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Does a polycystic kidney patient need to have limited water?

Q: Does a person with polycystic kidneys need to have any control over his water intake? I recently heard from a patient who was recommended to only have the required amount of water and no more. I would like to understand this. Does a polycystic kidney patient need to refrain from additional water intake?

A:It is a multisystemic progressive disorder characterized by formation and enlargement of cysts in the kidney and other organs like liver, pancreas, spleen etc. The patients usually become symptomatic in the third to fourth decade though the cysts may be detectable in childhood. Treatment aims to: a) Control blood pressure (<130/85 mm Hg) as this helps slow the progression of renal disease; b) Control abnormalities related to renal failure -hyperkaliemia, hyperphosphatemia, hypocalcemia, hyperparathyroidism, acidosis); c) Treat urinary tract infections and d) Reduce abdominal pain produced by enlarged kidneys. Although a low-salt diet is recommended when hypertension or renal failure is present, no other special diet has been reported to be of any benefit.

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