PKD Life - Summer 2022 - 21

How can you shed excess
weight? First, get clearance
from your doctor, Nowak
recommends. Then follow
these steps:
The study participants who
lost the most weight followed
a traditional low-calorie diet,
reducing the number of calories
they took in every day.
At the year mark, this group
had lost an average of 9% of
their body weight (about 16
pounds for someone weighing
180 pounds).
Other participants followed
an intermittent fasting
plan to slim down. For
three days of the week, they
consumed about 20% of
what their body needs to
maintain their weight, then
ate normally the rest of the
time. These patients lost
less weight on average than
those on the traditional diet,
shedding about 5% of their
body weight (about 9 pounds
for someone weighing
180 pounds).
Staying hydrated is vital with
ADPKD, but it's especially
important when you're trying
to lose weight. " Make
sure your fluid intake
remains high, particularly if
you're trying to do more of
a fasting type of regimen, "
Nowak says. " You're restricting
calories but not fluid. "
" Maintaining weight loss
is challenging if you're not
also increasing your physical
activity, " Nowak says. Look
for things that motivate you
to get moving, such as walking
with a friend, she says.
Gradually increase your
physical activity over the first
couple of months to 180 minutes
per week (30 minutes,
six days a week).
Recording everything you
eat helps you focus on what
you're eating and keeps you
accountable, Nowak says. In
a Kaiser Permanente study
of 1,700 participants, those
who logged their food intake
lost twice as much weight
as those who didn't keep
a record.
" Set realistic goals and keep
checking in to see how you
are doing on them, " Nowak
advises. Don't try to lose too
much too quickly. That can
lead to regaining the weight.
" It's very easy to get off track
if you don't have a meal plan
for the day, " Nowak says. " If
you plan ahead, you will have
things in your refrigerator
and pantry that help you to
stick to your goals. "
People in Nowak's study
had the advantage of virtual
support group sessions. But
you can ask your family and
friends to join you-or cheer
you on.
" It's hard to do things in
isolation when you're making
a major lifestyle change, "
Nowak says. " The more support
you can get, the better
you'll fare. "
Participate in Research
Kristen L. Nowak, Ph.D., and her colleagues at the
University of Colorado in Aurora are currently recruiting
men and women ages 18-65 with ADPKD and a BMI over
25 for a two-year study exploring the effects of weight
loss on ADPKD. For more information, contact the study
coordinator at or
Ditching the
Baby Weight
An architecture teacher
in southern New Hampshire
who has ADPKD,
Leeanne Cobb, 38, has
always been focused on
her health. But after the
birth of her second child
two years ago, she struggled
to return to her prepregnancy
" I wanted to get the
weight off, but also to
make sure that I stay
healthy, " Cobb says.
" I know weight sometimes
has an effect on
blood pressure. "
Cobb cut down on
snacks and ate more
fruits and vegetables.
" We've also been trying
to cook more and eat
out less, " she says. She
started walking and
practicing yoga regularly.
Over time, the
extra pounds began to
budge-and her disease
improved. " Some of my
numbers have gone
down, and my creatinine
levels have been nice
and steady, " she says.
" It's taken me seven or
eight months to lose the
20 to 25 pounds, but by
changing my lifestyle,
I'm making it something
that I can continue with. "
50 Pounds
Susan Blumberg, 61, a
parent and teen coach
in Denver with ADPKD,
has had weight issues
all of her life. Her size
eventually led to high
blood pressure, gout,
and reflux disease, each
requiring medication.
So Blumberg jumped
at the chance to join the
University of Colorado's
study. She was assigned
to a group that reduced
daily calories by about
30%. She also walked or
rode her stationary bike
almost every day and
met with other study
participants on Zoom.
Blumberg lost little
weight during the trial's
first six months, but
with the help of a nutritionist
familiar with
ADPKD, she cut a few
more carbohydrates
and calories while
staying within the
dietary guidelines for
the disease.
It worked: Blumberg
lost 50 pounds, improving
her blood pressure,
gout, and reflux, along
with her kidney condition.
" It has had a significant
impact on my
disease, " she says.

PKD Life - Summer 2022

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PKD Life - Summer 2022 - Cover1
PKD Life - Summer 2022 - Cover2
PKD Life - Summer 2022 - Contents
PKD Life - Summer 2022 - 2
PKD Life - Summer 2022 - 3
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PKD Life - Summer 2022 - Cover4