Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a condition characterized by the appearance of many cysts in the kidneys. This disease is generally caused by genetic abnormalities.

Polycystic kidney disease or polycystic kidney disease is one of the kidney diseases that develop slowly over a long period of time. The appearance of many cysts in the kidney can change the size and function of the kidney.

In addition to causing impaired kidney function, polycystic kidney disease can cause complications in the form of cysts growing in other parts of the body, including the liver.

Causes of Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease generally occurs as a result of abnormalities or defects in genes that are passed down from parent to child. Based on the type of genetic defect, this disease is divided into two, namely:

Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD)

ARPKD is a type of polycystic kidney disease whose symptoms have appeared since childhood or even since in the womb. If both parents suffer from ARPKD, then each child has a 25% risk of suffering from the same condition.

Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD)

ADPKD is the most common type of polycystic kidney disease . Symptoms usually appear in adulthood between the ages of 30-40 years. If one of the parents suffers from ADPKD, then each child has a 50% risk of suffering from ADPKD.

In addition to hereditary factors, mutations or genetic changes can also cause polycystic kidney disease . This type of PKD is called acquired cystic kidney disease (ACKD). ACKD is rare and appears more often in patients with kidney failure.

Symptoms of Polycystic Kidney Disease

Symptoms of polycystic kidney disease usually only appear when the cyst has grown large enough. Therefore, not all PKD sufferers experience symptoms from the beginning of cyst growth.

Some of the symptoms that can appear in polycystic kidney disease are:

  • Frequent urination
  • Urine containing blood ( hematuria )
  • Lower back pain
  • The size of the stomach increases
  • Stomachache
  • Urinary tract infection
  • The formation of kidney stones
  • High blood pressure

In addition to symptoms and signs related to the kidneys, other symptoms that can appear in patients with polycystic kidney disease are:

  • Headache
  • Drown
  • Skin bruises easily
  • The skin becomes pale
  • Nail abnormalities
  • Pain in the joints

Sometimes, the symptoms of PKD can be seen since the baby is in the womb. Polycystic kidney disease in the fetus can be characterized by kidney enlargement, little amniotic fluid , and the size of the fetus is not appropriate for the gestational age.

When should you go to the doctor?

Because its appearance is not always accompanied by symptoms, many sufferers do not know that they have polycystic kidney disease. This disease can be detected earlier during a medical check up .

If you or your child has symptoms of PKD as mentioned above, such as abdominal pain accompanied by pain when urinating or urine containing blood, immediately check with a doctor .

PKD can cause high blood pressure and decreased kidney function. Therefore, consult your doctor regularly if you experience such complaints in order to be given the right treatment.

Diagnosis of Polycystic Kidney Disease

The doctor will ask about the symptoms and health history of the patient and his family. After that, the doctor will perform a physical examination, blood test, and urine test .

Further, to confirm the diagnosis and determine the type of PKD the patient is experiencing, the doctor will perform a scan with USG, X-ray, or CT scan .

Treatment of Polycystic Kidney Disease

Until now, there is no treatment to cure polycystic kidney disease . However, there are several handling methods that can be used to relieve symptoms and prevent complications, namely:

Take care of the diet

Maintaining a good diet can help control blood pressure and maintain kidney health. The recommended diet is the DASH diet , which is to reduce salty foods and increase fiber consumption, such as fruit, vegetables, and grains.

Patients also need to meet fluid needs by drinking enough water, as well as limiting alcohol and caffeine consumption .

Take care of the diet

Maintaining a good diet can help control blood pressure and maintain kidney health. The recommended diet is to reduce salty foods and increase fiber consumption, such as fruit, vegetables, and grains.

Patients with polycystic kidney disease also need to meet their fluid needs by drinking enough water, as well as limiting the consumption of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.

Taking blood pressure lowering medication

High blood pressure drugs, such as ACE inhibitors and ARBs , can be used if lifestyle and dietary changes are ineffective in lowering blood pressure. If blood pressure is stable, complications of kidney failure can be prevented.

Doctors can also perform other actions if polycystic kidney disease is accompanied by other disorders. For example, giving antibiotics when a urinary tract infection appears, or paracetamol to relieve pain.

Complications of Polycystic Kidney Disease

Complications that can appear as a result of polycystic kidney disease as the size and number of cysts increase are:

  • Kidney failure
  • Dissemination of cysts to the liver, pancreas, and testicles
  • The cyst ruptured
  • Aneurysm in the brain
  • Complications during pregnancy
  • Diverticulitis
  • Liver disorders
  • Cataracts
  • Heart disease

Kidney failure is the most common complication of polycystic kidney disease. When kidney failure occurs, the patient needs to undergo kidney replacement therapy, such as dialysis or kidney transplantation.

Prevention of Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is difficult to prevent, because it generally occurs due to hereditary factors. Efforts are made to prevent or reduce the risk of complications.

Prevention of complications is done by changing the lifestyle to be healthier, namely:

  • Consume healthy, nutritious and balanced food
  • Maintain an ideal weight
  • Exercise regularly for 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week
  • Get enough and regular sleep for 7–8 hours
  • Cope with stress well
  • Stop smoking
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