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Polycystic kidney disease

Understanding Polycystic Kidney Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Discover what polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is and how it affects the kidneys. Learn about the risk factors, symptoms, and how the disease can be diagnosed through imaging tests or genetic testing. Find out about available treatments, including medications, surgery, and kidney transplantation. Gain a deeper understanding of this common hereditary kidney disease affecting thousands of people in the United States.

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Medriva Correspondents
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Understanding Polycystic Kidney Disease

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What Is Polycystic Kidney Disease?

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic disorder characterized by the growth of numerous cysts in the kidneys. These cysts are filled with fluid and eventually replace healthy kidney tissue, leading to kidney failure. PKD affects about 600,000 people in the United States, making it one of the most common hereditary kidney diseases.

Risk Factors and Symptoms

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PKD affects both men and women and can be passed down within families. Individuals of all ages can be affected, with some cases appearing in infants. Symptoms of PKD depend on the severity of the disease. In some cases, there may be few or no symptoms. However, some more common signs and symptoms include high blood pressure, pain in the sides or back, frequent urination, blood in the urine, and swelling of the abdomen, face, or feet.

Diagnosis and Treatment

PKD can be diagnosed through imaging tests such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI. Genetic testing can also help to diagnose the disease.

The primary treatment for PKD is medication to help control the symptoms and prevent kidney damage. This can include medications to reduce high blood pressure, pain medications, and diuretics. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the cysts. Kidney transplantation can be an effective treatment in advanced cases of PKD, but usually only as a last resort.

In conclusion, polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder characterized by numerous cysts in the kidneys that can lead to kidney failure. Risk factors include a family history of the disease and symptoms can range from high blood pressure to abdominal swelling. Diagnosis is made through imaging tests or genetic testing, and treatments include medications to control symptoms and surgery to remove cysts. Kidney transplantation can be an effective treatment in advanced cases of PKD.

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