Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a rare condition that causes small-sacs, called cysts, filled with fluid to develop in the kidneys. It is an inherited disease caused by a fault in the gene that is involved in the development of the kidneys. If one parent has polycystic kidney disease, their baby has a 50% chance of subsequently developing the condition. In most cases the cysts do not cause any symptoms for several decades until they grow large enough to affect the functioning of the kidney.
The growth of cyst can cause many symptoms, these include pain in your stomach, side or lower back. You may also notice blood in your urine, pain on urination and recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs). As the kidneys are involved in blood pressure regulation, polycystic kidneys can affect your blood pressure. High blood pressure doesn’t normally cause symptoms, but you may experience nose bleeds, headaches and blurred vision.
Polycystic kidney disease is caused by mutations in the genes that are involved with kidney development. The two main faulty genes are PKD1 and PKD2. These genes can be passed on from parents to their children, and so you are unlikely to develop the condition unless someone in your family has polycystic kidney disease.
Currently, there is no curative treatment for polycystic kidney disease, however there is treatment that helps to control the symptoms and help prevent complications of the disease. High blood pressure caused by polycystic kidney disease can be treated with various medications and lifestyle changes such as decreasing salt intake. Abdominal pain can be relieved by medications like paracetamol or ibuprofen, but you may be prescribed something stronger by your doctor such as tramadol or co-codamol. UTI’s can be treated with a course of antibiotics and by drinking plenty of fluids. Most cases of PKD will result in kidney failure, which will have to be treated either by dialysis or a kidney transplant. A specialist kidney doctor called a nephrologist will be able to explain the condition to you in more detail and answer any queries you have.
This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Doctify Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. In the event of an emergency, please call 999 for immediate assistance.