There are millions of people worldwide affected by kidney problems, and children are not immune to them. In fact, the early onset of kidney diseases in children makes them more prone to growth and developmental abnormalities. Although the widespread use of ultrasound scans in pregnancy has helped in identifying structural kidney problems, facilitating early intervention is still a work in progress.
Kidney diseases affecting children are commonly due to the congenital malformations of the urinary system. This could lead to children being born with smaller than normal kidneys or abnormally shaped kidneys as well. There could also be an issue with the urinary valves which lead to the obstruction of the urine flow and permanent damage to the kidneys. These may be a reason for recurrent childhood infections which may persist despite multiple antibiotic courses.
Nephrotic syndrome: This is one of the common childhood kidney problems. Here, the child presents with swelling all over the body due to low blood proteins which have leaked through the urine. If not detected and treated on time it could lead to complications like severe infections, early hypertension, and clotting of blood vessels.
Acute kidney failure: In this condition, there is a drop in the urine volume along with retention of toxic waste products in the blood. In children, a common cause of acute kidney failure is acute glomerulonephritis. The child may complain of discoloration of urine along with body swelling and high blood pressure. Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is another cause of acute kidney failure in children which can progress to dialysis.