When a child has kidney disease, the kidneys do not filter waste from their body in the way that healthy kidneys do. Toxins and wastes can build up in the blood leading to complications such as anemia, high blood pressure, protein in urine, and poor nutrition. These complications can interrupt growth and development of the body and brain.
Children with kidney disease grow and develop slower than other children their age. On average, children with kidney failure go through puberty two years later than healthy children.
The best way to improve the growth of a child with kidney disease is to manage their health complications. A doctor might also suggest supplements or growth hormones to help the child grow normally and reach adult height. Talk to your child’s pediatrician before trying any new medicines.
Kidney transplant is considered the best treatment option for all people with kidney failure, including children. After a child receives a kidney transplant they may have a fast increase in growth, called catch-up growth.