Unlike solid kidney stones, kidney cysts are fluid-filled pouches that are usually non-cancerous and harmless. Some of these cysts are associated with kidney disorders and can further lead to complications.
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Types of kidney cyst:
- Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic disorder that develops due to an unknown cause. The cause of kidney cysts has not been understood completely for now. According to one theory, kidney cyst develops due to a weak spot on the kidney (diverticulum). The fluid-filled pouch detaches itself and then become a cyst.
- Another theory believes that kidney cysts are developed due to an obstruction of the tubules that help in urination. Polycystic kidney disease is always noncancerous and doesn't cause any problem. Sometimes, affected individuals may even live their entire life without knowing about this condition. This disorder is characterized by clusters of fluid-filled sacs, which are called cysts. Complications of polycystic kidney disease may include pain, urinary tract infections, high blood pressure, liver cysts, and kidney failure.
- Medullary cystic kidney disease (MCKD): It is an inherited condition, which results in cyst formation in the inner part of the kidney called medulla. This condition may cause kidney failure in people between the ages of 20 to 50.
- Medullary sponge kidney: In this condition, cysts are developed in the urine-collecting ducts and tubules of one or both kidneys. This condition is considered to be inherited, but the real cause is not known.
Symptoms of kidney cysts
Generally, simple kidney cysts are symptomless. However, if they grow large enough you may encounter the following symptoms:
- Dull pain in the place of your kidneys
- Upper abdominal pain
- Blood in the urine
- Decreased kidney function
- High blood pressure
- Frequent urination at night - nocturia
- Burning during urination and abdominal pain associated with some urinary tract infections
- Frequent urination along with fatigue, shortness of breath, swollen ankles, and itching skin
Treatment and diagnosis of kidney cysts
Diagnosis of kidney cysts is done by looking at a patient’s medical history. Besides that, the patient’s blood and urine tests, ultrasound and CT scan, and gene linkage analysis are done. If you are experiencing the symptoms, you need to see a doctor immediately.
A few treatment options for kidney cysts involve puncturing and draining filled with alcohol. The alcohol solution prevents reforming of the cysts. The cyst can also be removed with surgery.
Natural remedies for kidney cysts
- Generally, kidney cysts are harmless and you need not worry about them unless they begin to annoy you. Instead of chemical-induced treatments, you may apply home remedies to treat kidney cysts.
- To begin with, you can start a low-sodium diet. You need to avoid high sodium foods like table seafood, canned foods, table salt, and cured meat. This is because with high amount of sodium intake body begins to retain fluid, adding more stress to the kidneys. So, low-sodium diet will avoid stress on kidneys.
- For kidney cysts treatment, you need to have a low-fat and high-fiber diet. This will help you in reducing blood pressure, and minimize complications associated with PKD.
- Take some flaxseed oil to reduce kidney cysts naturally. You also need to have nine portions of fruits and vegetables daily.
- You also need to reduce your protein intake - as protein-rich diet can make your kidneys work harder and stress them. In severe cases, a cyst can also damage the kidney and have difficulty in expelling waste. Therefore, you need to minimize the intake of protein in your food. The protein-rich foods that you need to avoid are: meat, eggs, fish, turkey, chicken, milk, yogurt, cream, and cheese.