For Kids With Kidney Disease, What's causing chronic kidney disease in children?
When it comes to children's health, many of us, parents, nutritionists, pediatricians, have a predisposition towards obesity and heart-related diseases. Kidney function is also important for maintaining a healthy body and it is important for parents to monitor their children's kidney function. Thus, it is important to raise awareness towards kidney disease that children are prone to suffer from, which can affect millions of people around the world, including young children, who may be at risk for kidney disorders/diseases at an early age.
When parents know that their child are at risk of having kidney disease, they may wonder what they can do to prevent it. However, in most cases, it is not yet known if child will develop kidney disease and usually nothing can be done to stop it. Focusing on what can be done now, such as getting the right treatment, following the doctor's advice, working with the child's health team and learning about the disease, are the best ways to help your child once the diagnosis is made.
The kidneys are made up of millions of tiny filtering units called nephrons and are located just below the ribs on either side of the spine. Kidneys clean the blood, maintain a balance of salt and water, and help to regulate blood pressure and red blood cells. The extra fluid and waste that the kidneys remove from the blood are passed to the bladder and then out of the body as urine.
There are many types of kidney disease that affect children. Some are temporary and treatable. Other forms of kidney disease are long-term and can affect a child's growth, development, and psychosocial/educational achievement.
Various kidney diseases include:
1. Congenital abnormalities or birth defects, such as having a kidney that is not properly formed, one kidney, a kidney with reduced function, or a kidney that doesn't drain properly into the bladder
2. Polycystic kidney disease and Alport's syndrome, examples of hereditary kidney disease, which means it runs in the family such as Lupus, vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels), uncontrolled hypertension, and diabetes, which are considered as systemic kidney disease
3. Kidney filtering disorders and nephrotic syndrome, conditions that cause protein to leak into the urine
Acute kidney disease can be caused by:
- Lack of blood flow to the kidneys for a period of time, such as due to blood loss, surgery, or shock
- Blockage in the urinary tract
- Taking drugs that can cause kidney problems (nephrotoxic drug)
- Any condition that can slow or block oxygen and blood to the kidneys, such as cardiac arrest
- Hemolytic uremic syndrome. It is usually caused by an E.coli infection. Kidney failure develops because of the blockage at tiny structures and blood vessels in the kidneys.
- Glomerulonephritis. This is a type of kidney disease that occurs in the part of the kidney called the glomeruli. Glomeruli become inflamed and impair kidneys function of filtrating.
If your child has mild symptoms of kidney disease, consult to your doctor immediately to get relevant advice regarding the possibility of early preventive treatment.