Kidney Diseases in Childhoodenparents kidneys play a critical role in health. When something goes wrong, it could indicate a kidney disease. What are kidney diseases, and how can they be treated?kidney, kidneys, kidney disease, kidney function, kidney problems, renal failure, kidney failure, pee, urine flow, urination, UTI, UTIs, kidney disorders, nephrons, ureters, bladders, urine, urinary tract infections, waste products, water, erythropoietin, renin, vitamin d, posterior urethral valve obstruction, fetal hydronephrosis, vesicoureteral reflux, vur, congenital abnormalities, polycystic kidney diseases, pkd, multicystic kidney diseases, renal tubular acidosis, wilms tumor, cancer, nephritis, nephrosis, nephrotic syndrome, genetics, bedwetting, enuresis, wetting the bed, nephrologist, nephrology, urology, renal, CD1Nephrology, kidney transplants, kidney surgery, blood in urine, hematuria, kidney stones, calculi, glomerulonephritis, nephritis, nephrosis, kidney biopsy, nephrotic, CD1Anorectal Malformation, CD1Nephrology04/26/200008/26/201909/02/2019KidsHealth Medical Expertsce75e066-a9e8-498f-97e8-6459154b9748<p>The kidneys play a critical role in the body: Acting as the body's filtering system, they help control water levels and eliminate wastes through urine (pee). They also help regulate blood pressure, red blood cell production, and the levels of calcium and minerals.</p> <p>But sometimes the kidneys don't develop properly and, as a result, don't function as they should. Often these problems are <a href="">genetic</a> and not due to anything a parent did or didn't do.</p> <div class="rs_skip rs_preserve"> <!-- TinyMCE Fix --> <script src="//" type="text/javascript"></script> <script src="//" type="text/javascript"></script> </div> <p>Many of these problems can be diagnosed before a baby is born through routine <a href="">prenatal testing</a> and treated with medication or surgery while the child is still young. Other problems may appear later, with symptoms such as <a href="">urinary tract infections (UTIs)</a>, growth problems, or high blood pressure (hypertension).</p> <p>In some cases, the problems can be&nbsp;severe and require surgical treatment.</p> <h3>How the Kidneys Work</h3> <p>The kidneys are like the body's garbage collection and disposal system. Through microscopic units called <strong>nephrons</strong>, the kidneys remove waste products and extra water from the food a person eats, returning chemicals the body needs (such as sodium, phosphorus, and potassium) back into the bloodstream. The extra water combines with other waste to become urine, which flows through thin tubes called <strong>ureters</strong> to the bladder, where it stays until it exits through the <strong>urethra</strong> (the tube that carries urine out of the body from the bladder) when someone goes to the bathroom.</p> <p>The kidneys also produce three important hormones:</p> <ul> <li><strong>erythropoietin,</strong> which stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells;</li> <li><strong>renin,</strong> which helps regulate blood pressure; and</li> <li>the <strong>active form of vitamin D</strong>, which helps control the calcium balance in the body and maintain healthy bones.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Kidney failure</strong>, which is also called <strong>renal failure</strong>, is when the kidneys slow down or stop properly filtering wastes from the body, which can cause buildups of waste products and toxic substances in the blood. Kidney failure can be <strong>acute</strong> (sudden) or <strong>chronic</strong> (happening over time and usually long lasting or permanent).</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li> <p>Acute kidney injury (sometimes called acute kidney failure)&nbsp;may be due to bacterial infection, injury, shock, heart failure, poisoning, or drug overdose. Treatment includes correcting the problem that led to the&nbsp;kidney injury and, in&nbsp;some cases, dialysis .</p> </li> <li>Chronic kidney failure involves a deterioration of kidney function over time. In kids and teens, it can result from acute kidney failure that fails to improve, birth defects, chronic kidney diseases, or chronic severe high blood pressure. If diagnosed early, chronic kidney failure can be treated. The goal of treatment usually is to slow the decline of kidney function with medication, blood pressure control, and diet. At some point, a <a href="">kidney transplant</a> may be needed.</li> </ul> <h3>Childhood Kidney Diseases</h3> <p>The most common kidney diseases in children are present at birth. They include:</p> <ul> <li><strong style="font-size: 1em;">Posterior urethral valve obstruction:</strong><span style="font-size: 1em;"> This narrowing or obstruction of the urethra affects only boys. It can be diagnosed before the baby is born or just after and is treated with surgery.</span></li> <li><strong style="font-size: 1em;">Fetal hydronephrosis:</strong><span style="font-size: 1em;"> This enlargement of one or both of the kidneys is caused by either an obstruction in the developing urinary tract or a condition called </span><strong style="font-size: 1em;"><a href="">vesicoureteral reflux</a></strong><span style="font-size: 1em;"> </span><strong style="font-size: 1em;"><a href="">(VUR)</a></strong><span style="font-size: 1em;"> in which urine abnormally flows backward (or refluxes) from the bladder into the ureters. Fetal hydronephrosis is usually diagnosed before the child is born and treatment varies widely. In some cases the condition only requires ongoing monitoring; in others, surgery must be done to clear the obstruction from the urinary tract.</span></li> <li><strong style="font-size: 1em;">Polycystic kidney disease (PKD):</strong><span style="font-size: 1em;"> This is a condition in which many fluid-filled cysts develop in both kidneys. The cysts can multiply so much and grow so large that they lead to kidney failure. Most forms of PKD are inherited. Doctors can diagnose it before or after the child is born. In some cases, there are no symptoms; in others, PKD can lead to UTIs, kidney stones, and high blood pressure. Treatment for PKD varies — some cases can be managed with dietary changes; others require a kidney transplant or dialysis.</span></li> <li><strong style="font-size: 1em;">Multicystic kidney disease (MKD):</strong><span style="font-size: 1em;"> This is when large cysts develop in a kidney that hasn't developed properly, eventually causing it to stop working. (While PKD always affects both kidneys, MKD usually affects just one kidney.) Fortunately, the unaffected kidney takes over and most people with MKD will have normal kidney function. MKD usually is diagnosed by prenatal ultrasound before birth. Doctors manage it by monitoring blood pressure and screening for UTIs when needed. Very rarely, surgical removal of the kidney might be necessary.</span></li> <li><strong style="font-size: 1em;"><a href="">Renal tubular acidosis</a></strong><span style="font-size: 1em;"><br /></span></li> <li><strong style="font-size: 1em;"><a href="">Wilms tumor</a><br /></strong></li> <li><strong style="font-size: 1em;"><a href="">Glomerulonephritis</a><br /></strong></li> <li><strong style="font-size: 1em;"><a href="">Nephrotic syndrome</a><br /></strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>Congenital problems with the urinary tract:</strong> As a baby develops in the womb, part of the urinary tract can grow to an abnormal size or in an abnormal shape or position. These problems include:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong>duplication of the ureters</strong>, in which a kidney has two ureters instead of one. This can lead to urinary tract infections over time and can be treated with medication or, in some cases, with surgery.</li> <li><strong>horseshoe kidney</strong>, where the two kidneys are fused (connected) into one arched kidney that usually functions normally, but is more prone to develop problems later in life. An uncomplicated horseshoe kidney does not need medical or surgical treatment, but it does need to be checked regularly by doctors.</li> </ul> <h3>Other Problems With the Kidneys</h3> <p>Sometimes a child can have other health problems that affect how well the kidneys function. These can include:</p> <ul> <li><strong style="font-size: 1em;"><a href="">High blood pressure (hypertension)</a></strong><span style="font-size: 1em;">&nbsp;</span></li> <li><strong style="font-size: 1em;"><a href="">Kidney stones</a></strong></li> <li><strong style="font-size: 1em;">Nephritis.</strong><span style="font-size: 1em;"> This is any inflammation of the kidney. It can be caused by infection, an autoimmune disease (such as lupus), or an unknown reason. The first symptoms of nephritis usually are high levels of protein and blood in the urine.</span></li> <li><strong style="font-size: 1em;"><a href="">Urinary tract infections (UTIs)</a>.</strong><span style="font-size: 1em;">&nbsp;</span></li> </ul> <h3>Symptoms of Kidney Problems</h3> <p>The signs and symptoms of urinary tract or kidney problems vary and include:</p> <ul> <li>fever</li> <li>swelling around the eyes, face, feet, and ankles (called edema)</li> <li>burning or pain during peeing</li> <li>significant increase in the frequency of urination</li> <li>difficulty in controlling urination in kids who are mature enough to use the toilet</li> <li>recurrence of nighttime bedwetting (in kids who have been dry for several months)</li> <li>blood in the urine</li> <li>high blood pressure</li> </ul> <h3>Diagnosis of Kidney Diseases</h3> <p>If a kidney disease is suspected, the doctor&nbsp;will take a medical history, do a physical exam, and order <a href="">urine tests</a>, blood tests, imaging studies, or a biopsy to help make a diagnosis. These studies are usually suggested by a <strong>nephrologist</strong>, a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases.</p> <p>With urinalysis (a type of urine test), the doctor can quickly detect abnormalities (such as too many red blood cells) that may signal inflammation or irritation in the urinary tract. Urinalysis can also detect an of excess white blood cells, which is most commonly associated with bladder and kidney infections.</p> <p>Certain blood tests tell doctors how well the kidneys are filtering waste products and balancing the bloodstream's chemical makeup.</p> <p>Two other important diagnostic tools doctors use are blood pressure and growth measurements. Along with the heart, the kidneys are crucial to determining blood pressure. High blood pressure in a child is an important sign that the kidneys need to be evaluated. Accurate growth measurements can provide a clue to diagnosing some kidney diseases because kids with chronic kidney disease often have growth problems.</p> <p>The doctor may use a kidney <a href="">biopsy</a> to evaluate kidney function. A biopsy is a procedure in which a small piece of the kidney tissue is removed with a needle. Performed while a child is under anesthesia, it's a simple procedure that can help make an accurate diagnosis of the kidney problem in about 9 out of 10 cases. It's especially helpful in the diagnosis of nephritis and <a href="">nephrosis</a>.</p> <p>In addition to standard X-rays, other imaging studies a doctor may use to help diagnose kidney diseases include:</p> <ul> <li><a href=""><strong>Ultrasound</strong></a></li> <li><a href=""><strong>Computerized tomography (CAT) scan</strong></a></li> <li><strong>Renal nuclear scan.</strong> A renal nuclear scan involves having special radioactive material injected into a vein. The radiation dose is less than that of a simple X-ray. The scan shows how the kidneys compare with each other in size, shape, and function. It also can detect scarring or other evidence of recurrent or chronic kidney infection.</li> <li><a href=""><strong>Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG)</strong></a></li> </ul>Enfermedades renales en la niñezLos riñones juegan un rol importante en el cuerpo: Actuando como los filtros del cuerpo, ayudan a controlar los niveles de agua y a eliminar impurezas a través de la orina. También ayudan a regular la tensión arterial, la producción de glóbulos rojos, y los niveles de calcio y minerales. Pero algunas veces los riñones no se desarrollan adecuadamente y como resultado no funcionan de la forma en que deberían.
Blood in the Urine (Hematuria)Hematuria is pretty common, and most of the time it's not serious. Find out what causes blood in the urine and what to do about it.
GlomerulonephritisGlomerulonephritis happens when tiny filtering units in the kidneys stop working properly. Most cases get better on their own or with treatment.
HemodialysisHemodialysis is the type of kidney dialysis that doctors use most to take over the kidneys' job of filtering the blood. Find out more in this article for teens.
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is more common in adults, but it can happen at any age. Learn what it is and how to treat it.
Kidney DiseaseSometimes, the kidneys can't do their job properly. In teens, kidney disease is usually due to infections, structural issues, glomerulonephritis, or nephrotic syndrome.
Kidney StonesKidney stones mostly happen to adults, but sometimes kids and teens can get them. Find out what kidney stones are, how to treat them, and ways to help prevent them.
Kidney TransplantIf the kidneys stop working, a person will need either dialysis or a transplant. Get the facts on kidney transplant in this article for teens.
Kidneys and Urinary TractThe bean-shaped kidneys, each about the size of a child's fist, are essential to our health. Their most important role is to filter blood and produce urine.
Movie: Urinary SystemWatch this movie about the urinary system, which produces pee.
Nephrotic SyndromeNephrotic syndrome happens when tiny filtering units in the kidneys stop working properly. This can cause weight gain and other symptoms. Most kids eventually outgrow it.
Peritoneal DialysisThis medical treatment helps people with kidney failure. It can be done at home, often overnight, to take over the kidneys' job of filtering blood. Find out more in this article for teens.
Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections and Related ConditionsRecurrent urinary tract infections can cause kidney damage if left untreated, especially in kids under age 6. Here's how to recognize the symptom of UTIs and get help for your child.
Renal Tubular AcidosisThis kidney problem causes acid levels in the blood to become too high, causing fatigue, muscle weakness, and other kidney problems. The condition is usually treatable.
Ultrasound: Renal (Kidneys, Ureters, Bladder)A renal ultrasound makes images of your child's kidneys, ureters, and bladder. Doctors may order this test if they suspect kidney damage, cysts, tumors, kidney stones, or complications from urinary tract infections.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in kids. They're easy to treat and usually clear up in a week or so.
Urine Test: Automated Dipstick UrinalysisAutomated dipstick urinalysis results may point to a urinary tract infection (UTI) or injury, kidney disease, or diabetes.
Urine Test: Microscopic UrinalysisA microscopic urinalysis can help detect a urinary tract infection (UTI), kidney problems, diabetes, or a urinary tract injury.
Urine TestsIs your child having a urine culture or urinalysis performed? Find out why urine tests are performed, and what to expect when the doctor orders them.
When Your Child Has a Chronic Kidney DiseaseParents of kids who have a chronic kidney disease often worry about what might happen next, how their child feels, and what treatments are likely to be involved. Find answers here.
When Your Child Needs a Kidney TransplantIf your child needs a kidney transplant, you're probably feeling lots of emotions. Fortunately, many kids who undergo kidney transplants go on to live normal, healthy lives.
Wilms TumorWilms tumor is a cancer of the kidneys that usually affects newborns and the very young. Fortunately, most kids with Wilms tumor survive and go on to live normal, healthy lives.
Your KidneysYou need at least one kidney to live. Find out why in this article for kids.
Your Urinary SystemYou pee every day, but what makes it happen? Find out in this article for kids about the urinary system.
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-nephrologykh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-nephrologyKidney & Urinary System