Kidney stones, also known as renal calculi, are hard mineral and salt deposits that form inside your kidneys. They can be quite painful and cause a lot of discomfort. While kidney stones are often associated with adults, it is possible for kids to develop them too.
Here, we’ll discuss the causes of kidney stones in kids, their symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.
What Are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are small hard mineral and salt deposits that form inside the kidneys. These tiny stones may pass out of the body on their own or remain lodged inside the urinary tract causing serious complications.
The formation of kidney stones depends upon various factors such as dehydration or inadequate fluid intake leading to concentrated urine which eventually results in crystallization and stone formation.
Can Kids Get Kidney Stones?
Yes, they can! Although less common than adults getting them because some factors contribute more strongly to its formation in a children’s urinary tract rather than others. The most common type of stone found among children is calcium oxalate – formed when calcium binds with oxalates in urine or through high concentration diets rich in oxalates from nuts such as almonds custard apple chikoo managoes spinach amongst others. . .
Factors that Affect Stone Formation
- Family history
- Hereditary metabolic disorders like cystinuria
- Medications being taken by your child
Note: Poor water intakemakes it difficult for our bodies to eliminate waste effectively leading to build-ups
According to Dr Kirti Sabhrawal pediatric urologist “Children’s developing bones tend to need higher amounts of calcium however excess Calcium then bind so strongly with sodium making crystals which later forms into oxalate”
Since diet accounts for about 20% Ca+Oxalate taken by the body, it is advisable that children with high Dietary calcium ensure increased water consumption to reduce its concentration in urine.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones In Kids
The symptoms of kidney stones in kids are very similar to the symptoms seen among adults. However they some times may present differently due to age variations as stated in Factors that affect stone formation section:
- Abdomen or back pain
- Blood in urine
- Vomiting and nausea
- Urinary tract infections
- Pain during urination
If your child experiences severe or recurrent abdominal pains, blood in their urine, sudden urges to pee with reduced volumes produced relatively small volume ; do not hesitate to bring them for medical attention as early detection saves irreversible damage.
Diagnosing kidney stones generally involves:
1. Ultrasound scans or CT Scans which identifies any abnormalities even when there’s no pain felt.
2. Collection of multiple samples provided over 24hrs under guidance – These samples’ contents could give insight on what type of buildup your child has made so far.
Treating kidney stones often involves managing the symptoms while waiting for them to pass out naturally. Some suggested approaches include:
Home Care Treatments
Small-sized stones may just need increase fluid intake and certain diets modifications. To minimize the discomfort experienced while passing out these minor sized rocks, your doctor might also recommend taking an anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen amongst others.
For larger-sized stones unable to pass through natural ways within ~20 days considering Tamsulosin. With Extracorporeal shock wave Lithotripsy being more commonly used lately.
In cases where the size greatly affects bladder function surgical procedures like Ureteroscopy might be considered alongside drinking lots of water to facilitate quick movement of the formed stones.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can children with kidney stones still play and exercise?
Yes, but it is important to ensure their fluid intake remains high while they are playing/exercising.
- Is surgery necessary for removing the stone?
Surgery may not be needed for all cases and depends on size placements within urinary tract and accompanying extenuating factors such as chronic infections if any among others
- Can a child develop more than one stone?
Yes, kids can develop multiple Kidney Stones over time
Kidney Stones in kids are uncommon but can cause significant pain & discomfort when present sometimes developing into complications that spread throughout the urinary system hence early intervention is key to successful treatment outcomes.
As stated by renowned pediatric urologist Naveen Atray,
“Their body organs are still growing and evolving; we should ensure we prevent anything severe from taking root this would require parents being cautious whilst balancing optimal nutrition, hydration levels & lifestyle practices much recommended for maintaining healthy lifestyles”.
Taking simple preventative measures such as adequate hydration through increased water consumption encourages healthy urination promoting toxin expulsion from our bodies making it less conducive towards Concretion formation reducing risks that lead up to adverse long-term health implications.