Foods That Shrink Kidney Cysts

Kidney cysts are harmless in most cases. Even the treatment is not always necessary, especially if they are small and don’t cause any symptom (see more in here). But for some patients, it’s not easy to stop worrying about them. Currently, there are no particular foods known to effectively shrink them. Medical intervention is usually required when the treatment is necessary. However some experts think that the following foods and dietary approaches may help.

Citrus fruits

image_illustration415More commonly, cysts that develop in the kidney are a form called simple kidney cysts – typically harmless and noncancerous cysts. This simple type is different to cysts from a condition called polycystic kidney disease, inherited disorder in which there are lots of cysts that primarily grow and develop in the kidneys.

Unlike simple kidney cysts, polycystic kidney disease is more serious and the treatment is usually necessary. It can lead to some serious complications such as kidney failure, brain problems, and cardiovascular diseases.

According to a research published in the British Journal of Pharmacology (2013) – a component called ‘naringenin’, can be found in grapefruit or other citrus fruits, may effectively block the development of kidney cysts. Research suggests that it could also be used to make a new medicine to help treat polycystic kidney disease.

In this British research, the experiment was done on a single-celled amoeba that contains PKD2, a protein that plays a role in the development of polycystic kidney disease. The research found that when PKD2 protein came into contact with naringenin, the formation of cysts was blocked.

Hopefully, this finding will become an important step forward in controlling and treating complex kidney cysts. It is not final yet! Further studies are required to figure out exactly how this essential component in citrus fruits works, especially at a molecular level.

Diet for kidney health may help, too

Again there is no specific dietary instruction that has been shown to shrink kidney cysts, particularly in people with polycystic kidney disease. But some lifestyle measures (including diet) can help protect the kidneys and lower the risk of the complications.

The overall health of your kidneys is important whether or not you have cysts (either simple or complex kidney cysts). Any good things you do for your kidney health is always worth a try!

Eat less sodium!

Low-sodium diet is important for people with kidney problem, even though if you only have simple kidney cysts. High amounts of sodium in the circulation (bloodstream) will make the kidneys work harder than usual. Even for healthy people with healthy kidneys, diet high in sodium is still dangerous and not recommended.

Too much sodium that you eat is also often to blame for high blood pressure, a common cause and a common consequence of kidney disease. If you have fluid retention and swelling in legs, sodium can also worsen these symptoms.

However, sodium is not always bad. In fact, the body also needs it to support some body functions. Just make sure to eat it in moderation, not more than 2.4 gram of sodium (5-6 gram or about 1 teaspoon of salt) per day!

The daily recommended maximum of sodium in children varies, depending on the ages. But in general, children should eat less sodium than adults.

How about protein?

Protein is one of the major nutrients that your body needs. But if you have kidney cysts, more amounts of extra protein may become counterproductive since this can make the kidneys work harder. More protein that you eat, more waste products that your body produces which means will add your kidneys job.

To keep safe, eat a moderate amount of protein! Try to aim about 0.8-1 gram of protein from healthy ones such as fish or meat low in saturated fats! Plant based protein, such as soy products, is also a good idea as long as it is not high in salt!

Keep safe when drinking!

Your liver is the most responsible organ to regulate and remove alcohol from the body. However, heavy drinking is also bad for your kidneys (see more in this post)! The good news, moderate drinking may provide some health benefits.

You may not need to completely skip alcohol, unless if your doctor asks you to avoid it! If you drink, just make sure to drink a moderate amount of alcohol!

Other bad things from heavy drinking include:

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