CKD can occur as the result of a number of different factors, from genetic to physical. Children with CKD have reduced renal function leading to reductions in calorie intake, electrolytes and production of growth hormone. All of these factors can negatively impact growth in children.
Poor growth is a common problem for children with CKD. It can occur when the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), a measurement of kidney function, becomes too low. Many factors contribute to poor growth in patients with CKD, for example the child may be getting inadequate nutrition (calorie intake).
Symptoms of CKD include: puffiness around the eyes, feet, and ankles;
frequent urination or, in children 5 years or older, prolonged bedwetting;
loss of appetite and chronic nausea; fatigue; frequent severe headaches and anaemia. A growth deficiency with CKD can be identified by reduced growth and short stature.
If the underlying factors that contribute to poor growth are treated and growth hormone therapy is initiated early in the course of CKD, patients may reach normal adult height; however, most children with CKD will hopefully be provided with a kidney transplant. For adolescents with CKD, final height is often less than target height.
Calculate your child’s growth
It is important to keep track of your child’s growth in order to identify if there is a problem early on. We recommend measuring your child every 6 months, which is now easier, with our simple to use growth calculator.
Get prepared for talking to your doctor
If you are concerned about your child’s growth, don’t hesitate to speak with an HCP. They will be able to complete some measurements and investigate further if needed, potentially referring you on to a specialist. Here we can help you plan for both conversations.