For over 20 years, Vitaflo¨ has been at the forefront of developing clinical nutrition products for children and adults living with medical conditions that require nutritional therapy.

Living with Kidney Disease

We have developed this website for children who have kidney disease and their families to provide basic information on the dietary management of kidney disease. The information displayed on this website is for general information only and must not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

What are the kidneys?

Filtering Fact:
Most people have 2 kidneys however some people are born with only 1 kidney.
The kidneys are bean shaped organs that are about the size of your fist. They lie either side of the backbone just below the ribs.

What do the kidneys do?

Filtering Fact:
Healthy kidneys filter about 180 litres of blood every day.
The main role of the kidneys is to filter the blood and get rid of unwanted waste products. We remove this waste in our urine (wee).

What is kidney disease?

If the kidneys are not working as well as they should, this can lead to Kidney Disease. There are two types;

Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) is a sudden decrease in kidney function but this does usually get better over time. This can happen, for example, if an individual has become severely dehydrated after vomiting and diarrhoea, an infection of the blood, a blockage in or around the kidneys or in an accident. Some may need medical treatment, a change in their diet and a stay in hospital. Usually AKI resolves after a short time - a few days or weeks.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) can begin as a minor decline in kidney function that can then progress to more severe kidney function problems. There are five different stages of kidney disease (stage 1 -5). The final stage (stage 5) is kidney failure which is also known as End Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD). This is when dialysis or a kidney transplant may be necessary. However, not all individuals progress through all the stages of CKD. There are many reasons why individuals develop CKD; some people are born with kidney problems and others develop kidney problems later in childhood.
Filtering Fact:
Dialysis uses special equipment or a machine to do the job of the kidneys. Dialysis helps to filter unwanted products and excess water out of the body.

What are the symptoms of Chronic Kidney disease?

All the amazing jobs that the kidneys do can be affected by kidney disease. In the early stages of CKD, there are generally no symptoms. In the later stages of CKD, the symptoms can include:
poor appetite
feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting)
changes in urination (weeing)
Either passing a large amount of urine or only a small amount
fluid build up in the body which can cause swelling
raised blood pressure
feeling tired/ less energy
bones that are less strong and healthy

How is Chronic Kidney Disease managed?

CKD is managed by a multi-disciplinary team at the hospital. This means there are lots of experts looking after an individual, including a doctor, nurse and the dietitian. How CKD is managed will depend on the stage of CKD and the symptoms present. Some people may feel very ill and need to take special medicines. Sometimes, a special diet will need to be followed. A specialist dietitian will advise on what foods and drinks are suitable. Dialysis or a kidney transplant may become necessary.