Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is an incurable genetic disorder that causes the formation of kidney cysts. In turn, the cysts rupture and cause your kidneys to become enlarged and swollen.
Because the cysts of polycystic kidney disease cause your kidneys to swell, the enlargement disrupts kidney function. This disruption leads to hypertension and kidney infections. And eventually kidney will fail.
There are two types of polycystic kidney disease, infantile and adult onset. Those with infantile PKD generally fail to survive past age two. Adult onset PKD symptoms start to appear at some point in adulthood, usually before age 50.
Generally, the symptoms of polycystic kidney disease are:
- general fatigue
- abdominal pain
- lower back pain
- frequent urination
- nail abnormalities
- painful menstruation
As PKD advances, some of these other health complications tend to arise:
- liver cysts
- liver failure
- kidney stones
- enlarged heart
- brain aneurysms
- mitral valve prolapse
- cyst bleeding, rupture
- recurrent kidney infection, UTIs
- herniation of groin, abdomen, colon
There is no way to prevent polycystic kidney disease cysts from forming or preventing PKD from progressing to kidney failure. PKD treatment concentrates on preserving healthy kidney tissue, controlling your symptoms, combating infections and preventing other health complications.
PKD treatment options include:
- cyst draining surgery
- blood pressure lowering drugs
- iron supplements, infusion of red blood cells
Certain lifestyle adjustments may help control your cyst and swollen, enlarged kidney symptoms as well. You should not:
You should eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and maintain an appropriate weight.
Since polycystic kidney disease typically progresses slowly, these PKD treatments may provide symptom relief for years. But generally without a kidney transplant, polycystic kidney disease will cause death in about 10 years after your first symptoms appear. And kidney transplantation may not be an option if you suffer from a systemic disease or autoimmune disease.