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What is Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)?

There are several types of PKD. PKD usually refers to a genetic or inherited
disease. Generally, PKD occurs in adults, although there is a less common
form in children. In PKD, cysts, or fluid-filled sacs grow and replace normal
kidney tissue. The cysts increase the size of the kidneys overall. PKD is not
only limited to the kidneys, but may involve multiple organ systems.

What are my kidneys?
Kidneys are the two bean shaped organs
about the size of an adult fist located on
each side or your body below your ribcage
What do my kidneys
do?
Your kidneys perform several important
functions:
Remove waste products from
body
Release hormones that regulate
blood pressure
Regulate production of red blood
cells
Balance bodys fluid and
electrolytes
Excrete urine to the bladder
How is my kidney function measured and why is it
important?
Kidney function is measured by blood test that screens for the amount of
creatine (a waste product of the kidney) in your blood, as the function of a
kidney is impaired, the amount of creatine found in the blood increases. Your
doctor will use this measurement along with others to determine your
glomerular filtration rate (GFR). The GFR tells how much kidney function you
currently have.
Normal creatine level = ranging from 0.6 to 1.2 mg/dl
Normal GFR = approximately 100ml/min
*GFR can vary based on age and sex
What are some symptoms I may experience?
Back or side pain
Increase in abdomen size
High Blood Pressure (above 120/80)
Frequent Urinary Tract Infections
Blood in the Urine
Kidney stones
A normal kidney (pictured
on the left) vs a polycystic
kidney (pictured on the right)
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Are there complications
associated with PKD?
There are some potential complications, not
all cases of PKD experience all or any of
these:
Cyst formation on liver and/or
pancreas
Aneurysms, or bulges on the walls of
blood vessels in the brain
Diverticulitis, small bulges or
pouches that form on the walls of
the colon pushing outward
Do I have options for
preventing further damage
and relieving my symptoms?
Yes! Here are some ways you can manage
your PKD:
Exercise
Diet
Control and monitor your blood
pressure
Smoking cessation
Antibiotics for infections
Dialysis
Kidney Transplant
What should I Avoid?
Before taking anything that could harm your
kidneys, talk to your doctor to weight the
benefits and the risks first. Here are some
prescriptions and over the counter (OTC)
medications that generally are avoided:
NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs), such as Advil or Aleve.
Cold pills containing Pseudoephedrine
OTC diet pills
Herbal Supplements
Hope and Support
While there is no cure for PKD, there are
things you can do to improve and maintain
the kidney function you have.
For more information, you may contact:
Polycystic Kidney Foundation

www.pkdcure.org
1-800-PKD-CURE
(1-800 -753-2873)
National Kidney Foundation

www.kidney.org
1-800-622-9010

R
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While going through
life, did you ever pause
for a moment and
think, This is not what
I signed up for? This
thought could be
applied to anything
from health trials,
careers, marriage, kids
you name it. Life does
not come with a
manual. We can never
be fully prepared for
the unexpected of what
the new day may bring.
However, we can
choose to try our best,
give it our all, because
When the mind is
backed by will, miracles
happen.

-Valen Keefer, a PKD
patient