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Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic Kidney Disease is a kidney problem which runs in the families and in which there are numerous cysts on the kidneys.

What is Polycystic Kidney Disease?

What are the types of Polycystic Kidney Disease?

What are the symptoms of Polycystic Kidney Disease?

What are the tests for Polycystic Kidney Disease?

What are the complications of Polycystic Kidney Disease?

What are the Polycystic Kidney Disease Prevention?

 

What is Polycystic Kidney Disease?

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic disorder characterized by the growth of numerous cysts in the kidneys. When cysts form in the kidneys, they are filled with fluid. PKD cysts can profoundly enlarge the kidneys while replacing much of the normal structure, resulting in reduced kidney function and leading to kidney failure.

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What are the types of Polycystic Kidney Disease?

There are mainly 3 types of Polycystic Kidney Disease and they are autosomal dominant PKD (ADPKD), autosomal recessive PKD (ARPKD) and Acquired PKD.

- ADPKD. It is the most common type which is inherited from one parent. If symptoms and problems develop, they usually start in adulthood. See the rest of this leaflet for details.

- ARPKD. It is a rare condition which typically develops soon after birth.You need two faulty genes to develop this condition. You get one faulty gene from each parent (who will be well but will be 'carriers' of one faulty gene each).

- Acquired polycystic kidney disease. In about 1 in 10 people who develop polycystic kidney disease, the faulty gene is a new mutation in the affected person. So, there are no other family members affected.

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What are the symptoms of Polycystic Kidney Disease?

People with PKD usually show no symptoms, until their age of 30~40. And the following is the possible symptoms.

- high blood pressure

- blood in urine

- back, flank or side pain

- frequent bladder

- repeated kidney infections

- increased size of abdomen

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What are the tests for Polycystic Kidney Disease?

If you are suspected with PKD, you are suggested to talk with your doctor and he or she may suggest the following tests.

- Ultrasound. Someone at risk for PKD who is older than 30 and has a normal ultrasound of the kidneys probably does not have PKD.

- CT Scan. A CT scan (computed tomography scan) may detect smaller cysts that cannot be found by an ultrasound.

- MRI scan. As you lie inside a large cylinder, magnetic fields and radio waves generate cross-sectional views of your kidneys.

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What are the complications of Polycystic Kidney Disease?

There are numerous complications associated with polycystic kidney disease as follows.

- Hypertension

- Kidney Failure

- Development of an aneurysm in the brain

- Heart valve abnormalities

- Pregnancy complications

- Growth of cysts in the liver

- Colon problems

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What are the Polycystic Kidney Disease Prevention?

If you are trying to find the PKD prevention, a genetic counselor will be helpful for you. Some preventive measures indeed help keep the kidneys as healthy as possible.

- Exercise regularly. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week.

- Eat a low-salt diet containing plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

- Quit smoking and drinking.

PKD develops slowly. However, if it is not treated, it will develop into Kidney Failure eventually. Thereby, if you happen to be a person with PKD, please find a proper treatment for your own conditions as soon as possible.

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