Polycystic Kidneys (PKD)
Polycystic kidney disease impacts thousands in the United States alone and that number is in the millions worldwide. But, many people have never heard of it. Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is an inherited kidney disorder that enlarges the kidneys and interferes with kidney function due to multiple cysts on the kidneys.
In early stages of the disease, the cysts enlarge the kidney and interfere with kidney function, resulting in chronic high blood pressure and kidney infections. The cysts may cause the kidneys to increase production of erythropoietin (the hormone that stimulates production of red blood cells) resulting in too many red blood cells, rather than the expected anemia of chronic kidney disease.
This disease progresses slowly. It develops until it causes “end-stage” kidney disease in which dialysis and transplantation are the only forms of treatment.