Polycystic kidney is disorder in which cysts develop in the kidneys. The cysts enlarge the kidney and decrease its function. This condition is inherited but is not cancerous. Symptoms are not apparent until adulthood and then it progresses slowly for up to 20 years. This kidney disorder is the most common hereditary disease in the U.S.
Causes of Kidney, Polycystic
The cause is unknown. It is an inherited disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Kidney, Polycystic
Early stages of polycystic kidneys may be associated with blood in the urine. Repeated kidney infections are another common symptom. When the kidney has enlarged considerably, a mass may be felt in the abdomen. Hypertension may occur due to the disorder of the kidney. Frequently, there will be no symptoms until such time that the cysts replace so much of the normal kidney structure that kidney failure occurs. Renal failure produces pain in the lower back and decreased urine output. There is usually increasing fatigue and generalized weakness. Fluid retention occurs, leading to weight gain and generalized swelling, especially around the ankles and the eyes. Nausea, vomiting and bad breath may occur. Diarrhea may develop. Shortness of breath and chest pain develops in some. There is itching of the skin and in women of child-bearing age, there is cessation of menstruation.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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