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PKD Headache: Causes and Management

PKD Headache: Causes and ManagementPolycystic Kidney Disease, also referred to as PKD, is an inherited disease, characterized by numerous fluid filled cysts growing in the kidneys. Headache is one of the most common symptoms of this disorder. What are the causes of this discomfort and how to manage it well? Chat with our online doctor for free and personalized advice!

Causes of headache in PKD

High blood pressure. Around 60% of those afflicted with this kidney disease develop increased blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure may result in migraines and possible stroke (with the biggest warning sign being a sudden severe headache for no known reason).

Aneurysm in brain. A very severe headache might be caused by an brain aneurysm, a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. Aneurysm occurs more frequently with PKD and with a history of a previous family member having an aneurysm.


A PKD sufferer with recurring or serious headache should see a doctor even before using any medications. After making an early diagnosis about the actual cause of head pain, prompt treatment need to be carried out to eliminate this problem. Helpful treatments may include:

Healthy lifestyle - lose weight for overweight or obese individuals. Quit smoking and do not drink. Eat a healthy diet and reduce the sodium intake. Get regular aerobic exercise such as walking.

Medications - drugs prescribed by the doctor may include ACE inhibitors, ARBs, diuretics, etc.

If an aneurysm is discovered, surgical clipping may be needed to decrease the risk of bleeding. For a small one, nonsurgical treatments like controlling elevated levels of blood pressure and blood cholesterol, and quit smoking can be helpful.

As is the case with other chronic kidney disease, having headache and PKD may make you feel overwhelmed. But you don't have to deal with your illness alone. We are always here to offer support and help! Any question? Leave a message in the below or email us at

  • Tag: PKD Symptoms
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