ADPKD Signs & Symptoms

The symptoms of ADPKD

With many health conditions, you know something is wrong because you don’t feel well. ADPKD is different. Damage can be taking place in your kidneys for years while you feel perfectly fine. In fact, most people with ADPKD do not notice any symptoms until they are between 30 and 50 years old.

As ADPKD gets worse, you may start to experience some of these symptoms:

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) or kidney infections

High blood pressure

Pain in your back or side

Swelling in your belly

Enlarged kidneys

Protein in your urine


The only way to find out if you have ADPKD is to be screened. You should be screened for ADPKD if you notice certain signs or symptoms, which are often caused by complications of the disease.

Remember, even when there are no symptoms, ADPKD is damaging your kidneys. It’s important to take steps to manage the disease early. Doing so may help you manage some of the complications that occur as the disease progresses.

You should be screened for ADPKD if you have a family history of ADPKD.

Understanding early kidney failure

If you have ADPKD, there is a good chance you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant at some point in your life.

Half of all people with ADPKD will have kidney failure (end-stage renal disease) by the age of 60 and will require dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Your risk of being one of the 50% who reach kidney failure by age 60 depends on your personal risk factors.


In some people with ADPKD, kidney failure develops on average 20 years earlier than others with ADPKD. Although you may think your disease is advancing slowly because changes happen over a number of years, you may still be at risk for early kidney failure. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above before the age of 30, you may be at risk for early kidney failure.

Most people with ADPKD are at risk for early kidney failure. The only way to know your rate of disease progression is to check with your healthcare provider.

Fact or Fiction?

Fact or Fiction?

In ADPKD, cysts damage your kidneys, making it harder for the kidneys to work.

Fact or Fiction?

ADPKD Can be diagnosed by ultrasound.

Fact or Fiction?

If I feel fine, then my ADPKD is not progressing.