Your kidney cyst symptoms may begin with pain or discomfort in the flank or midback where your kidney is located, or you may have other symptoms related to the function of your kidney such as dizziness, weakness, or a headache.
Your kidney cyst symptoms may be barely noticeable or effect your life dramatically. You may be able to treat your symptoms with medication or lifestyle changes. You may need to avoid certain activities or change the way you do certain things.
3 Types of Kidney Cysts
Kidney cysts can be divided into 3 categories, and kidney cyst symptoms can cover a wide variety of possibilities. Signs of these cysts can range from absolutely no symptoms at all to total kidney failure.
Simple kidney cyst is defined the pocket of fluid anywhere inside the kidney. The walls of the cyst are smooth and without irregularities, and the cyst is filled with clear yellow fluid or sometimes a simple cyst may be filled with blood. Simple cysts are very common being present in greater than 50% of people over 50 years of age. These cysts are benign and never become malignant. There is literally nothing to worry about.
Complex kidney cyst is defined as a cyst with some type of irregularity within it. It may be divided into one or more compartments, or it may be calcified. To determine if the contents of the cyst have a blood supply the radiologist may put a radioactive die into your bloodstream through an IV and take special x-rays to see if that die shows up on the inside of the cyst. Any type of cyst that has the blood supply is suspicious for kidney cancer.
Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is an inherited condition where cysts form within the kidney and gradually grow to displace the functioning kidney tissue. Over years these cysts lead to decreased kidney function and eventually kidney failure.
Simple Cyst Symptoms
In most cases Simple Cysts will cause no symptoms at all and are discovered as an incidental finding when an x-ray or an MRI is being done for other reasons.
Occasionally these cysts will fill with fluid and cause pressure within the kidney this may cause symptoms of back or flank pain. This can be easily treated by a radiologist who will put a needle into this test and drain out the fluid.
Simple kidney cysts that are found on x-rays performed for other reasons most often require no treatment except for observation.
Complex Cyst Symptoms
These cysts are not well understood and symptoms are often related to effects on kidney function. These will vary depending on location of the cyst within the kidney, and composition of the cyst.
Kidney infections may develop if the cyst blocks or restrict urine flow.
Blood in your urine may occur when the filtering units in your kidneys are not functioning correctly.
Hypertension may develop when your kidneys are not producing the enzymes that control your blood pressure.
Muscle weakness and fatigue can happen when your kidneys fail to produce the hormones that stimulate the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to the muscles.
Headache, dizziness, or difficulty concentrating may develop if your kidneys are not regulating your blood pressure and/or red blood cells correctly.
Back or flank pain may be present from pressure and swelling within the kidney.
Polycystic Kidney Disease Symptoms
The cysts that form in Polycystic Kidney Disease are similar to simple cysts, but the symptoms of PKD are more similar to those of a Complex Cyst, because the cysts that form with PKD are much more numerous.
PKD is a much more serious condition that develops and continues to progress over your lifetime. Symptoms are often related to kidney function, and 50% of people with PKD will have kidney failure by the age of 60.
Seeing Your Doctor
These kidney cyst symptoms may be a sign of serious health problems, or they may mean nothing. However, the only to know what your symptoms mean is to see your doctor or other medical professional. Ignoring your symptoms will not make them go away.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you need to be evaluated by your doctor. He can do simple blood tests and a urinalysis to determine what is causing your symptoms.
Early diagnosis is the key to early and effective treatment.