Kidney dysplasia is a genetic disorder where the kidneys of a baby do not form correctly within the womb. While the baby is growing two thin tubes of muscle called ureters develop into the kidneys.
As they grow, they branch out to form a network of structures called tubules which collect urine as the fetus grows. When the tubules fail to branch out, this causes the condition of kidney dysplasia. Urine which would normally flow through the tubules collects inside the kidney and forms cysts. The cysts remain on the kidney and prevent it from functioning.
In most cases the sacks break down on their own and the child goes on to live a normal life. But more extreme cases result in some people experiencing kidney failure. The toxins which are normally
filtered out of the blood, will begin to build up. Over time, this will lead to other illness as well as organ damage.
When kidney failure occurs, approximately 85 to 90 percent of your kidney function is disabled. This requires dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to keep their bodies healthy and prevent damage from occurring in the other organs in there body. This disorder affects one in 4000 babies.
The kidneys act as filter for the human body, removing wastes, controlling the body’s fluid balance, maintaining levels of electrolytes. The filters are called nephrons and each kidney has approximately one million. They also remove excess water and produce important hormones. Blood passes through them and the waste is filtered out, while the excess salt, water, and minerals are adjusted.
The filtered blood continues through the body, while the waste becomes urine. Kidney failure also has other causes. Diabetes is one of the biggest causes. In addition, hypertension, and conditions such as polycystic kidney disease and lupus can also cause kidney failure.
The major symptoms of kidney failure include fatigue, poor appetite, shortness of breath, difficulty sleeping, nausea. Doctors say many patients feel as if they have a cold and may also experience abdominal pain, back pain, a rash, or nosebleeds.
If toxin build-up is high enough it can affect the heart, ability to think clearly, cause severe hypertension, shortness of breath and malnutrition. When kidneys fail, two procedures are recommended. Dialysis uses medical machinery to filter out the blood. Patients usually have to undertake the costly procedures three times a week, fitting it into an already busy schedule. In addition, dialysis is not a cure-all as the patient still has damaged kidneys and the procedure does not do everything the kidneys do.
Many patients still experience the health problems of kidney disease anyway including anemia, bone disease, heart disease, high potassium, and fluid buildup.
The other procedure is kidney transplant. In this procedure, one kidney is swapped out for another kidney provided by a donor. The donor can be a living donor as a person can survive and live a
normal life with only one kidney. The procedure is very safe and most patients recover in 4 to 12 weeks. This is considered to be the preferred option, especially as those who undergo the operation
tend to live much longer than those on dialysis.
Still, finding a donor can be difficult and there is the risk of rejection.
The human body has an aggressive immune system. The immune system attacks anything foreign which enters the body, including new organs. When a patient receives an organ transplant, they may be put on immunosuppression drugs. Patients must take these medications and get constant analysis and monitoring for a period of time to prevent rejection.
These medications also have side effects such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, new diabetes, and an increased risk of infections. If a person is suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned, it is important they consult their healthcare provider at once.
For more information about kidney disorders in children, be sure to read our backlog of articles.