Polycystic Kidney Disease

Treatment for Kidney Diseases in New Jersey

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic disorder characterized by the growth of fluid-filled cysts in the kidneys. If left untreated, PKD can interfere with kidney function and result in renal failure. It is currently the fourth leading cause of kidney failure, so it is important that you go to the doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of its symptoms.

Symptoms of PKD include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Detectable abdominal mass
  • Pale color to skin and easy bruising
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney stones
  • Aneurysms (bulging of the walls of blood vessels) in the brain
  • Diverticulosis (pouches in the intestines)
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Hematuria (blood in the urine)
  • Liver and pancreatic cysts
  • Abnormal heart valves

Causes of PKD

People can have PKD for years before it is diagnosed. If your parent has PKD there is 50% chance that it will be passed on to you and you should ask your doctor for a screening.

There are two primary types of PKD

  • Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) – this form of PKD accounts for 90% of all cases. It usually begins developing between the ages of 30 and 40, though it has been known to occur in children.
  • Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) – This is the less common form of PKD because it is carried on recessive genes. It is slightly different from ADPKD in that it often starts developing before birth. Children born with this condition may develop kidney failure within a few years.

Treatment & Symptom Management

PKD is not yet curable, at this point doctors focus treatment on slowing down kidney degeneration and managing symptoms. There are several symptoms that require monitoring and management with PKD:

  • Lowering high blood pressure through diet, exercise, medication.
  • Pain management with physician-approved over-the-counter medications
  • Blood in urine by drinking plenty of water
  • Treating kidney infections by visiting the doctor and receiving antibiotics
  • Recovering from kidney failure by managing it with dialysis or receiving a kidney transplant

PKD is a serious condition that should be diagnosed as soon as possible to delay or prevent the more serious symptoms. Our knowledgeable nephrologists can provide you and your loved ones with the latest in evidence-based kidney care treatments.