Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)


With this disease, you develop clusters of fluid-filled cysts. They mainly grow in your kidneys, but they can grow in your liver and in other places, too. These cysts aren't cancerous. But they can harm your kidneys and make it hard for them to work properly.


What causes PKD? Well, it's a problem with your genes. Most commonly, it's caused by a genetic flaw you inherit. There are a two main types of PKD. They are classified by how the genes are passed down from parent to child. In rare cases, a person can have this disease without inheriting it. The genetic mutation can happen on its own.


You can have PKD for a long time and not know it. But it can lead to a wide range of symptoms. You may have headaches, and pain in your back or side. You may have kidney stones. You may have infections in your kidneys and urinary tract, and blood in your urine. Your abdomen may swell and feel full. PKD can lead to serious and life-threatening complications. These include high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney failure and stroke.


To manage PKD, you need to control symptoms and complications in their early stages. A healthy lifestyle and regular doctor visits are important. Medications can help you. Eventually, you may need dialysis, a kidney transplant or some other surgery. Your healthcare provider will create a care plan that's right for you.