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Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic disease, where many cysts grow inside or on the surface of the kidneys. As per Ayurveda, the balance of three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) drives the Kidney’s functions in the body. If there is an imbalance between these three doshas, a kidney cyst or Gurda Granthi is formed. PKD varies in severity, but the complications are preventable. PKD treatment in ayurveda focuses on balancing the doshas, purifying the body from within and addressing the root cause of the disease. 

According to Ayurveda, the problem arises in the body due to an erratic lifestyle, inadequate diet and a lack of physical activity. Ayurvedic treatment for polycystic kidney disease suggests lifestyle changes that might help you reduce damage to your kidneys from further damage.

PKD or Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic condition. A congenital disease is caused due to a deviation from the normal sequencing of DNA. PKD leads the cysts to grow inside the kidneys. The growth of cysts increases the size of the kidneys and damages the underlying tissues. Polycystic kidney disease can also be the cause of chronic kidney disease. This, in the future, can be the reason for kidney failure or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Ayurvedic treatment for polycystic kidney disease or ayurvedic treatment for PKD not only offers you ayurvedic medicine for polycystic kidney disease, but it also provides you with dietary modifications for an effective PKD treatment.

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Polycystic kidney diseases are of two types:

  • Autosomal dominant PKD
  • Autosomal recessive PKD.

Autosomal dominant PKD (ADPKD)

It is a condition where the growth of cysts is limited to kidneys. This is also known as ‘adult PKD’. People suffering from ‘adult PKD’  are usually 30-50 years old.

Autosomal recessive PKD (ARPKD)

Autosomal recessive PKD is also known as “Infantile PKD”. It is called infantile PKD because this condition has been observed in babies in their first few months or even before birth. It is a condition where the growth of cysts is found in both the kidneys and the liver.

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What are cysts?

Cysts are sac-like pockets of membranous tissues containing fluid, air, or other substances. People with PKD develop many cysts inside their kidneys. The growth of these cysts leads to enlarged kidneys. These cysts grow from tiny filters (nephrons) in the kidneys. It has been observed that people with PKD can have thousands of cysts in their kidneys at once. A kidney with PKD can weigh up to 30 pounds.

What are the commonly observed causes of Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)?

PKD is a genetically inherited disease. It can be observed in people of any gender, age, race, ethnicity, and nationality. It is a fact that if your blood relative is carrying PKD, you also have the probability of developing PKD or carrying the genes causing it. 

It must be noted that if you are not showing the signs and symptoms of PKD but carrying the genes that cause PKD, then you are called a carrier. This condition is possible in the case of autosomal recessive PKD.

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Can we prevent ourselves from PKD?

It is very difficult to prevent ourselves from either type of PKD. Polycystic kidney disease natural treatment has emerged as a good option for those who want a safe, side-effects free treatment. However, certain lifestyle changes can surely rejuvenate your kidneys. These tips include:

  • Stop Smoking
  • Reduce the use of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines.
  • Regular Exercise.
  • Adopting a low-fat and low-salt diet.
  • Maintain adequate blood pressure levels.
  • Maintain adequate blood sugar levels.
  • Keep a healthy weight.
  • Limit alcohol intake.

How is Acquired Cystic Kidney Disease (ACKD) different from PKD?

It must be noted that ACKD is not a type of PKD. Cysts develop inside the kidneys  in the ACKD as well, people with ACKD are not born with it unlike PKD. ACKD is caused by chronic kidney disease or end-stage kidney failure.

ACKD is more commonly observed in people who have been carrying kidney disease for some time. It occurs most often in people who are undergoing dialysis. Please note that these cysts are not caused by dialysis treatments.

What are the causes of Autosomal Dominant PKD?

ADPKD is caused due to a specific gene that has been inherited from a parent carrying ADPKD. But it also has been observed that this genetic problem can happen independently too. In such cases, the child is born with ADPKD even when neither parent carries it. (This is the rarest condition and occurs in only 1 out of every 10 cases of ADPKD.)

How to identify the symptoms of ADPKD?

It has been observed that children show symptoms much earlier than adults. The symptoms commonly observed are:

  • Back and side pain
  • Blood in your urine
  • Headaches

These are the most commonly observed but overlapping symptoms with many other diseases.

To confirm the possibility of PKD, your health care provider may want you to take one of the following tests:

  • Imaging tests, like ultrasonography (USG), CT scans, and MRI scans
  • Genetic tests to assess the presence of disease-carrying gene using the sample of your blood or saliva

These imaging tests are done to identify the presence of visible signs of cysts in your kidneys, while the genetic tests tell the type of PKD you have or if you can develop this disease in the future. Genetic tests are not quick and thus take time to confirm.

What are the common complications associated with ADPKD?

Kidney pain and high blood pressure are commonly observed in people with ADPKD. Other complications associated with ADPKD are:

  • Brain aneurysms
  • Colon problems
  • Pancreatic Cysts
  • Problems in Valves of Heart
  • Kidney failure or ESRD
  • Kidney stones
  • Liver cysts
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Preeclampsia is also commonly found in pregnant women who have ADPKD.

What is the treatment available for ADPKD?

There is no confirmed cure for ADPKD as such, but there are treatments that may slow down the progression of the disease. You must consult your doctor to suggest ways to manage your condition.

What are the probable causes for Autosomal Recessive PKD (ARPKD)?

ARPKD is an inherited disease. In this condition, the child is born with the disease when both parents are carriers of the gene causing it. The disease usually does not affect each generation of a family.

How to check if I am a carrier?

Genetic testing is the only way to know the presence of the gene that causes ARPKD. Tests are done with your blood or saliva samples. These tests check the presence of a specific gene called PKHD1. If tests validate the presence of this gene in your body, you are normally considered a carrier.

How to know the presence of ARPKD in my child?

Markers of ARPKD can be easily checked before the child’s birth. Pregnant women undergo regular ultrasounds, and these ultrasound images can show increased kidney size than normal ones.

Another quickly observed sign of ARPKD is a lack of amniotic fluid in the womb. Babies with ARPKD have damaged kidneys, and their kidneys are not able to make enough amniotic fluid. Ultrasound images indicate the presence of a little amount of amniotic fluid around the baby.

Other few commonly observed symptoms in babies born with ARPKD include:

  • Breathing issues
  • High blood pressure
  • Problems/ improper growth of baby’s face and limbs
  • Swollen belly
  • Vomiting after feeding

Children with ARPKD at times do not show any symptoms, while the cases of severe ARPKD may indicate problems in kidney and liver problems, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • UTIs
  • Back or side pain
  • Varicose veins
  • Lower than average height and weight

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What are the complications of ARPKD?

The complications observed in children depend upon the severity of the disease. The disease severely affects kids who show symptoms before birth. Babies born with severe ARPKD may die within a few hours or days of birth.

Children with ARPKD may also show the following complications:

  • Kidney failure before adulthood
  • Liver damage
  • Hypertension
  • UTIs

What is the treatment for ARPKD?

ARPKD is not curable. Cure for polycystic kidney disease mainly focuses on managing symptoms and complications. The treatment is usually dependent upon the severity of the disease and includes:

  • Dialysis (peritoneal or hemodialysis)
  • Hypertension medicine
  • Antibiotics
  • Liver and kidney transplant

What is the role of Ayurveda in PKD?

Ayurvedic treatment for polycystic kidney disease offers a wholesome approach towards treating this disease. The various herbs that are used in certain combinations for treating kidney patients are gokshura, guggul, haridra, vijayasar etc. These herbs are mixed in a certain ratio and formulations are prepared to heal the patients’ symptoms. Always be sure to take the advice of your doctor before consuming any drug.

Additionally, ayurvedic treatment for polycystic kidney disease also lists out few advices for patients w.r.t. controlling the symptoms of the disease. Some of them are:

  1. Adequate amount of water to keep the body cells toxin-free.
  2. Exercise daily (at least 30 minutes)
  3. Manage a healthy weight.
  4. Avoid smoking and avoid alcohol consumption.
  5. Detoxify the body with natural/herbal ingredients.
  6. Try to avoid non-vegetarian and dairy products in your diet.

Disclaimer: Polycystic Kidney infection is a progressive condition that needs to be controlled in time. We recommend opting for Ayurveda for the genuine revival of the capabilities. If you are already pursuing a treatment, we strictly advise you not to make any changes in your schedule or diet without consulting your doctor or dietitian. For further advice, you can use this helpline: +91-9821929797 number or visit www.karmaayurvedahospital.com.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) and why is it important to treat it?

    PKD is a genetic disorder characterised by an abnormal growth of cysts in the kidneys. This results in the enlargement of our kidneys, eventually leading to a reduction in the overall functioning of your kidneys. Treating PKD early would ensure a healthy life for you.

  • Genetic mutations are the main culprit here. 2 types of PKD are Autosomal Dominant PKD (ADPKD), which affects adults, and Autosomal Recessive PKD (ARPKD), which manifests itself in infancy or in early childhood. In both the types, the offspring carries the mutated genes from their parents.

  • High blood pressure, back or side pain, headaches, blood in the urine, a  higher frequency of urinary tract infections (UTIs), and kidney stones. A further progression of the disease can lead to CKD and eventually, kidney failure.

  • Imaging tests such as ultrasound, CT scans, or MRI are used to diagnose this disease. In some cases, genetic testing may also be conducted to zero down on the specific mutations present in the patient.

  • Treatment for PKD is about managing symptoms of the patients and preventing further complications. Allopathic medicines to control blood pressure and pain, antibiotics for infections etc. are often used in modern-day medicine. Alternatively, ayurvedic treatment for polycystic kidney disease focuses primarily on ayurvedic medicine for polycystic kidney disease and lifestyle changes to improve the quality of life of the patients.

  • Ayurvedic treatment for PKD involves the use of specific ayurvedic medicine for polycystic kidney disease like punarnava, gokshura, and varun to treat the root cause of the disease. PKD treatment in ayurveda also advises patients to manage their stress via Yoga. Dietary modifications also find a prominent place in the ayurvedic treatment for PKD.

  • Polycystic kidney disease natural treatment puts a lot of emphasis on diet control to manage the disease. Your first job is to limit your salt and phosphorus intake. Additionally, avoiding processed foods and keeping a check on your protein intake is also important. Make a conscious effort to consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. As with other kidney issues, staying well-hydrated all the time is vital as well.

  • Not really, but an early diagnosis and proactive management of the symptoms can help slow down the progression of the disease and prevent further complications. Regular check-ups and following medical advice are crucial.

  • Polycystic kidney disease natural treatment includes maintaining a healthy diet, staying well-hydrated, and using specific ayurvedic herbs to support kidney health. PKD treatment in ayurveda covers all these aspects. It is essential to consult with a healthcare provider before relying on natural remedies alone, as medical treatment is often necessary.

  • You should see a doctor if you experience symptoms such as high blood pressure, back or side pain, blood in the urine, frequent UTIs, or if you have a family history of PKD. Early diagnosis and treatment are important for managing the disease effectively.

  • Untreated PKD can lead to serious complications including chronic kidney disease, kidney failure, liver cysts, heart valve problems, aneurysms, and high blood pressure. Early detection and treatment would help you in avoiding these issues in the future.

  • PKD is a chronic condition. The best you can do is to manage your symptoms well. Additionally, have a healthy diet, exercise often and manage your stress well.

  • A high blood pressure puts a lot of pressure on our kidneys. Make sure you manage your blood-pressure so that your kidneys remain healthy.

  • Lifestyle modifications such as exercising regularly, having a healthy diet, staying well-hydrated, avoiding alcohol, tobacco, high-on protein foods, processed foods, meat etc. keep your kidneys healthy. If your kidneys are healthy, your chances of getting PKD go down significantly.

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