to a lesser extent, jogging or running. Activities that may be more risky include contact sports, where the kidneys might be hit accidentally and any type of activity that includes repetitive jarring or impact, such as football or hockey.

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