Polycystic kidney disease or PKD is a condition that can be passed from parent to offspring. It is characterized by the development of fluid-filled sacs in the kidneys. Although the formations are benign or non-cancerous in nature, PKD can actually cause a host of complications. What’s more, the condition may cause the formation of cysts elsewhere in the body, such as the liver, spleen, pancreas and ovaries.
The disease causes a variety of signs and symptoms. Some of them include pain in the back or side, enlargement of the abdomen, frequent urge to urinate, presence of blood in the urine, formation of kidney stones and headaches. It is possible for someone with polycystic kidney disease to have the condition for years but still encounter no sign or symptom.
Having PKD controlled is important as it may cause some very serious complications. It is not uncommon for someone with this disease to frequently suffer from urinary tract infections or UTIs. Kidney failure is a very serious complication of the condition. Medical authorities say that almost 50% of all individuals suffering from PKD have kidney failure when they reach 60 years of age.
PKD also has an impact on the circulatory system. One of the most common complications of polycystic kidney disease is high blood pressure. If left untreated, high blood pressure can cause kidney damage as well as increase a person’s risk of suffering from a heart attack and stroke. It is also said that 1 in 4 adults afflicted with the disease develops mitral valve prolapse, an abnormality in the valve of the heart.
The disease may also complicate pregnancy. This is especially true for women with high blood pressure before they got pregnant as PKD can considerably increase their likelihood of developing a life-threatening problem known as pre-eclampsia.
It is imperative for the signs and symptoms as well as the complications of polycystic kidney disease to be managed early on. For instance, there are certain medications which may be prescribed by a doctor in order to control high blood pressure effectively, and prevent the problem from damaging the kidneys and increasing the likelihood of heart disease.
Antibiotics may be administered in case the person afflicted with PKD suffers from an infection of the urinary tract. Chronic pain which is usually encountered by those with the condition may be treated with medications that can help in dealing with the discomfort usually situated in the back or side. There are instances wherein surgery may be warranted most especially if the fluid-filled sacs have become very large, causing severe pain as well as other symptoms.
There are also natural remedies available for polycystic kidney disease that can provide further help in dealing with the signs and symptoms, as well as keeping complications at bay. Here are some of the best:
• Drink plenty of water – Doing this helps prevent UTIs and improve the functioning of the kidneys by flushing out impurities in the blood. Drinking 8 to 12 glasses of water also helps keep high blood pressure in check.
• Consume foods high in fiber – Incorporating high-fiber food in the diet helps in keeping the arteries clog-free, thus preventing an increase in blood pressure.
• Have a low-fat and low-sodium diet – Because polycystic kidney disease can have a negative impact on the circulatory system, limiting the intake of sodium and saturated fat is highly beneficial.
• Exercise on a regular basis – In order to help control high blood pressure as well as to strengthen the body and the immune system, exercising should be a part of a good treatment plan for anyone with PKD.
• Ditch bad habits – Certainly, cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol consumption should be avoided by a person suffering from the disease. Staying away from coffee and other caffeinated beverages has to be done too.