The Facts About PKD You Need to Know

Your kidneys are very important to your urinary health. It’s crucial that your kidneys function properly since they are the organs that filter your blood, remove waste from your body, regulate electrolyte balance, and control the fluid balance in your body. The kidneys create urine as they filter the blood. The urine is then drained through the bladder and released from the body. PKD is a genetic disorder of the kidneys that eventually results in kidney failure. PKD is short for polycystic kidney disease. Here are some things you should know about this kidney disorder.

PKD can be either autosomal recessive or autosomal dominant. This disorder causes several cysts to form in one or both of the kidneys. The recessive type commonly results in death in infancy or at least at an early age. The dominant type affects people of all ages from children to adults. PKD can also be linked to damage of the pancreas and liver, but may also cause heart and brain disease or disorders. The most common form of this disease is the dominant type which affects about one person out of 500. The disease itself is complicated, which makes the treatment options more challenging and complex for those suffering with this kidney disorder.

Genetic defects are the primary cause of PKD. If one parent has this disease, the children of that parent are at risk of suffering with PKD at some point in their lives. The dominant type comes from one parent with the abnormal PKD1 gene. This can result in a 50 percent chance of passing it to a child. Rarely, both parents have the abnormal gene which produces the recessive PKD type.

The symptoms of PKD are as follows:

Frequent urination
Bloody urine
High blood pressure
Enlarged abdomen
Chronic kidney stones
Frequent UTIs and/or kidney infections
Frequent headaches
Back pain
Kidney failure

The biggest problem with treating PKD is that it is not treatable and cannot be cured. The underlying problem is the abnormal development of the PDK1 gene which is currently not a treatable condition. Controlling the symptoms is the only course of treatment currently used for PKD. Pain is managed using over-the-counter pain relievers, larger cysts are often removed in severe cases, and blood pressure medications to manage high blood pressure are the conventional treatments for PKD. A special diet may help delay kidney failure if implemented as soon as possible.

Writen by Bradford Todd