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What is the life expectancy of someone with polycystic kidney disease?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic condition where fluid-filled cysts develop in the kidneys, gradually replacing normal kidney tissue. There are two main types: autosomal dominant PKD (ADPKD) and autosomal recessive PKD (ARPKD).

ADPKD is more common, affecting about 1 in 500 to 1 in 1,000 people globally. It runs in families and only one parent needs to carry the faulty gene for a child to inherit it.

ARPKD is rarer, affecting about 1 in 20,000 people. Both parents must carry the gene for a child to develop this form.

PKD leads to kidney enlargement and can cause complications such as high blood pressure, kidney stones, and kidney failure over time.

How long can you live with polycystic kidney disease?

Understanding how long you can live with polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is crucial if you or a loved one has been diagnosed.

Here’s what you should know:

Autosomal Dominant PKD (ADPKD): This type usually progresses slowly. On average, people may develop kidney failure in their 50s or 60s, but it varies. Getting diagnosed early and managing the condition well can help slow down its progression.

Autosomal Recessive PKD (ARPKD): ARPKD tends to be more severe and can lead to kidney failure earlier in life. However, treatments like dialysis and kidney transplantation have significantly improved outcomes for people with ARPKD.

To manage PKD and potentially extend your lifespan, it’s important to control your blood pressure, avoid substances that can harm your kidneys, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Regular check-ups with your healthcare team are crucial to monitor your kidney function and adjust treatments as needed.

Frequently asked questions about polycystic kidney disease

What are the early symptoms of polycystic kidney disease?

Early symptoms of polycystic kidney disease (PKD) include pain in the abdomen or sides, blood in urine, frequent urination, and kidney stones.

How is polycystic kidney disease diagnosed?

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is typically diagnosed through imaging tests such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI, which detect cysts in the kidneys. Genetic testing can confirm the diagnosis in some cases.

What treatments are available for polycystic kidney disease?

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is diagnosed through imaging tests such as ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI, which can detect the presence of cysts in the kidneys. Genetic testing may also be used to confirm the diagnosis, especially in cases where there is a family history of PKD.

A woman holds her back where her kidneys are located, due to kidney disease.

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