Learning More About Polycystic Kidney Disease

Learning More About Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease is an inherited condition and is characterized by the emergence of small fluid-filled sacs developing in the kidney.

Learning More About Polycystic Kidney Disease

These small fluid-filled sacs are called cysts.

There are two variants of the disease, the autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease, which is comparatively rare and occurs in fetuses and infants.

Learning More About Polycystic Kidney Disease

The second variant is autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). This is more common in adults and gets diagnosed when an individual is around 30 or 40 years of age.

How do the early stages look like:

The early stages of the ADPKD are usually asymptomatic, where the person does not experience any signs.

However, as the cysts grow larger with time, one may feel that something is not right.

A person should always look out for any possible symptoms of ADPKD and consult the doctor in case of any doubts, as early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent further complications.

Signs and symptoms of ADPKD:

The most common sign of ADPKD in an individual is a pain in the back of the abdomen. Sometimes one can feel pain on the sides and on the kidneys as well. The pain is most likely caused by bleeding or enlarged cysts.

The presence of blood in the urine, a condition is known as hematuria is another symptom of polycystic kidney disease.

It occurs in almost half of the adults diagnosed with the condition, and often times the first sign of kidney disorder,

The blood in the urine is caused by rupturing of the cysts that can cause additional stress and injury for the kidney.

The link between high blood pressure, hypertension, and kidney disease:

High blood pressure is a condition associated with ADPKD, people with ADPKD are more prone to developing high blood pressure and hypertension earlier compared to healthy individuals. 

However, the severity of high blood pressure and hypertension depends on which stage the kidney disease is and the size and development of the cysts.

What do headaches and swollen abdomen indicate:

Headaches and swollen abdomen are some other signs of the ADPKD, headache can be caused by a condition called aneurysm, which is more of a complication arising out of ADPKD than a symptom.

The swollen or enlarged abdomen can be caused as the kidneys grow bigger owing to the cysts growing larger and more in number.

Kidney stones and UTI:

Individuals suffering from ADPKD are also susceptible to developing kidney stones, as the cysts grow in size they van block the normal passage of the urine, as the urine is held at one place for a long time, crystals can form giving rise to kidney stones.

Urinary tract infection (UTI) can be another potential symptom of ADPKD, according to the estimation of the experts, 30 – 50% of the individuals suffering from ADPKD are likely to develop kidney infection and urinary tract infection.

However, women are more prone to developing infections compared to men.

If one feels discomfort or pain while passing urine, it can be a sign of kidney infection or urinary tract infection arising out of ADPKD.

Fatigue and chest discomfort:

 Fatigue, although a common symptom associated with every other medical condition should not be overlooked when it occurs in combination with one or more of the above-mentioned symptoms.

If a person experiences unexplained fatigue and feeling of malaise it is advised to consult a doctor at the earliest.

Discomfort in the chests can be one early symptom of ADPKD along with fatigue.

 According to the data of the National Kidney Foundation, one in every four individuals suffering from kidney disease is prone to experiencing a fluttering feeling in their chest.

This condition is often defined as a floppy valve in their heart that causes the sensation.

Sometimes one can experience chest pain along with such a feeling.

The final advice:

Experts advise that whenever one feels one or more of the signs or symptoms, he or she should seek urgent medical help without delay.ADPKD can be treated with advancements and modern techniques and timely diagnosis and treatment can diminish any chances of further complications in the condition.

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