inherited kidney disorder that causes fluid-filled cysts to form in the kidneys-Polycystic Kidney disease

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One of the leading causes of kidney failure is polycystic kidney disease (PKD). It is an inherited kidney disorder that causes fluid-filled cysts to form in the kidneys. PKD may impair kidney function and eventually cause kidney failure.


Most people affected may not see or notice any symptoms until the cyst measures up to 0.5cm before it become worrisome. Here are some of the symptoms:

Pain or tenderness in the abdomen

Blood in the urine

Frequent urination

Pain in the sides

Urinary tract infection (UTI)

Kidney stones

Pain or heaviness in the back

Skin that bruises easily

Pale skin color


Joint pain

Nail abnormalities

High blood pressure


PKD is an inherited disease condition. The various types of PKD have their causes:

Autosomal dominant PKD is often referred to as adult PKD, and accounts for about 90 percent of cases. Someone who has a parent with PKD has a 50 percent chance of developing this condition. Symptoms usually develop later in life, between the ages of 30 and 40. However, some people begin to experience symptoms in childhood.

Autosomal recessive PKD is much less common than ADPKD. It is also inherited, but both parents must carry the gene for the disease.

People who are carriers of ARPKD will not have symptoms if they have only one gene. If they inherit two genes, one from each parent, they will have ARPKD.

There are four types of ARPKD:

Perinatal form is present at birth

Neonatal form occurs within the first month of life

Infantile form occurs when the child is 3 to 12 months old

Juvenile form occurs after the child is 1 year old

Acquired cystic kidney disease is not inherited and it usually occurs later in life. It usually develops in people who already have other kidney problems. And it is more common in those who have kidney failure or are on dialysis.


It can be diagnosed by taking family medical history because it is a highly inherited disease. 

Test like full blood count to look for anemia or signs of infection

Urinalysis to look for blood, bacteria, or protein in your urine

Imaging tests used to diagnose PKD include:

Abdominal ultrasound

Abdominal CT scan

Abdominal MRI scan

Intravenous pyelogram


Weakened areas in the walls of arteries, known as aortic or brain aneurysms

Cysts on and in the liver

Cysts in the pancreas and testicles

Pouches or pockets in the wall of the colon, or diverticula

Cataracts or blindness

Liver disease mitral valve prolapse

Anemia, or insufficient red blood cells

Bleeding or bursting of cysts

High blood pressure

Liver failure

Kidney stones

Cardiovascular disease


Pain medication, except Ibuprofen, which is not recommended as it may worsen kidney disease

Blood pressure medication

Antibiotics to treat UTIs

A low sodium diet

Diuretics to help remove excess fluid from the body

Surgery to drain cysts and help relieve discomfort

Dialysis and kidney transplant 

Removal of one or both of the kidneys


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