Our blood runs through our entire body, providing all the essential nutrients to the different organs. But then, it also contains elements that are not required. Our kidneys act like a filter, removing these waste substances from our blood and balancing salt and electrolytes.
No wonder then, that the kidneys have a very important function and if something goes wrong with your kidneys, your entire system can face a lot of trouble.
This is specifically true in case of children, as they are unable to express symptoms of their discomfort, which is why, you, as a parent, must keep a close watch on your child for any symptoms of kidney ailments.
A kidney or both the kidneys get impaired due to various ailments and the kidneys do not filter the adequate amount of blood which causes kidney diseases in children. It is believed by the doctors that it is very important to take care of the kidneys of children during the growing years. These kidney diseases in children might have implications that are long term.
Functions of a Kidney :
The kidneys are two bean shaped organs; one on the left side and the other on the right side of the human body. The function of the kidneys is to flush out the excess fluids from the body through urine. The kidneys are made up of millions of nephrons. The kidneys control the level of minerals in the human body.
If any of the minerals are in a disproportionate quantum it eventually causes kidney diseases in children. Healthy kidneys also play an important role in the controlling of a disease by the name Anemia. Anemia is a disease where there is a loss of red blood corpuscles in the human body. This loss eventually leads to less oxygen being carried.
Causes for Kidney Diseases in Children:
- Defects that exist since birth: In these type of kidney diseases in children, there are certain defects with which children are born. These include being born with one kidney, kidneys that are naturally not placed in the right position.
- Genetic defects during to hereditary problems: Sometimes due to certain genetic factors, families with a history of kidney problems often have their children, who suffer from kidney problems which causes kidney diseases in children.
- Infections that affect the kidney due to contagious diseases and urinary tract infections.
- Breakdown of the entire kidney functioning
- Difficulty in passing urine
- Kidney stones
It is believed by Nephrologists that any kidney disease from birth to the age of four are mostly hereditary kidney diseases in children. The kidney diseases in children that affect the kidney after the age of fifteen years are commonly believed to affect the glomeruli and the diseases are not hereditary in nature.
Symptoms of Kidney Diseases in Children
Generally, the method of diagnosis of kidney diseases in children, various based on the manifestation of the kidney diseases.
Some of the most common symptoms of kidney diseases in children, irrespective of the exact nature of the disease are as follows:
- Pain around the pelvic area
- Nausea in children
- Blood in urine
- Loss of appetite
- Inability to move due to pain
The various tests to diagnose kidney problems are as follows:
- Dipstick Test for Urine: The kidney diseases in children get vicious and might prove to be a predicament if there is albumin present in the urine. The urine is first collected in a urine sample collector and then it is sent to the pathologist for a test. If the strip on paper after having dipped in the urine changes the color it indicates the presence of albumin.
- Blood Test: In cases of symptoms which are indicative of kidney diseases in children, a doctor might ask one to go a blood test. After the blood sample is collected, it is important to understand about how much blood the kidneys are filtering in a minute and it is tested by the name of estimated glomerular filtration rate.
- Ultra Sound: Using sound waves, the impression of the kidneys are taken and this provides a detailed insight to the kidneys with images. Hence, a clearer image is provided compared to other forms of testing.
- Kidney Biopsy: A kidney biopsy takes place when when there are very serious complaints of the kidney diseases in children. It is performed by taking a small piece if the kidney using surgical methods. Once the surgery is done, it will be easy to ascertain about the cause of the kidney disease in the child and to the extent in which the kidneys are damaged.
Treatments for various kidney diseases in children:
It is very important to be understood by the patients that it is only a Nephrologist who deals with the various kidney disorders. In the case of a child suffering from a kidney disorder, he should be directed to a pediatric nephrologist.
The child’s blood pressure in the first thing that needs to be read. Because often, due to high blood pressure there are kidney problems that are caused.
The types of drugs that are prescribed are:
(a) Angiotensin: It helps the blood vessels pump more blood
(b) Angiotensin Receptor Blockers: Helps in the distribution of more blood through the blood vessels.
(c) Diuretics: Which help in the flushing through urine
Sometimes, as the kidney functions in children deteriorate, there is a scope for children to suffer from Anemia. Anemia among the kidney diseases in children can be treated using the injection of a hormone by the name of erythropoietin.
In the cases of excessive damages caused to the kidneys, it sometimes becomes necessary to surgically remove one of the kidneys.
Children with infections of the kidneys can be treated using antibiotics.
The kidneys are not only expensive in price; in case a transplant is suggested. But, it is also true that one cannot be functional without kidneys. Childhood is the time in one’s life when one has to be monitored by parents to retain the organs without any damages caused to it.
So, pay close attention to how your child is feeling, watch out for any of the symptoms listed above, and if there is any sort of discomfort, please rush to a doctor immediately.
About the hospital
Ankura Hospitals is a Best Children’s Hospital in Hyderabad. Set up in the year 2011 in KPHB, near Hitech Railway Station, the Ankura Hospitals family has today spread its wings to Secunderabad, Khammam and Vijayawada.