While chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a common condition in adults in the U.S., it is very rare in children. The fellowship-trained, board-certified pediatric nephrologists with Norton Children’s Nephrology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, have the training and experience to treat children with CKD. Our kidney specialists can work with you and your child to improve symptoms and limit damage to the kidneys.
Most people are born with two kidneys. The kidneys filter waste and excess liquid from the blood. CKD is the term used for permanent damage to kidneys that occurs and worsens over time.
CKD is different than acute kidney injury (AKI) because while AKI can happen suddenly, CKD happens when kidney function decreases over time and the damage is permanent. CKD is diagnosed when kidneys are experiencing issues for three months or longer and do not improve.
The stages of CKD are determined by glomerular filtration rate (GFR). This measurement shows how effective the kidneys filter blood. The National Kidney Foundation refers to the five stages of CKD as:
These stages are considered guides, and each child may have different symptoms and issues. Since CKD is a progressive condition, many who experience it will eventually reach stage 5. However, there are therapies that can slow progression and minimize complications.
CKD can be caused by any condition that can damage the kidneys, including:
In early stages, there may be no noticeable symptoms. However, as kidney function declines, symptoms can appear and may include:
CKD treatment is based on a child’s age, current health and stage of chronic kidney disease. Treatments focus on limiting and potentially stopping the progression of kidney damage. Conditions that may cause the kidney damage, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, are treated as well.
Treatments can include: