Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Polycystic Kidney Disorder
Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Polycystic Kidney Disorder

By Malla Reddy Narayana on 24 Apr, 2022

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Polycystic Kidney disease is a genetic disorder in which cysts form in the kidneys which intern causes the kidneys to expand in size and hamper their proper functioning to the point where kidneys totally lose their ability to function. Cysts are noncancerous fluid-filled circular sacs. These cysts have different shapes and sizes and they can become quite enormous. These cysts 

Might also hamper the proper functioning of the liver as polycystic kidney disease can also cause cysts to form in the liver. Hypertension and renal failure are two major consequences of the condition.

What causes Polycystic Kidney Disorder?

Polycystic kidney disease also called PKD is a genetic disease, which usually affects multiple generations of the same family. This abnormal gene causing the disorder can also occur without the abnormal gene being passed down from either of the parents, in this case, the healthy gene undergoes mutations. PKD is divided into two categories based on genetic defects.

– Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease: This condition was previously known as adult polycystic kidney disease, however, it can also affect youngsters. The symptoms of this type of PKD usually surface when the individual reaches the age of 30-40. This disease can be transferred even if just one of the parents carries the defective gene

– Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease: This type of PKD is comparatively rare and requires both parents to be the carrier of the defective gene. The symptoms of this condition either surface just after the child’s birth or a little later in childhood or early adolescence.

What are the symptoms of Polycystic Kidney Disorder?

Polycystic kidney disorder symptoms can include:

– High blood pressure

– Back or side pain

– Blood in urine

– A feeling of fullness in the abdomen

– Abdominal bulge due to enlargement of kidneys

– Headaches

– Kidney stones

– Kidney failure 

– Urinary tract or kidney infections

Methods of diagnosis

Screening tests are usually implied for the detection of polycystic kidney disorders as they provide an accurate view of the number of kidneys afflicted and the remaining percentage of kidneys that is still healthy and are working fine.

Ultrasound: During the process of ultrasound, a wand resembling a device called a transducer is placed on the body, which emits ultrasonic sound waves. These waves travel through the body and reflect, this reflected part of the emission is received by the transducer. These received waves are then converted into images of the kidneys by a computer.

CT Scan: It is a type of X-ray. One’s led into a large, doughnut-shaped apparatus that projects narrow X-ray beams through the body while lying on a moving platform. Cross-sectional images of the kidneys are available to doctors.

MRI Scan: During an MRI scan, magnetic fields and radio waves are used to create cross-sectional views of the kidneys as one lies within a huge cylinder.

Methods of treatment

The severity of polycystic kidney disease varies with the person, even multiple individuals of the same family will have different degrees of seriousness. Patients with polycystic kidney disease usually end up with kidney failure till they touch the age of 55-65.

The method of treatment of polycystic kidney disorder in the early stages involves dealing with the symptoms and their complications which include.

– Cyst formation in the kidney: Adults at risk of fast progressing ADPKD may benefit from tolvaptan therapy. Tolvaptan (Jynarque, Samsca) is a medication that one takes by mouth to help decrease the growth of kidney cysts and the decline in kidney function.

– Hypertension: Controlling high blood pressure can help to limit the disease’s progression and prevent further kidney damage. Combining a low-sodium, low-fat, moderate-protein, moderate-calorie diet along with quitting smoking, increasing exercise, and lowering stress may help control high blood pressure.

– Declining Kidney Function: Experts recommend keeping a regular bodyweight to keep the kidneys as efficiently functioning for as long as possible. Staying hydrated and consuming fluids throughout the day may help to delay kidney cyst growth and assist to slow the loss of kidney function. Kidney cysts may respond better to fluid increases if patients consume a diet with less protein and salt.

– Pain: Over-the-counter drugs containing acetaminophen may help one manage the pain of polycystic kidney disease. However, for some people, the pain is more acute and persistent. A technique utilizing a needle to pull out cyst fluid and inject a drug (sclerosing agent) to decrease kidney cysts may be recommended by the doctor. If cysts are significantly large in size, they may cause a lot of pain, and hence one may need surgery to remove them.

– Kidney & Bladder Infections:  To avoid kidney damage, infections must be treated promptly with antibiotics. The duration of the does depend upon the seriousness of the infection. Complicated infections demand one to continue the dose for a long term

– Presence of blood in urine: To dilute the urine, drink plenty of fluids, ideally plain water, as soon as traces of blood are found in the urine. Dilution may aid in the prevention of obstructive clots in the urinary tract. The presence of blood will lessen with time on its own but It’s critical to consult a doctor if it doesn’t.

– Kidney failure: One will need dialysis or a kidney transplant if the kidneys lose their ability to filter waste products and excess fluids from the blood. Seeing a doctor on a frequent basis for PKD monitoring provides for the best kidney transplant timing. One might be able to get a prophylactic kidney transplant instead of starting dialysis.

Methods of Preventions

Keeping the kidneys as healthy as possible will help you avoid some of the disease’s effects. Controlling blood pressure is one of the most important methods to preserve the proper functioning of the kidneys.

Here are some suggestions for controlling blood pressure:

– Take blood pressure meds exactly as advised by the doctor.

– Consume a low-salt diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

– Maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI). Consult a doctor to determine the ideal weight.

– Quit smoking if you’re a smoker.

– Exercise for at least 30 minutes on a regular basis.

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