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World Kidney Day: What are the early symptoms of kidney disease in children that parents should not ignore? Expert share signs health news


Kidneys are vital organs that play a vital role in maintaining overall health. They perform several essential functions, including filtering waste products, excess salts, and fluids from blood to make urine, which is then excreted from the body. In addition, the kidneys help regulate water balance, acid-base balance, and electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and calcium. They play an important role in controlling blood pressure by regulating blood volume and sodium content in the body.

Furthermore, Dr. Darshan Rangaswamy, Pediatric Nephrologist, KMC Hospital Mangalore adds, “Kidneys produce hormones like erythropoietin and active vitamin D, which are important for increasing hemoglobin levels and maintaining calcium balance to improve bone health, respectively.”

Kidney disease in children

“Kidney disease in children is often overlooked but can have a significant impact on health and quality of life. Children with kidney disease experience a variety of disorders affecting the kidneys, including congenital conditions, inherited genetic diseases, acquired diseases due to infections, autoimmunity, or Drug toxicity, and rarely, kidney and urinary tract cancer. The incidence and prevalence of kidney disease in children have increased significantly in recent years due to improved recognition and treatment,” highlighted Dr. Darshan.

Symptoms of kidney disease in children

Kidney diseases in children range from congenital conditions to abnormalities in kidney development, inherited genetic disorders, acquired diseases due to infections, autoimmunity or drug toxicity, and rarely kidney and urinary tract cancers. While symptoms can vary depending on the specific type of kidney disease, Dr. Darshan shares common symptoms that include:

Fluid Retention: Swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, face, or abdomen.

Changes in urine: Increased or decreased frequency of urination, bedwetting (especially in a child who has been dry the night before), foamy or bloody urine.

Fatigue: Weakness, lethargy or irritability.

Poor appetite: Nausea, vomiting or weight loss.

High blood pressure: It is more common in older children and adolescents.

Growth problems: Delayed growth or short stature.

Pain: Abdominal pain, back pain or side pain.

When to seek professional help?

Dr. Darshan concludes, “It is important for parents to be aware of these symptoms and consult a pediatrician and/or pediatric nephrologist if they suspect their child may have kidney disease. Early detection and treatment can help manage kidney disease and improve outcomes for children. “The true impact of chronic kidney disease in children in developing countries is often under-recorded due to a lack of pediatric renal services, accessibility of renal replacement therapy, and poor healthcare resource allocation.”

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