Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
- By sahlhealth
- May 18, 2021
- 63 views
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is an inherited disorder in which clusters of cysts develop primarily within your kidneys, causing your kidneys to enlarge and lose function over time. Cysts are noncancerous round sacs containing fluid. The cysts vary in size, and they can grow very large. Having many cysts or large cysts can damage your kidneys.
Polycystic kidney disease also can cause cysts to develop in your liver and elsewhere in your body. The disease can cause serious complications, including high blood pressure and kidney failure.
PKD varies greatly in its severity, and some complications are preventable. Lifestyle changes and treatments might help reduce damage to your kidneys from complications.
Polycystic kidney disease symptoms can include:
High blood pressure
Back or side pain
A feeling of fullness in your abdomen
Increased size of your abdomen due to enlarged kidneys
Blood in your urine
Urinary tract or kidney infections
Treating polycystic kidney disease involves dealing with the following signs, symptoms and complications in their early stages:
High blood pressure. Controlling high blood pressure can delay the progression of the disease and slow further kidney damage. Combining a low-sodium, low-fat diet that's moderate in protein and calorie content with not smoking, increasing exercise and reducing stress may help control high blood pressure.
However, medications are usually needed to control high blood pressure. Medications called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are often used to control high blood pressure.
Pain. You might be able to control the pain of polycystic kidney disease with over-the-counter medications containing acetaminophen. For some people, however, the pain is more severe and constant. In rare cases, your doctor might recommend surgery to remove cysts if they're large enough to cause pressure and pain.
Bladder or kidney infections. Prompt treatment of infections with antibiotics is necessary to prevent kidney damage.
Blood in the urine. You'll need to drink lots of fluids, preferably plain water, as soon as you notice blood in your urine to dilute the urine. Dilution might help prevent obstructive clots from forming in your urinary tract.
Kidney failure. If your kidneys lose their ability to remove waste products and extra fluids from your blood, you'll eventually need either dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Aneurysms. If you have polycystic kidney disease and a family history of ruptured brain (intracranial) aneurysms, your doctor may recommend regular screening for intracranial aneurysms.
If an aneurysm is discovered, surgical clipping of an aneurysm to reduce the risk of bleeding may be an option, depending on its size. Nonsurgical treatment of small aneurysms may involve controlling high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol, as well as quitting smoking.