You may have never heard of Polycystic Kidney Disease, or maybe you or a loved one was recently diagnosed. Regardless, you need to know what this disease is. It’s straightforward, partially explained by the name alone. It is a Kidney Disease, as the name says, but what does Polycystic mean? Poly is a prefix derived from the Greek word for many. Cysts are membranous sacs of fluid growing in places they shouldn’t be.
So, if you put it all together, Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is a disease that causes abnormal clusters of cysts to grow in the kidneys. These clusters can grow so large that they can eventually impair your kidney’s ability to function. The disease affects about 600,000 people in the United States. It’s a genetic disease, which means you are either born with it or you aren't. If you are born with it, it often won’t show itself until you’re in your 30’s or 40’s.
What does this all mean? Cysts grow on kidneys, and you won’t find out if you have it until you’re decades into life? What can be done? Can it be avoided? Read on to find out everything you need to know.
Did you know...
- A hearty laugh is good for the heart. Laughing can increase blood flow by 20%. Additionally, looking on the bright side can help you live longer. Studies have shown that a more optimistic outlook is linked to a healthier heart, lower blood pressure, and a lower risk for coronary artery disease.
- Need a quick cool down? Try drinking some hot liquid. It's true! As counterintuitive as it may seem, the heat from hot liquids will raise your body temperature. This will heat you up and cause you to sweat. The increased perspiration will wind up helping you feel cooler as it evaporates. Try it out!
- Have you ever told your husband something and he promptly forgets it? It's not his fault, actually. It really is because he's a man. The hippocampus (the part of the brain that deals with memory) begins to shrink with age faster in men than it does in women. That's why you can remember everything, and he can't!
- Just saying the words "thank you" can measurably improve your mood. Researchers can actually measure happiness and changes in brain structure when people practiced regular "grateful thinking." This included things like writing thank you notes, writing gratitude journal entries, mindfully counting their blessings, and thanking friends. It may be helpful in overcoming depression!
- Do you know what the strongest muscle in your body is? No, it’s not your biceps or your thighs. It’s actually in your head. The masseter is a muscle in the jaw that is used when chewing. When all of the muscles of the jaw work together, they can exert a force as strong as 200 pounds on the molars. That’s some serious pressure.