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Childhood Nephrotic Syndrome

Date : 6/17/2019
Author : Dr Manjulata Mahanta(MD Pediatrics)
Publisher : Heartmate
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Volume No : 6 Issue No : 3
Our Readers :

1. What is childhood nephrotic syndrome?

Ans - Children with too much protein in their urine, sudden weight gain, and swelling in various body parts could have a condition called nephrotic syndrome. Childhood nephrotic syndrome is also called nephrosis.  Nephrotic syndrome happens when tiny structures in the kidneys called glomeruli stop working properly and let too much protein enter the kidneys.

Nephrotic Syndrome

2. What causes childhood nephrotic syndrome?

Ans - In most cases, the cause is not known. However, a number of conditions can damage the glomeruli and cause nephrotic syndrome. In children, the most common cause is due to minimal change disease. The cause of minimal change disease isn't known, but it can be related to infections, tumors, allergic reactions, and overuse of over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Most children outgrow minimal change disease by the time they are in their teens.

Other conditions can damage the glomeruli, including other kidney conditions, immune system problems, infections, or diseases like cancer and diabetes. In certain cases, an allergic reaction to food or the use of certain legal and illegal drugs, or obesity can lead to nephrotic syndrome.

3. Who gets it?

Ans - Usually, young children between the ages of 1 ½ and 5, although children of all ages and even adults can get it. It happens twice as often in boys than in girls.

4. How can I suspect if my child has Nephrotic syndrome?

Ans - You may see swelling around your child's eyes in the morning. Often, that's the first sign. As time passes, the swelling may last all day, and you may see swelling in your child's ankles, feet or belly. Also, your child may:

  • be more tired
  • be more irritable
  • have a decreased appetite
  • look pale.

Your child may have trouble putting on shoes or buttoning clothes because of swelling.

5. How is nephrotic syndrome diagnosed?

Ans - Your child's doctor will check for symptoms, such as swelling and pale skin. In addition, a urine test can check for the amount of protein, blood and other things to look for kidney damage. A blood test can show how well your child's kidneys are working. The doctor will also check for other diseases that may be causing the nephrotic syndrome. In some cases, diagnosis may also require a kidney biopsy.

6. How is the nephrotic syndrome treated?

Ans - Nephrotic syndrome is almost always treatable, but the treatment depends on the cause. The treatment's goal is to stop the loss of protein in the urine and increase the amount of urine passed from the body. Your doctor probably will prescribe a drug called prednisonefor your child. Most children get better on this drug.

7. What can parents do?

Ans - Much of your child's care will be provided by you. Pay attention to your child's health, but do not overprotect your child. Your child needs to continue his or her usual activities, such as attending school and seeing friends. You should continue to treat your child like all other children in the family.

If your child is ill or taking prednisone, the doctor will recommend a low salt diet, which will minimize swelling. Your child will be allowed to drink as much he or she wants, however. The first sign that your child is getting sick again is the return of protein in the urine. Because of this, many doctors will ask that you check your child's urine regularly.

Dr Manjulata Mahanta, MD Pediatrics


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