​Chronic Renal Disease

Chronic renal disease is a general term for various disorders, but it basically refers to the loss of kidney function which is generally permanent and mostly progressive, due to a variety of reasons including diabetes and high blood pressure. When the kidneys are damaged, they fail to remove waste products from the blood, adequately. This disease develops over a long period of time, often without any symptoms, and ends up in kidney failure requiring kidney transplant or dialysis. Therefore, early detection of chronic renal disease can result in successful treatment and less complications.   ​

In the early stages of chronic renal disease, the symptoms may not appear at all or are hardly noticeable. As the disease progresses, the signs and symptoms may include:

  • Swelling of the hands and feet

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Frequent urination or hardly any urination

  • Fatigue

  • Loss of appetite

  • Anaemia (pale skin)​

If you notice a combination of the above mentioned symptoms that continue to persist and generally feel that your child is unwell, consult one of our extremely capable paediatric nephrologists at the Children's Hospital Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital.​

Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.​

The doctor may begin the diagnosis with a complete physical examination. Make sure to describe your child’s symptoms in detail as chronic renal disease can be difficult to pin-point in its initial stages. For an accurate diagnosis, the doctor may prescribe a series of tests including:

  • Urinalysis to measure the amount of proteins in the urine in order to determine the extent of damage in the kidneys. You may be asked to collect your child’s urine samples over the period of twenty-four hours for a precise result 

  • Blood test to measure the level of protein and creatinine, a waste material filtered by the kidneys, in the blood. Low blood protein indicates loss of protein through the kidneys and high creatinine indicates loss of the filtering ability of the kidneys 

  • Ultrasound and X-rays to obtain images of the kidneys and the surrounding structures to detect any signs of damage

  • A kidney biopsy in which a sample of the kidney cells are extracted and studied under the microscope to determine the cause and extent of damage to the kidneys

  • Complete blood count (CBC): One or more parameters related to red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets might be affected in this condition, giving a clue towards etiology and further diagnostic approach. Therefore, it is an ancillary test in the diagnostic workup of this disease.

  • Reticulocyte count: One of the laboratory parameters to assess hemoglobin production as it may be decreased in patients with chronic kidney/renal disease.

Disclaimer: Kindly consult your physician before getting the above-mentioned tests.

Treatments options offered for your child will depend on the underlying medical cause of the kidney damage. These treatments include:

  • Water pills (diuretics) which assist in increasing the fluid output by the kidney

  • Medications to promote growth, prevent the loss of bone density and/or to treat anaemia

  • Dialysis, a special procedure, in which a machine performs the kidney functions which include filtering harmful wastes, salt, and excess fluid from your child’s blood

  • Kidney transplant in which a new kidney, from a deceased or living donor, replaces the damage kidney

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments' costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the 'Important Numbers' section on the website homepage.​

The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.