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Polycystic Kidney Disease& Kidney Cysts

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PKD & Kidney Cysts

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a group of disorders that result from the formation and progressive enlargement of cysts in the kidneys without dysplasia, usually leading to renal failure.

Foamy Urine And Polycystic Kidney Disease

2013-04-04 16:42

Polycystic kidney disease patients often find that their urine is foamy and if this condition lasts for long time or if it becomes worse, it indicates abnormal proteins pass through the glomerular filtration membrane.

Different from foamy urine in nephrotic syndrome, usually PKD patients will not have too much foams in urine and their 24-h urine protein is usually 1-2g when foamy urine first appears. This is because in the early stage of PKD, it is the renal tubules that are damaged.

Renal glomeruli and renal tubules are important renal tissues. Renal glomeruli has the function to filter and purify the blood that flows into the kidneys to return useful substances such as proteins, red blood cells back into the blood and filter metabolic wastes and toxins from the blood. Of cause, there are small amount of useful substances such as micromolecule protein passing through the filtration membrane. One major function of renal tubules is to re-absorb these useful substances back. When renal tubules are damaged, these proteins can not be re-absorbed, that is why in the early stage proteinuria is not very serious.

However with the continuous enlargement of these cysts in the kidneys, renal glomeruli will be damaged and large amount of proteins will be leaked into urine. Therefore if patients notice more foams in urine or if there are more plus in their urine protein test, it means there are both glomerular proteinuria and tubular proteinuria.

If not well treated, proteinuria can worsen the prognosis of PKD because the leaking of excess proteins can further damage renal filtering system and cause even more proteins to be lost in urine.

It has been studied that high blood pressure drugs (ACEI, ARB) along with protein-restricted diets can help treat proteinuria so as to reduce foams and bubbles in urine and slow down illness progression. Daily protein intake should be controlled within 0.7-1.0g. For those that have developed into stage 3 CKD, protein intake should be less than 0.6g and even less protein is allowed with continuous deterioration of kidney functions.

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