Individuals with a family history of PKD know it is inherited yet they wait until their 30's to be tested with an MRI. Sometimes it is to assure they will always have insurance. Other times it is simply a wish not to know. Two tests can be done to be sure there is no kidney disease developing. We can get frequent blood pressure checks freely available at pharmacies, markets, and local drug stores. Health fares sometimes offer urine testing for protein or blood in the urine. If any are positive, get treatment early. It can make a difference in maintaining a healthy body with cysts versus one that goes quickly to transplant or dialysis.
A urinary tract infection can be one of the first symptoms that might bring one to the doctor. Pain, flank pain or abdominal pain is another common symptom that brings out the diagnosis of PKD, polycystic kidney disease. Blood, protein, and uric acid is often present in the urine. Elevated blood pressure is another early symptom.
Kidney stones have a 30% higher incidence among PKD'rs. Brain aneurysms run in families, especially those with PKD. One geneticist thought the aneurysm gene is awaiting discovery just on the horizon. Aneurysms are 10% - 30% more prevalent in PKD'rs, especially if a previous family member has had an aneurysm. Diverticuli, outpouchings of the intestines is often seen in PKD'rs. Itching is a late manifestation and seems to occur with a lessening of kidney functioning, with acidosis, or in the presence of severe PLD, polycystic liver disease. Heart valve screening is usually done prior to any upcoming surgery. Liver, pancreatic, and other organs sometimes develop cysts. According to the CRISP study, liver cyst presence approaches 96% when one has PKD. Only about 8% of PLD polycystic liver disease patients go on to develop the severe manifestation of polycystic liver disease. The other 92% liver cysts are an incidental findings. Pericardial effusion is present in greater than 45% of PKD'rs and is also inconsequential.
Acidity occurs early in the disease with elevations of uric acids, oxalic acid, lactic acid, tannic acid, benzoic acid. Hyperuricemia and/or uric acid levels in the urine are sometimes elevated. These elevations in acids are a part of PKD. Acid production is influenced by eating animal proteins, high uric acid foods, high purine foods, high oxalic acid foods. By soaking nuts, grains, and legumes we can lower the phytic acid content making these foods more alkaline. Our mutual experiences have shown us that many of these symptoms can be lessened through alkalinity, by a diet of plant based foods.
Discuss with your doctor if this is right for you. Sometimes in the later stages of PKD we can develop metabolic acidosis. During this stage, a few doctors have prescribed very very low protein diets with some limited success. Here is a brief explanation on proteinuria. Some have found Dr. MacKenzie Walser's diet for advanced kidney disease, Coping with Kidney Disease, useful.
List of Common PKD Symptoms
|Urinary tract infection||proteinuria||abnormal heart valves|
|stomach pain||aneurysm||liver cysts|
|high blood pressure||diverticulosis||acidity|
|calcium deposits||LVH||kidney failure|
|cysts in brain||pancreatic cysts||bladder cyst|
|uric acid in urine||flank pain||back pain|
|burst cyst||bleeding into cyst||pain|
|kidney infection||bladder infection||low citrate|
|within cyst infection||within cyst bleed||within cyst inflammation|