Polycystic Kidney Disease – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Polycystic Kidney Disease – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Polycystic Kidney Disease – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder which causes clusters of fluid-filled cysts develop primarily within your kidneys. This is what causes your kidneys to enlarge and lose function over time. Cysts are noncancerous round sacs. It contains fluid and varies in size, and they can grow exceptionally large. The presence of large cysts can damage your kidneys. This type of disease can cause cysts to develop in your liver and elsewhere in your body. It can cause some complications such as high blood pressure and kidney failure.

For the treatment of Polycystic Kidney Disease, you must reach out to the best nephrology hospital in Hyderabad.

Symptoms Of Polycystic Kidney Disease

Here are some of the polycystic kidney disease symptoms. This includes

  • high blood pressure
  • back or side pain
  • blood in your urine
  • a feeling of fullness in your abdomen.

Some of the other symptoms include increased size of your abdomen due to enlarged kidneys, headaches, kidney stones, kidney failure and urinary tract or kidney infections.

When To See A Doctor

It’s not unusual for people to have polycystic kidney disease for years without being aware of it. If you notice signs and symptoms of polycystic kidney disease, you must see your doctor. If you have an apparent sibling or child with polycystic kidney disease, you must reach out to a doctor to discuss screening for this disorder.

Causes Of Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic Kidney Disease could be caused by Autosomal dominant inheritance pattern and Autosomal recessive inheritance pattern.

Abnormal genes cause polycystic kidney disease. This means that in most cases, the disease runs in families. In some cases, a genetic mutation occurs on its own. As a result of which neither parent has a copy of the mutated gene.

The signs and symptoms of Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) often develop between the ages of 30 and 40. Previously, this type was called adult polycystic kidney disease, but children can develop the disorder.

As a matter of fact, only one parent needs to have the disease for it to pass to the children. If one parent has ADPKD, it is possible that each child has a 50% chance of getting the disease.  This is one of the polycystic kidney disease types which accounts for most of the cases of polycystic kidney disease.

Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) is far less common than ADPKD. The symptoms often appear shortly after birth.  In certain cases, symptoms don’t appear until later in childhood or during adolescence.

Both mother and father must have abnormal genes to pass on this form of polycystic kidney disease inheritance. If both parents carry a gene for this disorder, each child has a 25% possibility of getting the disease.

How Is PKD Diagnosed?


For polycystic kidney disease diagnosis, your doctor may order a complete blood count to look for anemia or signs of infection. Also, a urinalysis will be performed to look for blood, bacteria, or protein in your urine.

A number of Imaging tests used to diagnose PKD include:

  • Abdominal ultrasound – This type of noninvasive test uses sound waves to look at your kidneys for cysts.
  • Abdominal CT scan – It helps to detect smaller cysts in the kidneys.
  • Abdominal MRI scan – It helps to visualize kidney structure and look for cysts.
  • Intravenous pyelogram – In this type of test, dye is used to make your blood vessels show up more clearly on an X-ray.


Polycystic Kidney Disease Complications

There can be a number of complications associated with polycystic kidney disease.

1. High blood pressure

It is a common complication of polycystic kidney disease. If it is left untreated, high blood pressure can cause further damage to your kidneys and increase your risk of heart disease and strokes.

2. Loss of kidney function

This is one of the most serious complications of polycystic kidney disease.  A lot of people with the disease have kidney failure by the age of 60. This disease can interfere with the ability of your kidneys to keep wastes from building to toxic levels. This medical condition is called uremia.

3. Chronic pain

This is a common symptom for people with polycystic kidney disease. It often occurs in your side or back and can also be associated with a urinary tract infection or a malignancy.

4. Growth of cysts in the liver

The possibility of developing liver cysts with polycystic kidney disease increases with age.  According to the doctors, while both men and women develop cysts, women often develop larger cysts. They suggest that the female hormones and multiple pregnancies might contribute to liver cyst development.

5. Development of an aneurysm in the brain

Patient suffering from polycystic kidney disease have a higher risk of aneurysms. You must ask your doctor if screening is needed in your case. If medical screening reveals that you are not suffering from aneurysm, your medical professional may recommend repeating the screening after several years as a follow-up. The duration of repeat screening depends on your risk.

6. Pregnancy complications

In most of the cases, pregnancy is successful for women with polycystic kidney disease. However, some of the women may develop a life-threatening disorder called preeclampsia.

7. Heart valve abnormalities

It is said that as many as 1 in 4 adults with polycystic kidney disease develop mitral valve prolapse. Due to this, the heart valve no longer closes properly, which allows blood to leak backward.

8. Colon problems

Due to polycystic kidney disease, weaknesses and pouches or sacs in the wall of the colon may develop.

What Is The Treatment For Polycystic Kidney Disease?

Treatment For Polycystic Kidney Disease

The polycystic kidney disease treatment includes the following: –

  • Blood pressure management: You can control your blood pressure with proper medicine, diet and exercise. Maintaining your blood pressure within a safe range lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Breathing support: Children with underdeveloped lungs and breathing problems may need mechanical ventilation.
  • Dialysis: You may be required to go for dialysis if you have kidney failure. Hemodialysis helps filter blood outside the body. One type of dialysis uses the lining of your belly and a special fluid to filter blood.
  • Kidney transplant: If the diseases progress to end-stage renal failure, you may need a kidney transplant. A transplant is a surgical procedure performed to replace a failing kidney with a donor kidney.


A genetic counselor can help you assess your risk of passing the disease to your offspring if you have polycystic kidney disease and you are considering having children.

Doctors recommend that keeping your kidneys as healthy as possible may help prevent some of the complications of this disease. One of the most significant ways to protect your kidneys is by managing your blood pressure.

Here are some of the tips for keeping your blood pressure in check:

  • You must take the blood pressure medications prescribed by your doctor as directed
  • You must eat a low-salt diet containing plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • You should maintain a healthy weight
  • You must quit smoking
  • You must exercise regularly
  • You must limit alcohol use

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