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.