Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is an inherited disease that causes cysts to develop in your kidneys. These cysts cause your kidneys to enlarge and not function properly. Cysts are noncancerous but are filled with fluid. They vary in size and can grow very large. This can damage your kidneys. PKD can also cause cysts to develop in your liver as well as other organs in your body. This disease can cause complications such as high blood pressure or kidney failure.
Symptoms can include:
People with PKD can often go years without knowing they have the disease. If you develop any symptoms, contact your doctor for an evaluation. If you have a first-degree relative with PKD, you should also be evaluated by your doctor.
“Abnormal genes cause polycystic kidney disease, which means that in most cases, the disease runs in families. Sometimes, a genetic mutation occurs on its own (spontaneous), so that neither parent has a copy of the mutated gene.” There are two main types of PKD that are caused by different genetic flaws.
Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD)
Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD)
There are many complications that can develop from PKD:
If you have PKD, keeping your kidneys as healthy as possible is your most important focus. This will help prevent many of the complications of this disease. Take your prescribed blood pressure medications, eat a low salt diet, exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight. Limit alcohol use and quit smoking.
about the author
Lisa Foster is a mom of 3 daughters, a puzzle lover, writer and HealthTree advocate. She believes in the mission of the foundation and the team that builds it forward. She calls Houston, Texas home.