Vesicoureteral reflux, or VUC, is an abnormal flow of the urine in which the urine retreats from the ureters back up to the bladder. Usually, urine flows from the kidneys to the bladder, but in this case, the process is reversed.
VUC usually occurs in the infancy and childhood and it increases the chance of contracting a urinary tract infection or developing kidney damage.
Primary VUC occurs in children that are born with a defect in the valve that serves to prevent the urine from going back up from the bladder into the ureters.
In the secondary VUC condition, the urinary tract is blocked, and this condition is often caused by some type of infection in the urinary tract.
In some cases, the child will outgrow the condition, but if it does not, then medication or surgery will be needed in order to prevent damage to the kidneys.
The most common indication of VUC is a urinary tract infection (UTI).
However, sometimes people who have UTI do not develop symptoms that are immediately recognizable.
Other symptoms include a strong and urgent need to urinate, burning sensations while urinating, urinating a lot but passing very small amounts of urine each time, seeing blood in the urine or having urine that is cloudy or particularly strong smelling, fever, and abdominal pains.
People who have UTI will usually have the following symptoms: Lack of normal growth, vomiting, diarrhea, a lack of appetite and a strong case of lethargy.
If the child continues to age and the VUC is not treated, then there could be cases of bed-wetting, high blood pressure, protein in the urine and eventually kidney failure in the most serious circumstances.
Sometimes, VUC could also be diagnosed while the baby is in the womb. This can be seen in a sonogram if there is a swelling of the structures that collect the urine in the baby or swelling in its kidneys, which is obviously caused by the backup of urine.
Other more outward signs of the condition include a change in the appetite, especially if a baby refuses to eat. The child’s mood can also change. Sometimes if a baby is constantly irritable and lethargic, VUC could be the cause.
When a baby has very loose stools or when it is vomiting constantly, then it is possible that it could have VUC.
The best way to treat VUC pains is with antibiotics. The children should also be encouraged to drink a lot of water but should avoid juice and soda.
Heating pads can also be used to help with the discomfort, and it is best to place the pads on the abdomen, especially where the bladder is located, which is where the pain is usually originating.