What is Polycystic Kidney Disease?

Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder that causes numerous fluid-filled cysts to grow in your kidneys. Unlike the usually harmless simple kidney cysts which can form in kidneys later in life, PKD cysts can affect the shape of your kidneys, like making kidneys much larger. PKD is the form of chronic kidney disease which reduces kidney function & further leads to kidney failure. PKD also can cause other complications and problems, like high blood pressure, cysts in the liver, & problems with blood vessels in your brain and heart.

Polycystic kidney disease varies significantly in its severity & some complications are preventable. Lifestyle changes & treatments may aid reduce damage to the kidneys from complications. SRIAAS’s Ayurvedic treatment is all about using herbal medications & adopting diet plans and some yoga stances to recover kidney function. Ayurveda is the natural way to revive damage to cells & tissues of kidneys. The mutation in genes also gets changed when you consume Ayurvedic herbal medications for a specific period.

DR. Puru Dhawan

BAMS, Medical Director of SR Institute of Advanced Ayurvedic Science (SRIAAS) 

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Symptoms of Polycystic Kidney Disease

In the early stages of PKD, individuals have few — if any — symptoms & relatively normal blood & urine tests, so the disease might be missed until it has progressed. Most people don’t develop symptoms until they are 30-40 years old. Possible symptoms include –

  • Back pain and pain in the sides
  • Breathing Difficulties
  • Urinary tract infections
  • A swollen belly
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Liver and/or pancreatic cysts
  • Vomiting after feeding
  • Heart valve abnormalities
  • High blood pressure
  • Varicose veins
  • Kidney stones
  • Brain aneurysms

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Kidney Diseases

Types of Polycystic Kidney Disease

PKD is a genetic disorder where a gene mutation causes cyst development in the kidney; the mutation occurs because of the transmission of defective genes passed on from either of your parents. This condition can develop complications such as kidney failure according to the type. There are two types of polycystic kidney disease:

Autosomal dominant Polycystic kidney disease: In this condition, PKD gene mutation is passed on from only one parent. This is the most common type of Polycystic Kidney Disease, which affects 1 in every 100 to 400 people, and it is the most common kidney disorder passed down through your family members. ADPKD is usually diagnosed between the age of 30 to 50 years.

Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease: The PKD gene mutation is passed on from both parents in this condition. This is a rare genetic disorder that affects 1 in 20,000 children. This condition can be seen in the first few months of life in the womb and after birth. A fetus or a baby with ARPKD has a fluid-filled cyst in the kidney, causing enlargement and poor kidney function. This condition is also called infantile PKD because it is diagnosed at an early age.

There are four types of ARPKD –

  • Perinatal Form- Present at Birth
  • Neonatal Form- Occurs within the first month of life.
  • Infantile Form- Occurs when the child is 3 to 12 months old.
  • Juvenile Form- Occurs after the child has crossed a year.

Complications of Polycystic Kidney Disease

In addition to the symptoms usually experienced with the PKD, there might be complications as cysts on kidneys grow larger. All such complications might include –

Kidney Failure: As the kidneys enlarge & change their shape, they can’t do their job appropriately. Due to this, dangerous waste builds up in the body, & blood pressure increases. Individuals with kidney failure might retain excess fluid, and their body might not produce enough red blood cells.

Liver Cysts: More than 80% of individuals with polycystic develop cysts in the liver. Among those with polycystic kidney disease, cysts are more common in females. The cysts tend to be very small, meaning that it is rarer for them to contribute to liver failure. They can, though, become infected. The symptoms of an infected liver cyst include fever and pain in the upper right-hand side of the abdomen.

High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure is one of the common complications of PKD. Untreated and elevated blood pressure can cause further damage to your kidneys & increase your risk of strokes and heart disease.

Chronic Pain: Pain is a common symptom for individuals with PKD. It frequently occurs in your side or back. The pain can also be associated with urinary tract infection, kidney stone, or malignancy.

Colon Problems: Weaknesses & pouches or sacs in the walls of the colon might develop in individuals with PKD.

Heart Valve Abnormalities: Out of 1 in 4 adults with PKD develops mitral valve prolapse. When this happens, the heart valve no longer closes correctly that allowing blood to flow backward.

Prevention of Polycystic Kidney Disease

If you have polycystic kidney disease & you are considering having children, the genetic counselor can help you assess your risk of passing the disease to offspring. Keeping your kidneys as healthy as possible might assist prevent some of the complications of this disease. One of the vital ways you can protect your kidneys from PKD is by managing your blood pressure. Here are some tips for keeping your blood pressure in check –

  • Take blood pressure medications prescribed by the doctor as directed.
  • Eat the low-salt diet containing plenty of fruits, vegetables, & whole grains.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • If you smoke, then quit. Also, limit alcohol use.
  • Exercise regularly. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week.

Ayurveda Comes to the Rescue!

Making an early diagnosis before the disease sets in has several advantages. Early diagnosis offers an opportunity to treat polycystic kidney disease in a better way. Early diagnosis & treatment of high blood pressure prevent the development & aggravation of kidney failure in PKD. Ayurvedic treatment for polycystic kidney disease is the only way to cure PKD without giving any side effects or health risks. Ayurveda works on the root cause of disease & has the potential to cure the disease. In addition, Ayurveda treatment rejuvenates & restores the entire health of the kidneys.

Lifestyle & dietary modification suggested by our doctors to PKD patients protects their kidneys as well as the heart. Our goal is to increase the function of the kidney with the help of Ayurvedic medicines, a controlled diet, and personalized Exercise so that further damage can be prevented.

SRIAAS’s Ayurvedic Approach to Get Root-Cause Treatment

Polycystic kidney disease treatment in Ayurveda emphasizes clearing unbalanced elements in the body. Ayurveda believes that the balancing of overall body energies certifies stimulating overall & each natural functioning of the body. Therefore, the treatment stimulates the healing procedures of the body, and thus your kidneys gradually get healed naturally. Kidney treatment in Ayurveda comprises following the right diet & lifestyle along with taking some effective herbs. Additionally, the treatment also helps relieve toxins accumulation in the blood & thus diminishes health problems occurring due to the accumulation.

The aim of the treatment of polycystic kidney disease is to treat the signs & symptoms, prevent complications & slow down the progress of the disease. In case the kidney functions have started to deteriorate, the treatment is aimed to slow down the worsening of kidneys functions. Our Ayurvedic treatment for PKD mainly combines some herbal formulations, a kidney health-supporting diet, and a few lifestyle alterations.

Other Kidney Treatments at SRIAAS

Ayurveda offers treatment for all stages of different renal problems. Acute kidney disease is caused by diseases such as acute glomerulonephritis, severely high blood pressure, bilateral pyelonephritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus while chronic renal failure might result from conditions such as progressive glomerulonephritis, polycystic disease of kidneys, chronic pyelonephritis, & tuberculosis of kidneys. There are very effective herbs used in Ayurvedic treatment for kidney failure which helps rejuvenate the kidneys by restoring the filtration capacity & improving the overall functioning of your kidney. This line of treatment can eliminate the risk of kidney failure & the need for dependency upon dialysis.

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