· Kidney disease can affect children in various ways, ranging from treatable disorders without long-term consequences to life-threatening conditions. ·
Acute kidney disease develops suddenly, lasts a short time, and can be serious with long-lasting consequences, or may go away completely once the underlying cause has been treated.·
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) does not go away with treatment and tends to get worse over time.· Kidney disease in children can be caused by birth defects hereditary diseases infection nephrotic syndrome systemic diseases trauma urine blockage or reflux·
A health care provider diagnoses kidney disease in children by completing a physical exam, asking for a medical history, and reviewing signs and symptoms.To confirm diagnosis, the health care provider may order one or more of the following tests: urine tests blood test imaging studies kidney biopsy· Treatment for kidney disease in children depends on the cause of the illness.·
Children with a kidney disease that is causing high blood pressure may need to take medications to lower their blood pressure. Improving blood pressure can significantly slow the progression of kidney disease. As kidney function declines, children may need treatment for anemia and growth failure.· Children with kidney disease that leads to kidney failure must receive treatment to replace the work the kidneys do. The two types of treatment are dialysis and transplantation.·
For children with CKD, learning about nutrition is vital because their diet can affect how well their kidneys work. Parents or guardians should always consult with their child’s health care team before making any dietary changes. What are the Symptoms Associated with Pediatric Kidney Disease?Kidney disease often goes undetected in the general population, but children and adolescents are at an even greater risk due to the nature of the causes of the diseases and the ambiguity of the symptoms. Children might not be aware of some of the changes that are impacting their body and will not always let their parents know of potential issues.
Common symptoms for children are:· Swelling(even mild) of the hands and feet and/or puffiness around the eyes caused by excess fluid build-up, to the point where the child’s ability to move around normally is compromised· After initial swelling, socks or a belt can leave an indentation in the skin that will persist· Lack of or decrease in appetite.· In children with ESRD it is especially important to keep their appetite up because transplant eligibility is based partially on growth. · Decreased or increased frequency of urination. Children who can normally use the toilet without assistance may suddenly begin to wet the bed at night· Long-lasting changes in the color of the urine such as unusually dark or red, which can indicate blood, and changes in appearance of urine such as extra foam that can indicate protein· Headaches resulting from high blood pressure · Flu-like Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite· Stunted or poor growth as compared to similar age group peers· Difficulty concentrating and poor school performance Another potential indicator of pediatric kidney disease is family history of kidney disease. Genetic related disease is much more common in children than in adults. If there is family history, it is a good idea to get a check-up. In parents that are pregnant with a child with polycystic kidney disease a common symptom is decreased amniotic fluid.
Looking at the list of common symptoms it is easy to see how CKD can go undiagnosed. As a parent or caregiver, it is important to have conversations with your children to understand the severity and duration of the symptoms and follow up with pediatric nephrologist.