Symptom 2: Slowed Growth and Development – The Invisible Battle
The impact of cystinosis on a child’s growth and development is a concerning symptom that, unfortunately, is often overlooked until it becomes quite apparent. The early years of a child’s life are crucial for their growth and development, and any disruption in this process can have long-term consequences.
One of the reasons for slowed growth and development in cystinosis patients is the disease’s impact on the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Proper nutrition plays a pivotal role in growth, and when the body’s ability to absorb nutrients is compromised, it leads to poor growth, a symptom often manifested as failure to thrive in early childhood.
In addition to nutritional challenges, cystinosis can also cause a type of kidney dysfunction called renal Fanconi syndrome. This condition can lead to the loss of essential nutrients through the urine, further compounding the problem of nutrient absorption. This persistent loss of essential nutrients can lead to growth hormone deficiency, further slowing down a child’s growth rate.
Chronic kidney disease, another feature of cystinosis, can also affect growth and development. It can lead to a condition known as renal osteodystrophy, characterized by abnormal bone growth, further complicating the growth process.
Slowed growth and development in children with cystinosis is a multi-faceted problem with various contributing factors. It is a symptom that highlights the broader impacts of this disease on the overall health and well-being of a child. (2)