• Sarah Irvine

My Kidney Story

Updated: Apr 16, 2019

Seeing as it's Kidney Health Week, I thought that I would share a little about my personal story.

When I was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease in my early 20s, it came as a complete shock. I had been experiencing headaches, which I put down to stress from study, an unhealthy amount of caffeine and high blood pressure, often fobbed off as white coat syndrome. After a few years of not being concerned or doctors taking much notice, I came across one that sent me for tests.

I remember getting test results back and being told I would need to have an ultrasound as it was showing decreased kidney function. The scans confirmed it and a week later I was sitting in the specialist's office being told that I have a life long diagnosis of chronic kidney disease. Polycystic kidney disease is a condition in which the kidneys become compromised by fluid-filled cysts. Usually hereditary, although no one else in my family has the diagnosis, I became very fearful of falling pregnant and passing the disease on to my own children. Fortunately, after genetic testing, it showed that they would be highly unlikely to inherit it and it would be safe to conceive.

13 plus years on and two pregnancies later, my kidneys are still doing well. The function has dropped from about 95% when diagnosed to 70% after the birth of my second son. I have been on medication since the diagnosis which maintains my blood pressure and protects my kidneys from further damage. At this stage, it's likely that they will continue to function adequately, but there is always a chance that I will end up on dialysis and worst case scenario needing a transplant.

To learn more, make a donation or take a test to see if your at risk visit @kidneyhealth

Australian Kidney Stats

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