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Kidney Cyst

What is Kidney Cyst

What Causes Renal (Kidney) Cysts?

What are the Preventions of Kidney Cysts

What are the Tests of Kidney Cysts

What are the Symptoms of Kidney Cysts

What are the Treatments for Kidney Cysts?

What is the Diet for Kidney Cysts

What is the Prognosis of Kidney Cysts

What is Kidney Cyst

A cyst in kidney looks like bubble, in which there is liquid. It is a general term of renal cystic lesions. It can be single or multiple, simple or complex and it can affect unilateral kidney or bilateral kidneys. With the popularization of physical examination and wide application of B ultrasound and CT san, the detection rate of kidney cyst has had significant increase and it has become a common kidney disease in clinic. The common kidney cysts are renal cortical cyst, parapelvic kidney cysts, complex renal cyst, etc. With cysts growing, they will damage renal intrinsic cells and tissues.

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What Causes Renal (Kidney) Cysts?

A cyst is a small oval or round thin-walled sac with watery fluid insides. A cyst may grow in any part of the kidneys, such as renal cortex, renal medulla, renal parenchyma, etc.

The exact cause of kidney cyst remain unclear at present and it is usually regarded as senile disease since its incidence will increase along with age. 50% of those that are above 50 years old will have one or several simple kidney cysts and the incidence is up to 90% among those that are above 70.

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What are the Preventions of Kidney Cysts

1.Positive prevention of cold. Cold especially repeated cold is the main risk factor of inducing and worsening kidney cysts and other kidney diseases.

2.Avoid strenuous exercises and abdominal traumas and avoid tight belt to reduce the risk if cyst rupture and infections.

3. Control blood pressure. This prevention measure plays a decisive role in protecting renal functions.

4.Positive prevention of urinary tract infections (especially women) and other infections.

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What are the Tests of Kidney Cysts

1.Urinalysis. In case of combined renal parenchymal injury or combined infections, white blood cells and small amount of red blood cells can be detected in the urine.

2.B-ultrasound. The number, size and wall of cysts can be known and the cysts can be differentiated from renal parenchyma through B-ultrasound test. So B-ultrasound is the priority for renal cyst patients. Irregular echo or focal strengthened echo are warning signs of malignant lesions.

3.Intravenous pyelography: It can show the compressed state of renal parenchyma, which is caused by cysts, and it also can differentiate cystic kidney disease from hydronephrosis.

4.Renal function tests. Testing a sample of your blood may reveal whether a kidney cyst is impairing your kidney function or not.

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What are the Symptoms of Kidney Cysts

Usually, when the cysts are less than 3cm in diameter, patients don't have any symptom. But as the cysts grow bigger, it will oppress surrounding renal cells and tissues and lead to the following symptoms:

1. High blood pressure

The oppression of the cysts to kidneys will cause lack of blood supply and stimulate more secretion of renin resulting in high blood pressure . Even when the kidney functions are normal, there are more than 50% patients will have hypertension and when the kidney functions decline, the incidence of hypertension is even higher.

2.Pains in back, side or upper abdomen

The swelling of the cysts and kidneys will stretch the capsule and renal pedicle or squeeze the surrounding organs. The pain is usually dull and fixed in one or two sides. In case of cyst bleeding or infections, the pain will be sharpened and in case of kidney stone or urinary tract obstruction, there will be renal colic.

3.Infections, such as urinary tract infections (UTI).

Kidney cyst patients are easy to get urinary tract infection which in turn will worsen the cysts.

4.Abdominal mass.

Sometimes abdominal mass is the main reason for patients to see a doctor. 60% to 80% patients can sense enlargement of the kidney and the larger the kidney is than the normal size the worsen the kidney function is.


Generally the amount is small and protein leakage is less than 2g/d, therefore it will not develop nephrotic syndrome.


It can be microscopic hematuria or gross hematuria. Hematuria usually will worsen back pain and strenuous exercises, physical trauma or infections can induce or worsen hematuria. There are many arteries under the cyst wall and the increased pressure or infections will cause the blood vessels rupture and bleed.

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What are the Treatments for Kidney Cysts?

1.No treatment.

When the cysts are smaller than 3cm and patients have no injury or discomforts, usually no special treatment is offered and most physicians adopt a wait and see attitude. But it is also crucial to have regular follow-up checks including routine urine test, urine culture, renal function. In case of continuously decreased renal function, immediate and effective treatments are needed to protect the kidneys.

2. Surgery.

If the cysts damage the renal structure and renal functions, you may need to remove the cysts. Doctors may use a long needle or make a small incision into your skin so as to drain cystic fluid out. This therapy can remove the cysts and alleviate pains and discomforts in a short time. What is more, with the development of minimally invasive technology, the surgery will become more convenient. However, this therapy can only remove large cysts and it is more suitable for single and surface cysts, and the recurrent rate is high and the cysts will once again appear after the surgery.

3.Herbal Medicines.

Some Chinese herbal medicines have the functions of dilating blood vessels and clearing blood stasis so as to increase the blood supply in the kidneys. The states of hypoxia and ischemia will be improved and the cystic fluid will be re-absorbed into surrounding blood vessels and the cysts will be shrunk gradually.Those it takes a longer time to shrink the cysts, the effects will last for a long time and the recurrent rate is greatly reduced. However the treatment duration is so long that many patients can not bear the bitter taste of decoction and long term oral intake of decocted medicines will damage their gastrointestinal tracts.

4.Micro-Chinese Medicine Osmotherapy.

Micro-Chinese Medicine Osmotherapy is originated from Traditional Chinese Medicine and has overcome its disadvantages of slow effect and stimulation to the gastrointestinal tract. The medicines are micronized and then put into medicine packages which will be soaked in penetrant. During the treatment, two medicated packages will be put in the patient's renal areas and the biological ingredients in the medicines will arrive at kidney lesions directly and quickly. The active ingredients have the functions of shrinking cysts by softening the cyst wall and increase its permeability. What is more, the epithelial cells will be deactivated so that they will cease to secrete cystic fluids and the cysts will not enlarge any more.

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What is the Diet for Kidney Cysts

An appropriate diet is also very important for Renal Cyst patients. The following introduces some main points:

1.Patients should not have partiality for a particular kind of food. They should eat whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits, lean meat, eggs, milk, fish, etc. From the perspective of Chinese medicine, whole grains have all the medicinal properties. So in daily diet, the patients should eat whole grains so that the Renal Cyst can recover quickly.

2.Patients should control the intake of high quality protein and pay attention to the supplement of high-fiber, high cellulose, low-fat and moderate sugar. In particular, they should eat less animal protein because the animal protein can cause blood pressure to increase easily.

3. Patients must balance exertion and rest. The patient should have a good rest and avoid strenuous physical activities and abdominal trauma. When the cysts are large and obvious,it is better that patients should not wear belt so as to avoid cyst rupture. The patients should have a regular review every half year and it's recommended that their relatives to have B-ultrasound too.

4. Kidney Cysts patients should control salt intake. The amount of salt intake depends on the patient's illness condition and not all the patients with chronic renal insufficiency must limit salt strictly.

5. Kidney Cyst patients should control water intake. For the patients with mild Renal Failure, due to declined renal concentration function, more water is needed for discharging metabolic wastes from the body. So under this condition, if there is no obvious edema, heart failure or high blood pressure, they should not restrict water intake blindly.

6. Kidney Cyst patients should eat less greasy, spicy or excitant foods such as, chili, wine, shrimp, crab, rotten foods, leftovers and barbecue. The patients in the stage of Renal Insufficiency or Uremia should not eat beans products and meanwhile limit animal protein and greasy foods.

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What is the Prognosis of Kidney Cysts

Generally speaking, the prognosis is good. Kidney cysts are in most cases congenital. They can be single or multiple affecting unilateral or bilateral kidneys. If the cyst is small and no symptoms are caused, it will not affect the patient's health and normal life and some patients can even go through their life without knowing that they have kidney cysts. While large cysts or when obvious discomforts are caused, proper treatments are needed and timely and effective treatments can prevent kidney damage and protect kidney function.

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