Understanding Polycystic Kidney Disease

Understanding Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease is a hereditary disease in which a group of cysts appears in the kidneys. Understanding the cyst itself is a non-cancerous lump containing fluid resembling water. If the cyst collects a lot of fluids, then the size will also enlarge.

Symptoms of Polycystic Kidney Disease

Some of the symptoms that usually appear in polycystic kidney disease are:
  • The formation of kidney stones.
  • Skin becomes bruised easily.
  • Enlarge the size of the stomach.
  • Urine contains blood.
  • Skin color becomes pale.
  • A headache.
  • Fatigue.
  • Pain in the side and back of the body.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Pain in the joints.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Nail abnormalities.
  • Urinary or renal infection.
Causes of Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease is a hereditary disease caused by gene abnormalities or disabilities. Genetic mutations can also lead to the emergence of this disease, but it is rare.
Based on genetic disability, there are two types of polycystic kidney disease, namely:
  • Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD). Symptoms of ARPKD often appear shortly after the patient is born. If both parents have ARPKD, each child has a 25 percent risk of reducing ARPKD.
  • Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). ADPKD symptoms often occur when patients are between 30 and 40 years of age. If one parent suffers from ADPKD, then each child has a 50 percent risk of lowering ADPKD. This type is the most common polycystic kidney disease.
There is also a type of polycystic kidney disease that is not a hereditary disease that is acquired cystic kidney disease (ACKD). This type usually appears in someone who has other kidney disorders such as kidney failure or is undergoing dialysis.

Diagnosis of Polycystic Kidney Disease

To diagnose patients suspected of having polycystic kidney disease, doctors usually perform several checks such as:
  • MRI. With MRI imaging, the doctor can take pictures of the kidney structure and the appearance of the patient's cyst.
  • Ultrasound. Devices that use sound waves will be used by a doctor to check for the presence of a cyst in the patient's kidney.
  • CT Scan. The doctor will use an imaging device that uses X-ray waves to obtain a patient's kidney image.
  • Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP). In this examination, the doctor will enter a dye (contrast) that makes the blood vessels look more clear when done X-ray.

Treatment of Polycystic Kidney Disease

Until now there has not been found a cure to cure polycystic kidney disease. Doctors will only try to relieve symptoms, as well as overcome the complications that arise.
The following are some of the following symptoms or complications:
  • Bladder or kidney infections. Antibiotics can be used to treat infections and prevent further kidney damage.
  • Kidney function failure. Patients will be advised to undergo dialysis or kidney transplant.
  • Chronic pain. Pain relief medicines, such as paracetamol, can be used to control chronic pain in the back.
  • Aneurysm. Doctors will encourage patients to undergo routine intracranial aneurysm examination. If found, surgery can be done to reduce the risk of bleeding.
  • Blood in the urine. It is advisable to consume lots of fluids when blood appears in the urine, as well as doing bed rest to reduce bleeding.
  • Complications of cysts. If the cysts block the other organs or blood vessels, cause severe pain, or cause infection, surgery can be done to remove the cyst fluid.
  • Cysts on the liver. In these circumstances, surgery can be performed to remove some of the liver or liver transplant.
  • High blood pressure. It is advisable to eat foods low in salt and fat. Patients are also asked not to smoke, exercise more often and avoid stress. Drug types ACE-inhibitors can be used to control high blood pressure of the patient.

Complications of Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease is one of the causes of kidney failure. The disease can also spread to organs other than the kidneys, such as the liver or pancreas. In addition to kidney failure, the complications that can be experienced by people with polycystic kidney disease are:
  • Chronic pain, which generally appears on the side and back of the patient's body.
  • The growth of cysts in the liver, pancreas, and testes.
  • Abnormalities of the heart valves, where the valves cannot close completely.
  • Complications during pregnancy, because preeclampsia may occur.
  • Anemia.
  • The development of aneurysms in the brain. Patients will have the risk of the appearance of a lump like a balloon in the blood vessels of his brain.
  • Impaired bowel function. The appearance of fluid sacs on the wall of the colon and weakening of the wall of the large intestine.
  • High blood pressure. If not treated high blood pressure can damage the kidneys, as well as increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Cataracts or blindness.

Prevention of Polycystic Kidney Disease

One of the most important ways to protect the kidneys is by controlling blood pressure. Some steps that can be done with people with polycystic kidney disease to prevent blood pressure does not increase are:
  • Maintain weight.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Always take blood pressure medications according to prescription and doctor's recommendation.
  • Get used to eating low-salt foods, and increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and grains.

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