PKD Polycystic Kidney Disease alters our kidneys' inner structure, eventually filling with multiples of cysts. Cystic cells replace normal functioning kidney tissue. These kidney cells die and are not capable of being replaced. Some with polycystic kidneys experience a decrease in kidney functioning. Almost all have a rise in blood pressure and spill protein in their urine. Oftentimes blood pressure spikes or an infection can alert doctors to an underlying illness such as ADPKD. In some, cystic cells replace liver cells. This is PLD or Polycystic Liver Disease. Both conditions are inherited.
40% of people with Polycystic Kidneys never require dialysis or transplant. Many of us are striving to be included among these healthy individuals; through diet and lifestyle changes, some have succeeded. Among our personal choices are: which foods do we eat? Do we smoke? Do we exercise? Do we drink sufficient water? Do we limit salt? Do we eat whole fresh unprocessed foods? With guided attention from our personal physicians, we have found a positive influence on our state of well-being. Perhaps eventually, more individuals will experience having healthy PKD polycystic kidneys throughout a lifetime.
We have no control over whether we inherit PKD2, or the more common aggressive PKD1 gene (earlier onset of symptoms). We have no influence if born male or female. PKD males have a higher incidence of cardiac problems with an earlier progression to left ventricular heart failure. Females with liver cysts, have an increased chance of developing severe Polycystic Liver Disease or PLD. In both instances symptoms are hormonally related. With PKD'ers, it is our hearts, not our kidneys, that leads to our demise. A medical paper suggests that if we eat a low salt diet and maintain a high value for good cholesterol, these have a positive influence over the expression of PKD symptoms A 2010 alkaline clinical trial shows maintaining alkalinity can improve kidney functioning, even with chronic kidney disease. Preventing enlargement of the kidneys will lessen the effects of late-stage PKD kidney insufficiency.