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Kidney Cyst

What is Kidney Cyst?

Tests to diagnose kidney cyst

What are the symptoms of kidney cyst?

Treatment methods for kidney cyst

What to eat and not to eat with kidney cyst?

What is Kidney Cyst?

Kidney cyst refers to a medical condition in which fluid collection appears in kidney. There are different types of kidney cyst in medicine such as simple kidney cyst, complex kidney cyst, cortical cyst and multiple kidney cyst. In some cases, kidney cysts are small and meanwhile they cause no bad effects on kidney condition. In such a case, no treatment is needed. However, in some other cases, kidney cyst enlarges over time, which may cause damages on kidney and thus affect kidney function. At that time, medical treatment needs to be given as soon as possible; otherwise, kidney failure might be caused.

Tests to diagnose kidney cyst

The diagnosis of kidney cyst is based on imaging tests like ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT) scan and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). In some cases, radioisotope scan is also used to help to diagnose kidney cyst, but it can not tell kidney cyst and kidney tumor. Imaging test can help doctors determine whether a kidney mass is a cyst or a tumor.

What are the symptoms of kidney cyst?

1. No symptoms will be caused if kidney cyst is very small and meanwhile cause no kidney damages.

2. Kidney cyst patients may experience pain feeling in lower back, if kidney cyst pull renal capsule or when kidney cyst bursts.

3. Burst of kidney cyst is always accompanied with blood urine, so some kidney cyst patients may experience blood urine.

4. When kidney cyst damages kidney, kidney function decreases and this may cause various symptoms like high blood pressure, proteinuria, and hard masses under abdomen and so on.

Treatment methods for kidney cyst

For small kidney cyst (smaller than 3cm), no medical treatment is needed. What patients can do is to have regular test about kidney cyst, so as to know if it is enlarging over time. If the cyst does not enlarge over time, we can just leave it alone. However, if the cyst enlarges over time, we need to take some medical measures as soon as possible, so as to protect our kidneys from being damaged.

Operation is the most conventional treatment for kidney cyst. It helps to remove cyst in kidney quickly and immediately. However, it is painful and also may cause many side effects during the process such as kidney infection. Therefore, it is a commonly used but not an ideal treatment option for kidney cyst patients.

There are different kinds of operation for kidney cyst like LRCD (Laparoscopic Renal Cyst Decortication) and centesis. However, they are not the only two options. For patients with increasing and enlarged kidney cyst, they can try Chinese herbs. Herbal treatment is an important component of Chinese medicine which has been widely used to treat many refractory illnesses in medicine. So far about 12000 kinds of herbs have been put into medical usage and some of them are proven to be able to reduce fluid in cyst. We know in many cases, kidney cyst is due to increased fluid, so by reducing fluid inside the cyst, kidney cyst can be shrunk and kidney damages can be avoided. Compared with operation, Chinese herbs work slowly, but they are painless. Therefore, for kidney cyst patients who are looking to alternative treatment for kidney cyst, they can try Chinese medicine.

Lastly, simple kidney cyst seldom causes kidney damages, but if kidney function is unfortunately impaired, patients need to take some measures to restore kidney function on the premise of shrinking kidney cyst, and in this way, kidney failure can be prevented fundamentally.

What to eat and not to eat with kidney cyst?

If there are no kidney damages, we can arrange our diet normally. However, if kidney function is impaired, we need to make diet changes and try to avoid foods that may cause further deterioration of illness condition. Seeing from this aspect, patients need to follow on the following dietary principles:

1. Proper protein intake: Protein is essential for our healthy and we need to ingest enough protein everyday to make sure the normal function of our body. However, when kidney function is affected, high protein intake will increase kidney burden, which may cause the further deterioration of illness condition. Therefore, kidney cyst patients need to adjust their protein intake according to special illness condition if their cyst has caused impairment of kidney function.

2. Low-salt diet: High-salt diet contributes to the elevation of blood pressure, which can cause further kidney damages. Therefore, kidney cyst patients need to exclude pickles and processed foods from their diet if there are kidney damages.

3. Pay attention to potassium intake and phosphorus intake: When kidney function is impaired, patients will be at high risk for hyperpotassemia and hyperphosphatemia which may cause a series of health tissues if left uncontrolled. Therefore, to lower patients’ risk for these problems, they need to limit potassium intake and phosphorus intake in daily diet.

4. High-vitamin diet and high-fiber diet is also recommended not matter kidney damages are caused or not.


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