Kidney Cyst

What is a Kidney Cyst?

Kidney cysts are, as the name suggests, located in the kidneys. These cysts are typically fluid filled pouches located in the kidneys. These cysts are usually a concern because they can impair kidney function, or be a sign of a more serious health condition.

For the most part, kidney cysts are usually non cancerous and rarely cause complications. However, in order to determine whether they will cause any danger to an individual, the doctor must investigate the problem further.

Doctors are not sure what causes kidney cysts that are considered simple kidney cysts. Usually, a person only suffers from a single cyst on the kidney’s surface. However, it is possible for multiple cysts to affect one, or both of the kidneys. Simple kidney cysts are usually found during routine imaging scans, or scans that are being completed for other reasons. Usually, there are no signs or symptoms associated with them. As long as they do not cause any symptoms, medical treatment is not necessary.

What are the Symptoms of Kidney Cysts?

Simple kidney cysts do not typically do not cause any signs or symptoms for the person who is affected. If a cyst does grow large enough, the person may suffer from some mild symptoms.

Symptoms include

  • A dull pain in the back, right under the ribs.
  • Fever
  • Pain in the upper abdomen

Kidney Cysts Causes

Kidney cysts come in both simple and complex types. For patients who get the simple type, there is no known cause of the condition. One theory for the development of simple cysts is that a weak area on the surface of the kidney can create a pouch, which then becomes a cyst. Men have an increased risk of this cyst type. The complex type does have several known and suspected causes. There are underlying medical conditions that can cause the complex type of kidney cyst, including polycystic kidney disease. There are also parasitic infections that can cause this condition. Tapeworms are one of the most common types of these infections.

Patients are at an increased risk of simple kidney cysts as they age. This type is not believed to be an inherited condition. A major risk factor for the complex type is undergoing kidney dialysis. The type can have a genetic cause that has been inherited.

How is a Kidney Cyst Treated?

Medical treatment may not be required. If there are no signs or symptoms, and kidney function is not being interfered with, medical treatment will not be recommended. Your doctor may recommend a regular ultrasound to monitor the growth of the cyst. Most of the time, kidney cysts go away on their own and do not need any interference from medical personnel.

Treatments include

If a kidney cyst does require treatment, there are two options that doctors can use. Some doctors prefer to puncture and drain a cyst. After draining the cyst, the doctor fills it with alcohol in an effort to prevent the cyst from returning.

If the cyst is in a location that interferes in kidney function, the doctor may recommend surgery to remove the cyst.

Kidney Cysts Prevention

The best way to prevent developing a kidney cyst is to eat a healthy diet and to live a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise. It is believed that avoiding toxins, unhealthy foods and infections can prevent some kidney cysts from forming. When kidney cysts are already present, patients should take steps to prevent them from getting bigger. Larger cysts can pose a health hazard, and patients can avoid the growth of these cysts by drinking water often instead of other drinks. Some researchers believe that using vitamin B3 supplements can also prevent them by stopping a specific protein from growing the cysts. Keeping your blood pressure under control is another important preventative step. Having high blood pressure that is not being treated can make the growth of kidney cysts more likely. In general, give up any unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol and taking illegal drugs. These can all leave the body more susceptible to damage.

Resources