PKD DIET

↓ GFR Diet—Coping with Kidney Disease

If one is having decreased kidney functioning and told dialysis is the next step, some have had some luck by following the suggestions of the late Dr. Mackenzie Walser from Johns Hopkins University Medical Center who wrote a book outlining his recommendations for declining kidney functioning called Coping with Kidney Disease. Dr. Walser closely followed the previous work begun in 1913 on low protein diets.

In 1913, Dr. Henry Christian (first Chief of Medicine at Brigham Hospital in Boston) and his colleague Dr. James White prescribed low-protein diets for kidney patients. They saw that lowering dietary protein enabled those with kidney disease to live longer, but they didn't know then why this low protein diet worked. The low-protein concept isn't new. But, as one doctor pointed out, "low protein diets are difficult to follow. It's hard enough trying to get people to give up cigarettes, let alone steak dinners."

By 1957 Dr. Walser took this further. He combined tight blood pressure control (ACE inhibitors), a very low protein diet (0.3 grams/kilogram of body weight), low phosphorus diet, low potassium diet, low sodium diet, with alkalinity, supplementing with essential amino acids with a specifically designed formula for kidney patients; he corrected any existing anemia, took individuals off kidney toxins when possible. Through this he has had some success in halting end stage renal disease.

If individuals dropped only their protein intake and took the essential amino acids for kidney patients Calwood Nutramine T - Amino Bites: 30% of individuals were affected positively. If they took ACE inhibitors: 40% of individuals were affected positively. But by combining both treatments, this figure jumped to a 90% decrease in proteinuria. This halted the downward progression of kidney failure. It did not reverse it, it halted it long enough for some individuals to get a donor kidney or to delay dialysis, some for perhaps eight years.

Serum albumin drops very low during dialysis. This is cause for alarm for many physicians. Dr. Walser discovered a way to increase serum albumin. By eliminating dietary proteins and supplementing with kidney formula essential amino acids, serum albumin returned to normal levels. Itching was lessened by alkalinity. Leg cramps were corrected. Another study found it was the essential amino acid leucine that helped to raise serum albumin. Leucine is present in kidney patient essential amino acids. Leucine can be found in garbanzo beans or chick peas and chia seed. Leucine has also been found to increase muscle strength in middle aged men.

Coping with Kidney Disease

A book written by Mackenzie Walser, MD called Coping with Kidney Disease has some very good suggestions when kidneys begin to fail. By following his suggestions with the help of their nephrologists, a few PKD'rs have had good results in delaying dialysis

According to Dr. Walser when serum albumin drops low, this is an indication that more fatal complications can follow. A drop in low serum albumin is partly the reason for physicians wrongly prescribing an increase in proteins during dialysis. Through his practice, Dr. Walser found the opposite to be true. By decreasing protein intake to 0.3 grams/kilogram and supplementing with essential amino acids formulated especially for kidney patients, serum albumin increased, creating better health outcomes. 

A few with PKD while experiencing a drop in GFR, have tried Dr. Walser's recommendations:

  • lowering protein intake to 0.3 grams /kilogram body weight
  • supplementing with Calwood formulated essential amino acids
  • assuring one remains alkaline
  • treating anemia if existent
  • avoid kidney toxins: starfruit, lithium, chaparral tea, etc.
  • avoiding magnesium when appropriate
  • eating low protein, low potassium, low phosphorus foods
  • tight control over blood pressure
    The result is some have staved off dialysis/transplant for eight years; another went straight to transplant bypassing dialysis; another gained many more years onto life and is going incredibly strong after receiving a transplant. Many of these fellow PKD'rs were told by their physicians to get their affairs in order; that the end was near. All are healthy, alive and living today! Dr. Walser's recommendations require effort to follow them but it seems to be worth the time.

    There is one small snag with Dr. Walser's recommendations for individuals with PKD. He recommended that all use sodium bicarbonate to remain alkaline. A better supplement would be sodium citrate.

    Dr. Walser was unaware that PKD'rs have a much higher incidence of kidney stones, calcium kidney stones, the most common type of kidney stone. This is exactly what happened to the early PKD models (1996) when given sodium bicarbonate. This happens to be an old alkalizer recommended by many physicians. If your doctor will allow, ask for sodium citrate or potassium citrate. With PKD, taking sodium bicarbonate will result in the possible further risk of developing kidney stones.

    PKD'rs have higher levels of calcium in the urine and lower levels of citrate. When given sodium bicarbonate or baking soda, the sodium ion comes flying off and our excess calcium unites with this bicarbonate ion creating calcium bicarbonate, a very common kidney stone formed by PKDrs. A trial is underway in China with a very low protein diet and chronic kidney disease.

    Magnesium is sometimes restricted as kidney disease progresses. A chart of magnesium foods is available.

  • We are  sharing our experiences with PKD/PLD Diet, an adjunct diet envisioning it complementing a physician's prescribed medical therapy. Consider testing this with your doctor's prior knowledge, who can  adjust it according to your own uniqueness by adding it to your current  treatment.

    Medical Disclaimer

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