Alkalinity helps maintain cystic organ health by decreasing the work load on the kidneys by decreasing acidity produced by cellular body processes. For some who have tried lifestyle changes alkalinity has created longevity. Based on our experiences, alkalinity seems to hold the key for maintaining healthy for cystic organs, for developing a longer life expectancy, for improved well-being, and for your own satisfaction with your quality of life. 40% of individuals with PKD never need dialysis or transplant. We want to try to assure our inclusion in this group.
Much of the detailed scientific evidence has come through the accurate work of PKD researchers—George and Judy Tanner with the PKD model. Their painstakingly precise measurements gives conclusive proof that strong effective alkalizers such as potassium citrate and sodium citrate, are tremendously helpful in slowing down the progression of cystic organ disease. Their research has given those of us with PKD, needed scientific verification from our own comprehensive self-experimentation and observations that maintaining alkalinity does indeed decrease cystic organ symptoms and therefore could result in a decrease in cystic organ size. The door has been opened. The possibility now exists. By making slight alkaline changes within our own cystic bodies. We have the continued possibility of maintaining cystic organ health over an entire lifetime.
Additionally through alkalinity, one can help preserve the integrity of ones own personal DNA, essentially preventing activation of the second hit phenomenon occurring with both PLD and PKD. This second hit causes an increase in cyst placement within an organ, cyst organ size, cyst numbers, and cyst symptoms.
2010 was a great year for alkaline
trials. One 2010 scientific
Chronic Kidney Disease clinical trial with alkalinity, concluded that it was alkalinity that
increased kidney functioning by slowing down diminished GFR (kidney functioning).
Early in 1994 Dr. Torres PKD research included alkalinity research in the PKD model. For the alkalizer, his research department tried baking soda or sodium bicarbonate. The PKD model was much improved with alkalinity, however by using baking soda, all developed kidney stones. Further testing showed acidity worsens PKD whereas alkalinity is beneficial.
What to do if my urine stays acidic?
Continue on the alkaline diet. Eventually a urinary pH of 7.5 will be achieved or one can try a few additonal things to hasten alkalinity:
One tablet of over the counter OTC potassium citrate contains about 1˝ milliequivalent of
less than a banana or orange juice. Some doctors think that this dose is way too small to make any difference,
but I find this little bit can swing one easily toward alkaline.
Some use lemon egg or calcium citrate. There are a few who are very cautious about taking extra potassium and prefer calcium citrate from lemon egg. This can also help strengthen bones. Calcium citrate does have an alkalizing effect but it is not as strong an alkalizer as sodium citrate or potassium citrate.
Lemon Egg Recipe
One lady uses lemon egg regularly and always tests 7.5 and even higher.
Before beginning citrate salt such as potassium citrate or sodium citrate, get a urinary citrate level (usually low with PKD).
Other alkalizers are:
Stones, Bones, and PKD
Citrate salts are very useful PKD alkalizers. These salts neutralize the body's acids, particularly acids produced by a cystic kidney. Potassium and sodium citrate are equally effective; calcium and magnesium citrate less so. In the Tanners' alkaline trials with the PKD model, citrate salts were found to be beneficial. The group given potassium citrate had smaller cystic kidneys, developed smaller cysts, and lived longer lives without kidney shut down. When the PKD models given potassium citrate were compared to their normal counterparts (without any evidence of PKD), those give potassium citrate with PKD lived twice as long as those without PKD and without being given potassium citrate. Amazing, truly amazing.
The Tanners did not stop there.
Encouraged by their results, they tried further investigations to see if this was due to potassium citrate or was some other mechanism in play? The results were clear. Potassium helped. Citrate helped. But alkalinity was the key factor in preventing cystic kidneys from filling with fluid filled cysts and leading eventually to diminished kidney functioning. Their research showed a profound truth. Alkalinity begun early in life improved the chances for preventing massive enlargement of polycystic kidneys and thus prevented kidney function decline.
PKD'rs took off with this information. A few have tried doctor prescribed potassium citrate, others have tried an alkaline diet; others have continued eating meat and supplementing with potassium citrate to maintain alkalinity. For frequent yeast infections, some urologists have chosen potassium citrate as a treatment.
Shohl's solution or potassium citrate is an age old remedy for kidney stones (seen more frequently in PKD). Some physicians use potassium citrate in lieu of potassium chloride. Others have found potassium citrate lowers blood pressure; increases bone density; minimizes protein in the urine; decreases bruising; limits aches and pains; dwindles recurrent infections; increases energy, and a select few actually have seen increases in kidney and liver functioning as they age, unheard of in cystic organ disease. In general terms we feel much much better.
With citrate salts, the citrate molecule flies off and is utilized by the kidney for energy. An alkaline diet alone can achieve alkalinity. For some, supplementation with Potassium Citrate may be required to regulate a state of near constant alkalinity. Potassium Citrate supplements requires a physician's input to carefully monitor subtle changes in serum potassium levels. Without this precaution, potassium levels can become dangerously high, and even life-threatening. Perhaps someday, individuals with PKD will be able to self-monitor their potassium levels much like diabetics monitor blood sugar. Get a physician's expertise help and familiarize yourself with high potassium symptoms and low potassium symptoms. If you do not feel well, go immediately to the emergency room or urgent care center and get your potassium level checked. Should you require potassium supplementation such as potassium chloride, ask your physician if you can switch to potassium citrate.
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Does Diet Help?
In Japan they used two types of diets, one of meats (acidify urines); the other fruit and vegetable rich, converts the urine to alkaline. This was a 5 day consecutive study. They collected all day urines from participants and found that after three days urine pH reached a steady state. Researchers conclude that alkalization of urine by eating nutritionally well-designed alkaline foods are effective for removing uric acid from the body.
Uric acid is elevated in PKD.
One year of fruits and vegetables or NaHCO in individuals with stage 4 CKD yielded eGFR that was not different, was associated with higher-than-baseline PTCO, and was associated with lower-than-baseline urine indices of kidney injury. The data indicates that eating fruits and vegetables improves metabolic acidosis and reduces kidney injury in stage 4 CKD without producing hyperkalemia.
This is a very interesting Malaysian newspaper article. From this article one can learn that for most of the citizens of Malaysia there are very few treatment alternatives to save their their failing kidneys and according to this article, dietary changes is good place for one to start. Those who can make the switch to all vegetarian proteins seem to have a much easier time with maintaining their health.
An AsidePKDiet Bridge
This depiction of the Mathematical Bridge connects the older half of the college [affectionately referred to by students as The Dark Side] with the newer half [The Light Side], and is one of the most photographed scenes in Cambridge (a typical photo is taken from the nearby Silver Street bridge).
According to popular fable, the bridge was originally designed and built by Sir Isaac Newton without the use of nuts or bolts, and at some point in the past, students or fellows (depending on which fable version you hear) attempted to take the bridge apart and put it back together. The myth continues that the over-ambitious engineers were unable to match Newton's feat of engineering, and had to resort to fastening the bridge by nuts and bolts. This is why nuts and bolts can presently be seen in the bridge.
This story is of course, untrue: the bridge was built in 1749 by James Essex the Younger (1722-1784) to the design of William Etheridge (1709-1776), 22 years after Newton died. It was later rebuilt in 1866 and 1905, albeit to the same design. 1642 marked the death of Galileo and the birth of Sir Isaac Newton. Isaac Newton was born in Woolsthorpe, England on Christmas day. The above picture is an artist's rendition of what the Mathematical Bridge may have looked like prior to this. There remains to this day some strong controversy surrounding this story of the mathematical bridge.