Kidney cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop on the kidneys and are typically harmless. Many of them are so small that they don’t cause any symptoms, and these are referred to as simple kidney cysts. However, if the cysts start to grow, they can lead to symptoms, but they generally remain noncancerous and of mild severity. The cause of kidney cysts is still unknown, and they often do not require treatment, resolving on their own over time. In some instances, though, the symptoms of kidney cysts can hinder kidney function and might signal a hereditary condition known as polycystic kidney disease.
Flank pain, which typically occurs on the side of your abdomen or back between your ribs and pelvis, is often characterized as a persistent, dull heaviness that can also cause sharp, shooting pains. Some of the most common causes of flank pain include urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and muscle strains or pinched nerves, making it challenging to identify the root of the symptom. However, if kidney cysts are the cause of the flank pain, it will likely manifest as a dull, aching sensation.
In medical terms, a fever is not considered significant unless it exceeds 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, although any temperature above the average 98.6 degrees can be classified as a fever. Individuals experiencing a fever typically feel cold and may exhibit symptoms such as shivering, sweating, and feeling hot to the touch. If a kidney cyst is the cause of the fever, it’s likely that the cyst has become infected. In such cases, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics as part of the treatment plan.
While insomnia isn’t a primary symptom of kidney cysts, issues with the kidneys can lead to nocturia, or frequent episodes of nighttime urination that interrupt sleep patterns. Insufficient or restless sleep can significantly impact one’s quality of life, resulting in fatigue and difficulty concentrating during the day. Nocturia is typically an indication of a urinary tract infection (UTI) or another type of infection, with kidney cysts being one potential cause.
Abdominal distension, or the swelling of the abdomen, may be caused by bloating due to food intolerance or, in cases of polycystic kidney disease (PKD), enlarged kidneys. When you have PKD, your kidneys can become enlarged as cysts obstruct the flow of urine. This condition may also cause you to experience pain, typically due to the enlarged kidneys pressing on the abdomen.
Increased Urination Frequency
Kidney issues can often result in increased urination frequency. If you find yourself using the bathroom more often than usual, you might notice that the amount of urine you’re producing doesn’t correspond to your water intake. This frequent urination can occur at any time of day, but it’s particularly noticeable when it happens at night. In the most severe cases, it can even lead to a loss of bladder control.
The color of your urine can provide valuable insights into your overall physical health. Typically, healthy urine should resemble the color of straw or appear as a relatively light shade of yellow. If your urine is dark, appearing brown, deep yellow, or even maroon, it indicates a higher concentration. While rehydrating your body can often resolve the issue of dark urine, if you notice that your urine remains dark despite increased water consumption, kidney cysts may be the underlying cause. As a public health journalist, it’s essential to be aware of such symptoms and consult a medical professional for further guidance.
Blood in Urine
Hematuria, the scientific term for blood in the urine, can be an indicator of kidney cysts. There are two types of hematuria: microscopic, where the blood is invisible to the naked eye, and gross, where the blood is visible in the urine. When kidney cysts are the cause, the blood tends to be visible, giving the urine a pinkish hue or a darker, brownish tone. The presence of blood in the urine can signal that a kidney cyst has ruptured, especially if it is accompanied by pain. As a public health journalist, it’s crucial to inform readers about these potential symptoms in order to promote early detection and treatment.
Tenderness, although not the same as pain, can range from mild to severe and varies from person to person. Most kidney issues cause tenderness in the flank area, making this symptom a useful diagnostic tool for identifying potential kidney cysts.
Water retention, or the buildup of excess fluids in body tissues, can manifest in various ways. You might notice swelling or puffiness in your lower legs and ankles, or even elsewhere on your skin. Numerous factors can contribute to water retention, ranging from pregnancy to kidney disease. If the issue is kidney-related, it’s more likely to be a symptom of polycystic kidney disease rather than a simple kidney cyst.
Experiencing painful urination is a primary indicator of a urinary tract infection (UTI) or kidney infection, which may be linked to kidney cysts. Individuals typically describe this discomfort as a burning or stinging sensation originating from the urethra. In some cases, it may even be challenging to urinate at all. Generally, a round of antibiotics can effectively treat and eliminate the infection.