Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder which causes clusters of cysts to grow in the kidneys. Cysts are non-cancerous fluid filled sacs. Kidney cysts cause enlargement of the kidneys and affects its function and may lead to kidney failure overtime. Polycystic kidney disease can lead to other complications including high blood pressure and other damages to the brain and heart.
Genetic mutation and hereditary factors are the known causes of polycystic kidney disease.
Symptoms of polycystic kidney disease includes:
- Pain in the lower back or sides of abdomen
- Increase in the size of abdomen
- High blood pressure
- Hematuria or blood in the urine
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Kidney stones
Imaging procedures are the major diagnostic procedure in identifying polycystic kidney disease, size and number of cysts and finding out the amount of damaged and healthy kidney tissues.
- CT – Computerised tomography scan
- MRI – Magnetic resonance imaging
- Genetic counselling to assess the risk of passing on the condition.
- Eat a low salt diet.
- Avoid smoking and alcoholism.
- Exercise regularly.
- Have good control over your blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol levels.
- Eat a healthy, nutritious and well balanced diet.
There is no exact treatment method or cure for polycystic kidney disease. Treatment can be done to manage the signs and symptoms and reduce further complications.
- Lifestyle changes are a major part in the treatment for polycystic kidney disease. It involves healthy measures like avoiding caffeine, drinking plenty of water, maintaining healthy weight, control of blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol levels and regular exercise.
- Medications such as antibiotics may be required to relieve pain or infections.
- Tolvaptan therapy is the use of medicines to reduce the rate of cyst development in kidneys.
- Kidney transplant wherein a damaged kidney is replaced by a healthy kidney may be recommended in severe cases.
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