Conditions We Treat
Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria attack the kidneys and ureters (upper urinary tract) or the bladder and urethra (lower urinary tract). This occurs when urine flows backward from the bladder to one or both ureters, or to the kidneys, the condition is called vesicoureteral reflux. It is very common in infants and young children. However, it can cause urinary tract infections, and possibly kidney damage. Urinary tract infections occur more in boys and are highest during the first year of life.
Reflux is a disorder in which urine backs up (refluxes) from the bladder to the kidney. It happens at a valve where the bladder joins the ureter (urine tube) that comes from the kidneys. When a child is born with a valve that doesn’t close properly, the urine refluxes back into the kidney. Another situation causing reflux is when a child is unable to control urine release; this is called a voiding disorder. Some of the issues dissipate with age.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, is a condition not typically associated with children, but rather with aging bodies. It occurs when the blood the heart pumps through all vessels in a body pushes too hard against the blood vessels. The force can cause damage to the actual blood. High blood pressure is easier to detect in adults than in children. The same tests are used, but the comparison charts for children are more fluid, based on the ongoing changes in a continually growing young body.
Protein in Urine
In the kidneys are tiny blood vessels called glomeruli. They have two-pronged job: first, they filter salt, water and waste products from the blood; second, they retain protein in the blood to absorb water from the tissues. When the glomeruli are not working correctly, protein leaks out of the blood and into the urine. This condition is called proteinuria, albuminuria or urine albumin. In children, this imbalance in fluids can indicate a more serious problem, including possible kidney disease.
Blood in Urine
Hematuria is the condition of blood getting into the urine. It can either be detectable only using a microscope to check a urine sample. Or it can be visible enough to turn urine red or light brown. Both versions of hematuria are caused by blood leaking into the urinary tract at any number of locations along it. Causes are blood in the urine can include: kidney infections or stones, bladder infections, high concentration of calcium in the urine, issues in or injuries to the kidneys or urinary tract, some medications, and strenuous exercise. It can also be symptomatic of more serious disease.
When the kidneys no longer filter waste and extra fluid from the body by making urine, the body is at end-stage kidney disease, also known as renal failure. For children, this can happen as a result of an injury, medications, kidney infection or other illness. It can also be the result of a genetic condition or birth defect. If the condition is not cured, it becomes chronic, treated with medication and diet, and/or filtering of the blood through dialysis, to relieve the body of toxins. Most chronic renal failure ultimately requires transplantation of a healthy kidney to replace the diseased organ.
Renal failure in children is very different than in adults for the simple fact that a child’s body is still developing. If waste is not filtered effectively, toxins build up that negatively impact growth, bones, nerves, and the brain. The best treatment option for children two and older is to provide the body with a healthy kidney through transplantation. This can be from a living or deceased donor.
Diabetic kidney disease
Diabetic kidney disease is the result of a child having diabetes for many years. It can be delayed through medications to control blood glucose levels and high blood pressure.
Inflammation of kidneys
When the kidneys become inflamed as a result of infection or an auto-immune issue, the condition is called nephritis. The inflammation causes the filters in the kidney to close resulting in protein also being passed from the kidneys into the urine.