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A cyst is a fluid-filled sac. You may get simple kidney cysts as you age; they are usually harmless. There are also some diseases which cause kidney cysts. One type is polycystic kidney disease (PKD). It runs in families. In PKD, many cysts grow in the kidneys. This can enlarge the kidneys and make them work poorly. About half of people with the most common type of PKD end up with kidney failure. PKD also causes cysts in other parts of the body, such as the liver.

Often, there are no symptoms at first. Later, symptoms include

  • Pain in the back and lower sides
  • Headaches
  • Blood in the urine

Doctors diagnose PKD with imaging tests and family history. There is no cure. Treatments can help with symptoms and complications. They include medicines and lifestyle changes, and if there is kidney failure, dialysis or kidney transplants.

Acquired cystic kidney disease (ACKD) happens in people who have chronic kidney disease, especially if they are on dialysis. Unlike PKD, the kidneys are normal sized, and cysts do not form in other parts of the body. ACKD often has no symptoms. Usually, the cysts are harmless and do not need treatment. If they do cause complications, treatments include medicines, draining the cysts, or surgery.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Symptoms of Kidney Cysts

The following features are indicative of Kidney Cysts:
  • dull back pain
  • fever
  • upper abdominal pain
  • blood in urine
  • drowsiness
  • joint pain
  • nail abnormalities
  • polyuria
  • nocturia
  • weakness
  • salt cravings
It is possible that Kidney Cysts shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Kidney Cysts

The following are the most common causes of Kidney Cysts:
  • weakening of kidney's surface layer and formation of pouch which fills with fluid
  • genetic factors

Risk Factors for Kidney Cysts

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Kidney Cysts:
  • older age

Prevention of Kidney Cysts

No, it is not possible to prevent Kidney Cysts.
  • genetic factors

Occurrence of Kidney Cysts

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Kidney Cysts cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Kidney Cysts can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Kidney Cysts can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Kidney Cysts

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Kidney Cysts:
  • Ultrasound: To distinguish harmless cysts from other problems
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan: To find cysts and tumors in the kidneys
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): To visualize kidney tumor or abnormality
  • Kidney function tests: To check whether kidney cyst is impairing kidney function

Doctor for Diagnosis of Kidney Cysts

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Kidney Cysts:
  • Nephrologist

Complications of Kidney Cysts if untreated

Yes, Kidney Cysts causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Kidney Cysts is left untreated:
  • infected cyst causing fever and pain
  • burst cyst causing severe pain in back
  • urine obstruction
  • hydronephrosis

Procedures for Treatment of Kidney Cysts

The following procedures are used to treat Kidney Cysts:
  • Surgery: To drain and remove the cyst
  • Puncturing and draining method: To shrink the size of cyst

Self-care for Kidney Cysts

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Kidney Cysts:
  • Keep blood pressure in control: Prevent or delay diabetes complications
  • Cholesterol control: Decreases the chances of disease
  • Quit smoking: Reduces the chances of kidney damage
  • Regular physical activity: Keep the blood glucose and blood cholesterol levels in control
  • Keep weight under control: Helps the kidneys to last longer

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Kidney Cysts

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Kidney Cysts:
  • Acupuncture therapy: Improves the kidney function
  • Do meditation: Improves the functioning of kidneys

Patient Support for Treatment of Kidney Cysts

The following actions may help Kidney Cysts patients:
  • Learn about Disease: Read out the information as much as possible about the illness
  • Stay active: Stay involved in the activities and responsibilities of daily living
  • Family interaction: Share your feelings with family or close friends
  • Meetings with other patients: Share your feelings with other patients

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Kidney Cysts.
Kidney Diseases
Kidney Failure
Kidney Tests
Kidney Transplantation

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