Polycystic kidney disease is a kidney disorder where fluid-filled cysts or sacs develop within the kidneys. The disease is a genetic disorder and the development of multiple cysts is due to structural abnormalities of the renal tubules. Eventually, the cysts enlarge and replace the kidneys. Sometimes they can even spread to the liver and cause kidney as well as liver damage. Although the cysts are non-cancerous, their proliferation and enlargement cause severe functional abnormalities of the kidneys.
Polycystic kidney disease if unchecked causes kidney failure and other severe complications like high blood pressure, urinary tract infections, blood in urine and kidney stones. Other symptoms of enlarged cysts are increased abdominal size, feeling bloated in the abdomen, backache and headache.
Diagnosis of polycystic kidney disease is not easy because the symptoms may not be very apparent for years. But if your parent or siblings or child has the disease, there are chances of you getting it too. So, it is advisable to get a screening done by your doctor if you have an affected relative or observe signs and symptoms of the disease.
The disease once diagnosed can be treated using medications but lifestyle changes and adoption of a healthy balanced diet helps to manage the disease to a great extent. Here are 5 tips that you can consider to manage the disease:
1. Stay Hydrated
To help your kidneys function appropriately, be sure to keep yourself hydrated thoroughly. It is the function of the kidneys to filter and flush out toxins from the body. So, to make its job easier it is always recommended to drink a lot of water and vegetable juices. Drinking cranberry juice has been proven to benefit in getting rid of the cysts.
2. Eat More Fibre
A healthy diet includes a good supply of vitamins and minerals along with fibre-rich foods that make digestion and flushing toxins out of the body more convenient. Diets rich in fresh fruits and vegetables have always helped in reducing stress on the kidneys. Include a lot of green leafy vegetables like lettuce, peas, lentils, broccoli and sprouts.
3. Balance Protein
It is important to have a considerable amount of protein in your diet but the consumption must also be monitored so that you do not consume it in excess. Excess protein puts stress on the kidneys and less protein can cause malnutrition. Protein-rich foods like pulses, beans, eggs, meat, fish, yoghurt, cheese and nuts can be consumed in proportion to your weight and age. Consult your doctor or dietician for the amount of protein that you need.
4. Check Salt Intake
Too much salt intake increases your blood pressure. So to manage polycystic kidney disease it is important that you limit your salt intake. Avoid using table salt and excess salt in cooked foods. Also consider the hidden salts present in foods like that in takeaways, ready to eat meals, processed bread etc.
5. Sip Herbal
Herbal tea with parsley, marshmallow, chamomile, basil or other such herbs can be consumed twice daily to maintain a good health. Avoid caffeinated drinks completely. Herbal teas generally contain antioxidants and other trace minerals which help to keep your body healthy.