An enlarged kidney can happen for any number of reasons: ranging from polycystic kidney disease to hydronephrosis or even the absence of one kidney that causes the remaining one to increase in size. The treatment for enlarged kidneys is dictated by the underlyng medical condition that caused the kidney to get larger in the first place.
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Consider surgery for either the removal of cysts if the kidney is large due to PKD (polycystic kidney disease). There is no cure for PKD, but cyst removal does help patient to feel less discomfort. A kidney transplant is also a last alternative for PKD sufferers.
Obtain a prescription for low-dose antibiotic that can be taken daily to treat urinary tract infections if the patient has been diagnosed with hydronephrosis. Hydronephrosis is a condition where the kidneys become enlarged because the urinary tract is blocked, which causes the flow of urine to slow down and place pressure on the kidneys. Surgery to relieve the blockage is also considered when other measures do not improve the urine flow.
Take antibiotics to treat pyelonephritis, an infection that spreads from the bladder to the urethra to the kidneys and can cause one or both to enlarge. A culture must be obtained to determine exactly which antibiotic to take. Pyelonephritis usually resolves itself with antibiotics and the kidneys will return to normal size.
Monitoring is really the main component of treating an enlarged kidney because it has to perform the work of two kidneys. When a person is missing a kidney either due to removal or being born with only one at birth, it is natural for the remaining kidney to become larger from additional use.
Tips and warnings
- PKD sufferers must be mindful of which physical activities they participate in. Contact sports such as football, hockey and basketball place PKD patients at risk for rupturing or tearing a cyst. For those with extremely large kidneys, sports that jostle the body (like running, for instance) can prove quite painful. Sports should be considered on a case-by-case basis, and OK'd by the patient's doctor.
- Always go to a doctor if you show any symptoms of kidney enlargement. A doctor will almost always order a sonogram to rule out the presence of a tumour that may be mimicking the symptoms of kidney enlargement.
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