APOL1-mediated kidney disease (AMKD) is a serious genetic kidney disease that is most common in people of African ancestry. It is caused by mutations in the APOL1 gene. People with AMKD are more likely to develop kidney disease and kidney failure at a younger age than people without the mutations.
What are the symptoms of AMKD?
In the early stages of AMKD, there may be no symptoms. As the disease progresses, people with AMKD may experience the following symptoms:
- Protein in the urine
- High blood pressure
- Swelling in the legs and feet
- Back pain
- Blood in the urine
How is AMKD diagnosed?
AMKD can be diagnosed with a blood test to look for the APOL1 gene mutations. If you have a family history of kidney disease or are of African ancestry, your doctor may recommend that you get tested for AMKD.
How is AMKD treated?
There is no cure for AMKD, but there are treatments that can help slow the progression of the disease and manage the symptoms. Treatment options include:
- Blood pressure medication
- Medication to reduce protein in the urine
- Dialysis or kidney transplantation for people in kidney failure
What can you do to manage AMKD?
In addition to the treatments listed above, there are things you can do to help manage AMKD and live a healthy life:
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Control your blood pressure.
- Take your medications as prescribed by your doctor.
- See your doctor regularly for checkups.
If you have AMKD, it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you and your family cope with the disease.