Kidney Cysts & Diet

Polycystic kidney disease is an inherited disease in which numerous cysts or fluid-filled pouches form on the kidneys. During the early stages of the disease, the cysts cause your kidneys to swell which leads to impairment of kidney function, according to PubMedHealth. Polycystic kidney disease can cause total loss of kidney function. Your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods to prevent complications.

Low-Sodium Diet

Your kidneys help remove excess fluid from the body. When kidney cysts disrupt this function, fluid builds up in the body, leading to high blood pressure and swelling. Sodium is an essential mineral that helps maintain fluid balance by retaining fluid. A low-sodium diet is necessary when kidney cysts cause symptoms of kidney failure. If you eat high-sodium foods when your kidneys are not working properly, your body retains more fluid, which worsens your high blood pressure. You should avoid high sodium foods such as canned foods, table salt, seafood and cured meat.

Low-Fat and High-Fiber Diet

Keeping your body healthy helps prevent complications of polycystic kidney disease. recommends that you eat a low-fat and high-fiber diet to help lower high blood pressure, which can damage your kidneys. Your diet should contain plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. If you are overweight, you should lose weight because excess weight can cause high blood pressure.


If you develop symptoms of kidney failure due to polycystic kidney disease, your doctor may advise you to eat less protein. Too much protein can make your kidneys work too hard, according to Eating less protein slows down progressive loss of kidney function and also prevents accumulation of toxic substances in the body. When your kidneys are impaired by enlarged cysts, they are unable to remove protein by-products from the body, which leads to accumulation of toxic substances. Examples of protein-rich foods include meat, fish, eggs, chicken, turkey, milk, yogurt, cheese and cream..

Symptoms of Polycystic Disease

If you have polycystic kidney disease, you may experience symptoms such as dull pain in your back or flank pain on your sides due to enlarged kidneys, abdominal tenderness, swollen abdomen, excessive urination at night, blood in your urine, frequent kidney infections, kidney stones, drowsiness, headache, high blood pressure, joint pain, nail abnormalities and painful menstrual periods.