Understanding Polycystic Renal Disease

Polycystic Kidney Disease or PKD is closely related to Polycystic Renal Disease which is one of the most dangerous kinds of kidney diseases. Before getting into the symptoms and diagnosis of PKD, it is necessary to have an overview of what polycystic kidney disease is all about.

Basically, polycystic is defined as ‘poly’ which means many and ‘cystic’ which means many sacs or many cysts. Therefore, PKD means that there are many fluid-filled sacs found in the kidney. This is a genetic disorder where multiple cysts are formed in the kidneys. The disease results to an enlarged kidney as caused by the fluid-filled cysts. PKD is also associated with the following health problems:

  • Hypertension
  • Kidney stones
  • Kidney failure
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Kidney infection

Polycystic kidney disease results to kidney failure and this caused by a combination of:

  • presence of scars in the normal support tissue in the kidney
  • compressing normal kidney tissue
  • pressure from expanding cysts

Who can be affected by Polycystic Kidney Disease?

PKD can happen to anyone. In terms of statistics, 5% of patients undergoing dialysis or transplant have PKD. Genetically, PKD can be inherited which means that the disease can be passed down from their parents to their children.

Types of Polycystic Kidney Disease:

PKD comes in two kinds namely: Autosomal dominant PKD and Autosomal recessive PKD

1. Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease – This is the most common among other kidney diseases which can affect one out a thousand births. APKD signs and symptoms appear during midlife which is anywhere from 40 to 60 years old. Since the disease can be dominantly inherited, there is 50% percent chance that the parent can pass down the disease to his or her children. In a case where the disease was not passed on, offspring of the next generation may inherit APKD.

2. Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease – This is a rare form of PKD where the symptoms appear in young children and infants. There is a 25% chance of inheriting the disease if each of the parents carries at least one defective copy of the disease gene. In a case where only one the parents carries the defective gene, there are no chances of inheriting ARPKD.

Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease Symptoms

APKD progresses slowly. This means that no signs and symptoms are detected during the early stage of the disease. When APKD is detected, the following symptoms are experienced:

  • Headaches
  • Pain in the sided and back specifically between the ribs and hips

APKD patients also experience the following health issues:

  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
  • Kidney Stones
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Abnormal heart valves
  • Small sacs in the colon (diverticulosis)
  • Liver cysts
  • Pancreatic cysts
  • Bulges in the walls of the blood vessels in the brain (aneurysms)

Polycystic Renal Disease Diagnosis is done in different methods depending on what the physician recommends. Below are the following methods:

  • Ultrasound
  • CT Scan
  • X-ray
  • Blood tests

Polycystic Renal Disease is a condition that needs immediate medical attention. In any case you belong to a family where such health problem is present, it is best to consult with a doctor. In that case, you are assured of proper diagnosis and treatment.

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