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Nutrition for Cysts

By Jill Corleone, RDN, LD

While there are a number of different types of cysts, in general, they're fluid-filled sacs that form anywhere on your body. Although there is no special diet for cysts, diet modifications may be recommended for certain types of cysts. If you have a cyst, consult your doctor to discuss special diet needs.

Breast Cysts

Breast cysts can be painful, and there is concern that they may be a risk factor for cancer, according to the Better Health Channel. Some women report that caffeinated drinks increase the number and size of their breast cysts, although there's no evidence to support the relationship between caffeine and breast cysts, according to Columbia Health. Limiting your intake of foods high in fat and sodium is recommended when you have breasts cysts, however, advises Columbia Health.

Ovarian Cysts

Although they occur most often during the childbearing years, ovarian cysts can affect a woman at any age. These cysts are usually not bothersome, but some women may feel pressure, bloating or pain in the pelvic area.

According to the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Family Medicine, diets high in sugar and refined starches may increase risk of ovarian cysts. Eating a healthy diet that limits your intake of processed foods, especially refined starches and sugar, is recommended.

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Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease, or PKD, is a genetic disorder that leads to the formation of cysts in the kidneys, causing them to become enlarged. Currently, a healthy, balanced diet is recommended for people with PKD to help keep the kidneys functioning normally.

There is concern that PKD affects bone growth and adult height. A 2015 study published in BMC Nephrology found that soy protein and omega-3 fatty acids may help promote bone growth, but humans studies are needed to know for sure.

Nutrition After Cyst Removal

Surgery is the usual treatment for cysts, according to Better Health Channel. If you've had your cyst removed, it's important that you pay attention to your diet to promote healing. That means including healthy sources of protein such as eggs, poultry and fish. Also consuming an adequate amount of carbs, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats, such as oil and nuts, provides your body with the calories it needs to continue the healing process.

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