Living With Polycystic Kidney Disease

Living with polycystic kidney disease is never easy for the sufferer or the family as well. Having a condition that does not have a cure would entail lifetime treatment. Even with the latest in modern medicine, sadly PKD is one disease where a cure has remained elusive.  Rather, what the medical society can offer is a lifetime treatment that is palliative. This means the treatment approach is meant to deal on relieving and preventing the suffering of patients, and prolong life as much possible without going for the actual cure.

The kidneys play a vital role in keeping the body’s overall health. It functions to excrete wastes, it balances acid-base, regulates osmolality and blood pressure and has a role in hormone secretion. With all these important functions of the kidneys, living with a deteriorating kidney is certainly difficult. In PKD, the kidneys develop numerous cysts. These cysts are fluid-filled and enlarge in time hindering the kidneys from functioning normally.  When the kidneys reach an unbearable point, this could lead to renal failure. But even prior to an impending end-stage scenario, the patient will still suffer one or more of PKD’s symptoms. Common symptoms of PKD are pain in the back and lower sides, headaches, urinary tract infections, hematuria or blood in the urine, and cysts in the kidneys and other organs.

As if the symptoms of polycystic kidney disease aren’t bad enough, a patient still have the chance to develop one or more of PKD’s complications. Living with polycystic kidney disease is even made difficult when one develops any of the following complications. Secondary diseases that result from renal cystic growths are high blood pressure, kidney stones, urinary tract infections, hematuria, bulges in the walls of blood vessels commonly in the brain, diverticulosis in the colon, liver and pancreas, and abnormal heart valves.

But it is not all doomed for someone living with polycystic kidney disease. You may still live a normal life provided you maintain a healthy living. This healthy living means a consistent checkup with your doctor, following treatment regimen and lifestyle modification that all gears to becoming healthy. When you have polycystic kidney disease, even a urinary tract infection or any manifestation should be reported to the physician.  Prompt treatment is very crucial to prolonging life of the patient. When the disease progresses to an end-stage renal failure, the patient has two options. He may undergo hemodialysis for the rest of his remaining life or undergo a renal transplant. The renal transplant has so far shown promising results because the transplanted kidneys do not develop the cysts that previous kidneys suffered. Treatment and transplantation is an expensive procedure. But when you have this disease, you surely will want to live longer no matter what it takes you to prolong life.

Author: Logan Parker