Kidney diseases often go undetected in children due to the nature of the causes of such diseases and the ambiguity of the symptoms.
While the heart and brain are two of the most talked about organs of your body, kidneys form an equally crucial part as they act as the body's filtering system. Eliminating waste through urine, kidneys also help in regulating and controlling water levels and blood pressure.
Dr Rajesh Aggarwal, Senior Nephrologist, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute said, "Kidney diseases (KDs) are silent killers, they largely affect the quality of life, especially a large number of children who may be at risk at an early age."
Dr Amit K Devra, Senior Consultant, Renal Transplant, Jaypee Hospital, Noida tells us "Kidney failure and Chronic Kidney Diseases are most commonly caused by hereditary diseases, nephrotic syndrome, and systemic diseases when a child is anything between the age-group of 5-14 years."
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What is chronic kidney disease?
Chronic Kidney Disease is the slow loss of kidney function over time. At most times, one may not be able to notice any symptoms till the kidneys almost stop working. The last stage of CKD is the end-stage renal disease (ESRD) where dialysis or kidney transplant comes to rescue. According to a recent survey conducted by eMediNexus, "Nephrologists in India have unanimously called for aggressive Chronic Kidney Disease screening programs for the population at risk."
Dr Rajesh adds, "Routine urine test and blood pressure examination should be made mandatory in schools facilitating early detection. It is also imperative to inculcate a healthy life style in our children to fight preventable kidney diseases."
Here are a few common symptoms found in children suffering from kidney problems :
-Swelling of the hands and feet and/or puffiness around the eyes caused by excess fluid built-up, to the point where --the child's ability to move around normally is compromised.
-Headaches resulting from high-blood pressure .
-Lack of or decrease in appetite.
-Decreased or increased frequency of urination.
-Long-lasting changes in the colour of the urine such as unusually dark or red, which can indicate blood, and other ---changes in appearance of urine like extra foam, etc.
-Stunted or poor growth as compared to similar age-group peers
-Difficulty in concentrating and poor school performanceAnother potential indicator of paediatric kidney disease is a -family history of kidney diseases.
-Another potential indicator of paediatric kidney disease is a family history of kidney diseases.
Here's how you could prevent it:
-Opt for genetic counselling: The primary prevention starts as early as during antenatal period with strategies to reduce antenatal exposure of infection, drugs and prevention of inheritable renal diseases by appropriate genetic counselling.
-Early detection and treatment of related diseases/conditions: The other key measure to keep kidney diseases at bay is to monitor and treat conditions and diseases like obesity and Dyslipidemia, respectively.
"If blood pressure and blood sugar can be kept under control, more than 50% of Chronic Kidney Disease can be prevented", said Dr K K Aggarwal, President, Heart Care Foundation of India and Editor-in-chief, eMediNews.