Polycystic Kidney Disease
Normal kidney function is vital for human body. One of the most serious diseases that can affect the kidney function and the kidneys themselves is genetic in nature and referred to as polycystic kidney disease. Polycystic kidney disease is a cystic genetic disorder that damages the kidneys and leads to kidney failure. From the manner of how the disease is genetically transferred, there are two distinct types of this condition – autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease is the predominant form, and autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease.
The result of polycystic kidney disease is the formation of multiple cysts in one or both kidneys in humans and animals. The dominant type of the disease affects both children and adults, while the recessive type causes death at a very early age, sometimes even in infancy. What triggers the cysts to start growing is yet unknown, but polycystic kidney disease is often associated with different kinds of aortic and brain aneurysms. Not selective for only the kidneys, polycystic kidney disease can cause damage to other vital organs as well. Predominantly it also targets the liver and pancreas and in some cases even brain and heart. This makes polycystic kidney disease treatment more complicated.
Of all the life-threatening genetic diseases – most known is cystic fibrosis – polycystic kidney disease is one of the most common, with more than 10 million patients around the globe. Primary concern here is the dominant type, which affects roughly one person per 500. On the other hand, recessive type is much less common, with 1:20.000 chances of newborns being positive for the disease.
Polycystic Kidney Disease Treatment
Because the pathophysiology of the disease is genetic in nature, it cannot be treatable – that is to
say it is, as of yet, impossible to heal the underlying abnormality of PDK1 gene. However, the
goal of polycystic kidney disease treatment is to control the symptoms that arise from cysts
inhibiting the kidney functions and prevent potential further complications. The principle
problem is the high blood pressure which can in turn cause heart and coronary disease problems.
Generally, they kidneys are responsible for eliminating the water out of the body. However, when
they are not functioning as they should as is in the case of polycystic kidney disease, the water
remains inside the body – more specifically it accumulates in blood vessels which cause blood
pressure to rise putting stress on the heart. To treat this, a number of high blood pressure
treatments are used, including diuretics and ACE inhibitors. Also a low-salt diet is recommended
to reduce blood pressure