Information for Patients
You have two kidneys, each about the size of your fist. They are near the middle of your back, just below the rib cage. Inside each kidney there are about a million tiny structures called nephrons. They filter your blood. They remove wastes and extra water, which become urine. The urine flows through tubes called ureters. It goes to your bladder, which stores the urine until you go to the bathroom.
Most kidney diseases attack the nephrons. This damage may leave kidneys unable to remove wastes. Causes can include genetic problems, injuries, or medicines. You have a higher risk of kidney disease if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a close family member with kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease damages the nephrons slowly over several years. Other kidney problems include
Your doctor can do blood and urine tests to check if you have kidney disease. If your kidneys fail, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Congenital nephrotic syndrome Congenital nephrotic syndrome is a kidney condition that begins in infancy and typically leads to irreversible kidney failure (end-stage renal disease) by early childhood. Children with congenital nephrotic syndrome begin to have symptoms of the condition between birth and 3 months.The features of congenital nephrotic syndrome are caused by failure of the kidneys to filter waste products from the blood and remove them in urine. Signs and symptoms of this condition are excessive protein in the urine (proteinuria), increased cholesterol in the blood (hypercholesterolemia), an abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity (ascites), and swelling (edema). Affected individuals may also have blood in the urine (hematuria), which can lead to a reduced number of red blood cells (anemia) in the body, abnormal blood clotting, or reduced amounts of certain white blood cells. Low white blood cell counts can lead to a weakened immune system and frequent infections in people with congenital nephrotic syndrome.Children with congenital nephrotic syndrome typically develop end-stage renal disease between ages 2 and 8, although with treatment, some may not have kidney failure until adolescence or early adulthood.