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Exploring the Role and Function of the Kidneys

Polycystic kidney disease

Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder that causes multiple cysts to form within the kidneys. Cysts are sac-like structures filled with fluid and may contain pus or blood that continue to grow over time. The growing cysts compresses the surrounding tissue eventually leading to kidney damage. The lack of healthy kidney tissue leads to chronic kidney disease.  
Symptoms include:

  • Flank pain (pain experienced in the upper abdomen and back) usually caused my bleeding into the cysts
  • Enlarged kidneys
  • Blood in the urine
  • Hypertension

It is important to note that symptoms do not occur unless the cysts are enlarged.