What Is Polycystic Kidney Disease? – Get All The Key Facts

Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder where clusters of cysts grow primarily in the kidneys, the organs responsible for filtering waste and excess fluid from the blood. These cysts are filled with fluid and can cause the kidneys to become enlarged. Eventually, the cysts can take over the kidneys and impair their function, leading to kidney failure.

What Causes It

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is inherited. The most common form is autosomal dominant PKD, accounting for approximately 90 percent of all PKD cases. Symptoms of autosomal dominant PKD most often occur after the age of 30. Autosomal recessive PKD is rarer with symptoms showing up early, in some cases in the womb.

Symptoms

This form of kidney disease produces several symptoms, including many that are present with other forms of kidney disease. They include:

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•    Anemia

•    Blood in the urine

•    Enlarged abdomen

•    Headaches

•    Hemorrhoids

•    High blood pressure

•    Impaired growth

•    Irregular urination

•    Kidney failure

•    Kidney stones

•    Urinary tract or kidney infections

•    Varicose veins

Complications

If you have polycystic kidney disease you have a high risk of developing hypertension or high blood pressure. Hypertension further damages the kidneys and increases your likelihood of developing a cardiovascular problem such as an aneurysm or heart valve abnormality.

As the disease progresses, PKD may cause cysts to grow in the liver, heart or brain as well. It may also cause complications during pregnancy or lead to diverticulosis – bulging sacs in the colon.

Diagnosis

In many cases, PKD doesn’t produce symptoms early on, so blood or urine tests aren’t as reliable initially for diagnosis. Instead, polycystic kidney disease is usually diagnosed through medical imaging technology, which can pick up the cysts once they reach about half an inch in size.

Ultrasound tests are the most frequent tests used for diagnosis, and can diagnose cysts even in a foetus. However, computerized tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are more powerful tests that may also be used. These tests can help to assess the progression of the disease.

Treatment

Reducing high blood pressure is essential when you have PKD. This step helps to limit the amount of damage to your kidneys, and delays or prevents complications of PKD such as cardiovascular problems or anemia. There are several natural ways to lower your blood pressure, including exercising daily, eliminating salt from your diet, or taking nutritional and herbal supplements.

Your doctor may also recommend having the kidney cysts drained or removed. If you develop a kidney, bladder or urinary tract infection you may need to take antibiotics. Also, hormone replacement therapy is not recommended when you have polycystic kidney disease.

IgA nephropathy cure advanced you may develop kidney failure which means you may need to undergo dialysis or have a kidney transplant. The use of natural therapies can help to reverse and prevent kidney damage, including polycystic kidneys. This is includes nutritional supplements, herbs and dietary and lifestyle changes. If incorporated correctly these not only help to relieve symptoms but can also remove the cause of kidney damage.

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