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Friday, May 6, 2011

A Potential Problem for PKD: Kidney Stones

It is not surprising to have kidney stones for patients having polycystic kidneys. With the urine tending to be more acidic than normal, the stones which favor an acidic environment are expected, example of which are uric acid stones.

In my case, I have medications to keep my urine alkalinized (basic) like sodium bicarbonate and potassium citrate. These keep the uric acid crystals in solution with the added benefit of preventing metabolic acidosis. In addition, it prevents hypocitraturia which makes a patient prone to kidney stone formation. Of course, monitoring of potassium and sodium levels is needed and the dosage varies.

A medication which helps lower serum uric acid concentration is allopurinol and this also helps lower urine uric acid levels.

Calcium supplements also help. Calcium supplementation is done but with caution. Calcium binds oxalates in the bowel to prevent excess urinary oxalate excretion which may also lead to calcium oxalate stone formation.

Proper diet along with proper hydration also plays a role in preventing renal stone formation. Lower protein than the average intake of a healthy person is recommended to reduce purines that break down into uric acid. Meat is restricted due to breakdown products that eventually produces uric acid.

Now you can imagine the discipline needed and the compliance to medications required from patients like me.

So tell me your experience if you have PKD. Did you also have kidney stones? Then share your experience and lessons. Have a good day.

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