The human body needs to rely on the coordinated work of several organs. One example of these organs are the kidneys, a pair of bean-shaped filters in charge of regulating the amount of water present in the body, the level of urine and the type of substances that should ideally remain in the blood.
Kidneys play a vital role in the proper development of the human body. However, like in any given system, these organs can fail and affect the rest of the body functions. When kidneys fail in adults, it can be due to several causes, including bad dieting habits, the consumption of certain chemical substances, or genetics.
In children, kidneys can fail due to several reasons. Actually, a child may suffer different types of kidney diseases depending on the way it developed during pregnancy, the environment in which it is born or the way it is raised by its parents.
In this article, Joe Cosgrove will share some information related to the reasons why kidneys fail in children. Keeping in mind that some of these factors can even come along during the prenatal phase.
Genetics can affect any person’s kidneys. When genetic kidney affections appear in children, they tend to be riskier and sometimes easier to treat. This happens because a child’s body is more fragile but at the same time, the tissues present in it can recover faster.
When kidney problems are detected at a young age can be treated with medication or even surgery. This way, a potential kidney failure can be prevented and the child can continue to have a regular life.
However, there are some genetic problems that are detected later on in the baby’s life. These problems can be easily spotted when the child starts to have urinary infections or difficulties to pee. When this happens, it is important to run all the proper tests and try to identify if the parents have any type of kidney-related condition.
Since genetics is such a crucial factor in the development of life, it is vital to keep an eye on the child’s parents, to see if they have any condition that may make them more prone to develop a kidney failure, like high blood pressure or diabetes.
Acute kidney disease
Acute kidney disease is a kidney injury that leads to kidney failure. In children, it happens due to the presence of a bacterial infection, a heart failure, a drug overdose, an injury shock or poisoning.
This condition is easily detected because the kidneys stop filtering waste as they should do. Then, waste starts to build up in the blood torrent, and other symptoms show up in the child. Most symptoms can be easily treated. However, if they don’t disappear, it means that the child suffers from chronic kidney disease and the kidney failure needs to be treated differently: with dialysis or a transplant.
Some other conditions that can negatively affect kidney problems in children are related to changes in the blood pressure, birth defects, the intake of certain medications, and the type of diet given to the child. Usually, acute kidney disease can be made worse by any of these agents.
Other childhood kidney diseases
Usually, when children present kidney problems that may lead to kidney failure, it had them at the moment of birth. Some of these problems include the following:
– Urethral obstruction: This problem only affects baby boys. It is defined as the obstruction of the urinary duct known as the urethra. It needs to be treated with surgery and can be diagnosed even before the baby is born.
– Fetal hydronephrosis: This disease affects one or both kidneys thanks to the obstruction of the urethra. The obstruction causes the enlargement of the kidneys and causes the development of a condition known as vesicoureteral reflux or VUR. When this happens, the urine flows backward from the bladder to the ureters.
Treatment of this disease may vary depending on the patient. Sometimes, it is only necessary to monitor the condition until it improves. Usually, surgery needs to take place in order to remove that obstructing agent from the urinary ducts. This disease can be detected prior the birth of the baby.
– PKD: Polycystic kidney disease or PKD consists in the development of multiple cysts filled with fluid in both kidneys. This disease can be highly dangerous for children since cysts tend to reproduce and grow enough to block both kidneys and lead to kidney failure.
Usually, it can be detected before the baby is born. However, after the baby is born symptoms not always show up. Making it harder for doctors to spot the disease.
In children, PKD leads to the development of kidney stones and changes in the blood pressure. The disease can be treated depending on the patient. Sometimes changes in the diet are enough. Nevertheless, if the condition gets worse, dialysis or a kidney transplant may be required.
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