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Ultrasound showed benign cyst in kidney. Blood test showed low vitamin D. Should I be worried about PKD?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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A year and a half ago an ultrasound revealed that I had a small (don't remember measurement) benign cyst on my right kidney. Nephrologist did a urine test and physical examination, told me not to worry, but to check again in a few years. I am prone to worrying, and a blood test revealed that I have low Vitamin D this XXXXXXX January. Should I be worried about PKD? I'm going to investigate further, I'm just looking for peace of mind for the time being. In my mind I have PKD, could I possibly be wrong?
Posted Sat, 11 Aug 2012 in Kidney Conditions
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 2 hours later
hello and welcome to health care magic.

The kidneys are responsible for the removal of waste from the blood. Cysts are pouches or sacs of fluid.
Persons can have simple cysts or cysts related to actually go through life without knowing that they have cysts. These cysts that cause no problems usually do not require any treatment. Usually , as your doctor suggested, occasionally imaging studies as done to assess the size. if symptoms occur or the cysts starts to increase in size treatment maybe necessary ( this would either be surgery or drainage).
Symptoms include pain in your back or side, upper abdominal pain, fever, frequent urination, blood in the urine.

Polycystic kidney disease , on the other hand, is a genetic disorder that results in the growth of numerous cysts in the kidney. Polycystic disease can cause the kidneys to eventually fail and lead to cysts in the liver and problems with other organs as well. The symptoms would include: infections of the the urinary tract, blood in the urine, cysts of the liver and pancreas, high blood pressure, kidney stones. Pain in the abdomen or back is the most common initial complaint ( caused by infection, enlargement of cysts, bleeding or stones).

To diagnose polycystic kidney disease by ultrasound you would need to have the following at your age:
(1) at least 2 cysts in one kidney or one in each in a kidney in a person at risk ( family history of polycystic kidney disease)

Most persons have simple cysts. In the absence of the above symptoms, family history or if you do not fullfil the above criteria then it most likely that it is a simple cyst.
You should speak to your doctor if you develop any symptoms or if you remain concerned.
I hope I have answered your question, feel free to ask any additional questions.
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