Polycystic Kidney Disease

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Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is an inherited disease in which clusters of water-like fluid cysts develop in the kidney, leading to kidney dysfunction. The cysts are non-cancerous round sacs containing fluid, causing kidneys to enlarge.

Associated Anatomy

In this disease, the kidney gets affected due to cysts which can vary in size. Cysts can also develop in the liver, spleen, pancreas and sometimes in brain.


Genes: Abnormality in genes result in this disease. In many cases, the disease passes from the parents to the children, and they can easily get affected. If both the parents have Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD), the child has a higher chance of being born with PKD. Sometimes, a child is born with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease in a rare case, even though the parents never had it.

Signs or Symptoms

Signs and symptoms progress between the age of 30 and 40. If one parent has Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease, the child has a higher chance of infection from the disease. Moreover, if both parents have genes to pass on this disease, each child has a 25% chance. That is why this disease is known as a hereditary disease.

The major signs and symptoms of PKD are:

  • Back or side pain
  • Hypertension
  • Headache
  • Blood in urine
  • Infection in kidney
  • Kidney failure
  • Enlargement of abdomen
  • A feeling of fullness in the abdomen
  • Urinary tract infection

Risk Factors

There are many risk factors of PKD, such as:

  • Frequent kidney infections

    If a person frequently suffers from kidney infections, it can increase the risk of the condition.

  • High blood pressure

    Individuals who have hypertension affect about 60 to 70 per cent of PKD patients and begin early in the course of the disease.

  • Gender

    Male gender has a higher chance of developing polycystic kidney disease than females. Affected men have a faster loss of renal function at the early beginning of the end-stage renal disease.

  • Black racial background

    The black racial background has higher chances of developing this disease than White Americans.

Stages of the Condition

Different stages of the condition:

  • Stage 1

    Normal kidney function

  • Stage 2

    Slightly worse than normal kidney function

  • Stage 3A

    Slight to average worse kidney function

  • Stage 3B

    Moderate worse kidney function

  • Stage 4

    Kidney function worse than normal

  • Stage 5

    Kidney failed or at risk of failure

Typical Test for PKD

If you are experiencing PKD symptoms, it can be diagnosed by CT scans, kidney ultrasound, and MRI tests. Your healthcare provider can also do a genetic test using your blood or saliva sample, but it will take months to get the genetic test results.

Primary Prevention

  • Manage blood pressure

    If you want to keep your kidneys healthy, you should manage your blood pressure by consuming less salt, taking proper medications, and maintaining your body weight.

  • Limit alcohol

    Consuming alcohol can severely affect your kidneys. Try to eliminate it from your lifestyle as much as possible.

  • Take all prescribed medicines

    It is imperative to take all the prescribed medication on time to halt the growth and relieve the kidney of the cysts.

  • Exercise

    Aim to do physical activity for 30 minutes a day and include it in your daily routine.

Complications of the disease

There are several complications associated with polycystic kidney diseases, such as chronic pain, loss of kidney function, cystic growth in the liver, high blood pressure, complications in pregnancy, and development of sacs in the colon wall and brain aneurysms, and heart valve abnormalities. PKD complications are preventable with the help of lifestyle changes, treatments and proper medication.

Secondary Prevention

  • Manage your blood sugar

    Increased blood sugar levels lead to heart and kidney diseases. Therefore, it is vital to manage your blood sugar levels.

  • Limit over-the-counter medicines

    Do not take more than the recommended dose of over-the-counter medications prescribed by your healthcare professional. They can reduce the amount of blood flow to your kidneys.

  • Avoid stress

    Stress can cause numerous diseases which are harmful to health. Therefore, you have to avoid stress or anxiety as much as possible. Being stress-free maintains your blood pressure, crucial for the kidneys' proper functioning.

Epidemiology of PKD

Prevalence of PKD is higher in non-Hispanic White and Black than in Hispanic and Asian people. The disease usually affects men and women of all races.

Expected Prognosis

The severity of the disease varies from person to person. People can reach end-stage kidney disease between 55 and 65. Males have an increased risk of kidney failure.

Natural Progression

Polycystic Kidney Disease is very progressive, which means that if not appropriately treated, it may worsen with time. It can lead to chronic kidney disease, but this progression depends on the patient.

Polycystic Kidney Disease Treatment

  • Take Tolvaptan

    National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends Tolvaptan for adults to treat ADPKD. This medicine slows the growth of cysts and also improves kidney function.

  • Quit smoking

    Smoking is the root cause of various diseases. A person who has PKD should avoid smoking as much as they can.

  • Diet changes

    It is essential to have a healthy diet including beans, fish, pulses, eggs, fruits, and vegetables to maintain your blood pressure.

  • Proper hydration

    Staying hydrated by drinking the right amount of fluid is beneficial in treating PKD.

Our BLK-Max Medical Experts

If you are facing any similar signs or symptoms please contact the BLK-Max team to schedule an appointment at : +91-11-30403040

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