How Are Kidney Stones In Kids Diagnosed
Our providers may use several approaches to diagnose kidney stones depending on your child’s symptoms.
- Our team will start by asking about your child’s medical history and performing a physical exam.
- In some cases, a blood or urine test may be necessary.
- A urine test and are the most common tactics for diagnosing a kidney stone. In some cases, we may use a .
- An ultrasound uses soundwaves to produce pictures of the kidney. A CT scan uses to produce detailed cross-sectional images of the kidney. Our providers use these imaging tests to determine the size and location of the kidney stone.
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- fever and chills
- urine that smells bad or looks cloudy
The kidney stone starts to hurt when it causes irritation or blockage. This builds rapidly to extreme pain. In most cases, kidney stones pass without causing damage-but usually not without causing a lot of pain. Pain relievers may be the only treatment needed for small stones. Other treatment may be needed, especially for those stones that cause lasting symptoms or other complications. In severe cases, however, surgery may be required.
Should I Cut Calcium Out Of My Diet If I Develop Calcium Oxalate Kidney Stones
If you develop kidney stones composed of calcium, you may be tempted to stop eating foods that include calcium. However, this is the opposite of what you should do. If you have calcium oxalate stones, the most common type, its recommended that you have a diet higher in calcium and lower in oxalate.
Foods that are high in calcium include:
- Cows milk.
Its also important to drink plenty of fluids to dilute the substances in your urine.
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What Are Kidney Stone Symptoms In Children
Children with kidney stones may experience:
- Back, side or groin pain
- Blood in their urine
- General symptoms, such as abdominal pain
Pain typically comes and goes as the body is trying to pass the kidney stone. Pain during urination is also a sign of kidney stones. Sometimes kidney stones don’t have symptoms and are found during an , or for another reason.
Types Of Kidney Stones In Children
Kidney stones form when large amounts of substances like salt accumulate in the kidneys, eventually turning into a stone or crystals. Other diseases cause certain stones, but many of them are formed because of diet and nutrition issues. Some doctors suspect that more children may be getting this condition due to too much salt in their diets.
Some types of kidney stones include:
- Calcium stones are caused by too much salt.
- Cystine stones can form in people who have cystinuria, an inherited disorder thatâs marked by an increased formation of stones in the kidney, bladder, and ureter.
- Struvite stones are most commonly caused by urinary tract infections.
- Uric acid stones can occur after chemotherapy or with gout.
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Why Do Doctors Examine The Contents Of The Stone
There are four types of stones. Studying the stone can help understand why you have it and how to reduce the risk of further stones. The most common type of stone contains calcium. Calcium is a normal part of a healthy diet. The kidney usually removes extra calcium that the body doesn’t need. Often people with stones keep too much calcium. This calcium combines with waste products like oxalate to form a stone. The most common combination is called calcium oxalate.
Less common types of stones are: Infection-related stones, containing magnesium and ammonia called struvite stones and stones formed from monosodium urate crystals, called uric acid stones, which might be related to obesity and dietary factors. The rarest type of stone is a cvstine stone that tends to run in families.
How Are Kidney Stones Normally Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask lots of questions about how the child became ill and examine them. Various imaging scans may be needed to confirm the diagnosis, see where the kidney stones are located and their size. An ultrasound scan is usually the first test to help make the diagnosis, although other scans may be needed as well. Urine tests will be needed to show whether there is an infection and to measure the chemicals that cause stones. Blood tests will show how well the kidneys are working.
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What Are The Most Common Types Of Kidney Stones
The most common type of kidney stone is a calcium oxalate stone. This type happens when calcium and oxalate combine in your urine. It can happen when you have high quantities of oxalate, low amounts of calcium and arent drinking enough fluids.
Stones caused by uric acid are also fairly common. These come from a natural substance called purine, which is a byproduct of animal proteins .
Can Kidney Stones Be Prevented
It’s not always possible to prevent some types of kidney stones.
But all kids who’ve had kidney stones should:
- Drink a lot of liquids throughout the day. Avoid dark sodas, soft drinks, and sports drinks. If their pee is almost clear, that’s a sign they’re drinking enough. Ask your doctor how much your child should drink.
- Limit the salt and protein in their diet.
If dietary changes don’t prevent kidney stones, medicines can help. Depending on the type of kidney stone your child had, the doctor can prescribe treatments or medicines to lower the levels of crystal-forming substances in the pee.
Doctors will keep an eye on kids who have had kidney stones and try to prevent new ones. The doctor might have your child use a 24-hour urine collection test. This measures the volume of pee within a 24-hour period and checks what’s in it.
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Causes And Symptoms Of Kidney Stones
There are multiple causes and contributing factors to kidney stone formation. Here are the main causes of kidney stones:
- Bacteria from urinary tract infections
- Certain medications
- Problems with formation of urinary tract inside the body
The four main symptoms of kidney stones are:
If you are concerned your child has or may have kidney stones, it is very important to talk to their pediatrician. Your childs pediatrician may recommend referral to a pediatric urologist to discuss stone removal or a pediatric nephrologist to discuss ongoing management and stone prevention. If your child is suffering from intense pain with nausea and vomiting, then they should be taken to the emergency department for prompt evaluation. Note: If your child passed a kidney stone and you find it, place it in a plastic bag and take it to their pediatrician.
Kidney Stones And Teens: Causes Symptoms And Prevention
Most likely you or someone you know has experienced kidney stones, which are hard deposits of minerals and salts formed in the kidney and can be painful to pass. While more common in adults, cases of kidney stones in children have increased significantly in recent years, especially in teenagers. We sat down with Dr. Uri Alon, director, Bone and Mineral Disorders Clinic at Childrens Mercy, to find out why this is the case and what can be done to prevent kidney stones.
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Kidney Stones In Children And Teens
Kidney stones have become more common in children and teens over the past 20 years. They can occur in children of any age, even premature infants, but most stones occur in teens.
Kidney stones happen when minerals and other substances normally found in urine join together to form a hard stone in the urinary tract. They can also form if there is not enough of other substances in the urine that help stop stones from forming.
Stones typically form in the kidney and ureter, the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder. They rarely form in the bladder.
Types Of Kidney Stones
- Calcium stones are the most common type, usually caused by high intake of certain substances, such as salt.
- Cystine stones can form in people who have cystinuria, an inherited disorder, marked by increased formation of stones in the bladder, kidney and ureter.
- Struvite stones most often occur in women who have urinary tract infections.
- Urica acid stones can occur with gout or after chemotherapy.
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What Is A Kidney Stone
Kidney stones form in the urinary system when the water and waste in your child’s urine are out of balance. When this happens, certain types of waste crystals separate from the urine. The crystals build up and form kidney stones. Kidney stones can be made of uric acid, calcium, phosphate, or oxalate crystals. Your child may have more than one kidney stone.
Is It Possible For Infants And Children To Have Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are usually associated with adults and old age, but is it really possible for children, even infants, to have this condition?
Kidney stones are not only painful, but are also hard to deal with. For the most part, adults and older people are usually diagnosed with this condition, but you might be surprised to know that it’s actually possible for children and even infants to have kidney stones.
Here’s what you need to know about children and kidney stones:
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How Can Children Have Kidney Stones
There are a lot of factors that can cause children to have kidney stones such as the following:
- Family history of having kidney stones
- Low water intake, or dehydration
- Repeated instances of UTI
- Urinary tract problems
- Side effect of certain medications
Any of these factors can contribute to the risk that a child can have kidney stones.
What Causes Kidney Stones
Kidney stones form when there is too much of the mineral ingredients of the stone and not enough water in the urine.
This can occur either because there is an abnormally high mineral content in the urine, or the urine is too concentrated because of dehydration.
Some rare stone diseases can result from inborn metabolic problems, which means that the child has a genetic condition that causes his body to make these stones. A family history of kidney stones predisposes other members of the family to have stones, although how these tendencies are passed from one generation to the next is not well understood.
Children who cant move for long periods of time may also be susceptible to stones, because when bones are inactive, theyre unable to regenerate themselves properly, which results in calcium being flushed into the system.
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What Happens If My Child Has Kidney Stones
The good news is that the majority of kidney stones are fairly small, so most kids dont need surgery. First, theyre told to drink plenty of fluids, including lemonade thats made with real lemons. Do not rely on store-bought lemonade because most of thats sugar, says Dr. Rhee. The citric acid in the lemons increases the citrate content of urine, a nutrient that makes it more difficult for kidney stones to form.
Children may also be prescribed mild pain relievers and medication that dilates their ureters, the tubes connecting the kidney to the bladder, helping the stone pass through more easily. A strainer is sent home so that any stones in the urine can be sifted out, put in a sealable bag and brought in to be sent to a lab to have the content analyzed.
Surgery is always the last resort. If the stone doesnt pass within a few days, patients usually have about a month before surgery is deemed necessary. However, all bets are off on the wait-and-see approach if a patient develops a fever during that time this indicates a possible and potentially life-threatening kidney infection that needs immediate attention.
Symptoms Of Kidney Stones In Children
- Infants: Colic, with or without vomiting, and recurrent crying associated with febrile symptoms of unknown cause or associated with urinary infection, could indicate the presence of urinary stones.
- Adolescents: The symptomatology is similar to that of adults with abdominal colic, the presence of vomiting and blood in the urine . If you see the removal of grit or pebbles when urinating the diagnosis becomes more precise.
- Pain when urinating, blood in the urine and sharp pains in the back or lower abdomen can be the symptoms of kidney stones.
- A child may also experience nausea and vomiting in addition to pain. However, children who have smaller stones may be able to pass easily with little or no pain or symptoms.
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Treatment For Kidney Stones In Children
If a kidney stone is causing a child pain, the goals are to help ease discomfort and to help the stone pass down into the bladder and out in the urine. This can sometimes be done at home by drinking large amounts of water and other fluids. Over-the-counter pain medicine like acetaminophen and ibuprofen may be helpful to manage pain. Other oral medications may be prescribed to ease the stone’s passage. Your child’s doctor may recommend using a strainer to help collect the stone from the urine so it can be tested in the lab.
Sometimes, if children are vomiting or have severe pain, they may need to be hospitalized so they can get fluids and stronger pain medicine through a vein.
Children with large stones or stones that will not pass on their own may need the help of a urologist, a doctor who specializes in the urinary tract. The urologist may use lithotripsy, a procedure that uses sound waves to break the stone into tiny pieces, which are then passed down the urinary tract. While it may sound scary, it is quite safe and does not damage the kidney. The urologist may also remove the stone by using a scope that enters the bladder and goes up the ureter while your child is under anesthesia. The urologist can then “grab” the stone and remove it from the body.
Calcium Is Not The Enemy
But it tends to get a bad rap! Most likely due to its name and composition, many are under the impression that calcium is the main culprit in calcium-oxalate stones. âI still see patients who wonder why they are getting recurring stones despite cutting down on their calcium intake,â said Dr. Jhagroo. âIâve even had patients say that their doctors told them to reduce their calcium intake.â A diet low in calcium actually increases oneâs risk of developing kidney stones.
Donât reduce the calcium. Work to cut back on the sodium in your diet and to pair calcium-rich foods with oxalate-rich foods.
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Dont Let Kidney Stones Affect Your Child
Did you know that children, even infants, can get kidney stones? While it used to not be very common in the kids, doctors are finding kidney stones increasingly more common. Kidney stones can cause unbearable pain, and can be difficult to get rid of. The best advice for dealing with stones is to try to avoid them in the first place. As a nurse practitioner in the Division of Pediatric Urology at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, Ill provide a little background on kidney stones and tips on kidney stone prevention.
Kidney stones are small, hard deposits of material that come together to form little rocks in the urinary tract. They are most often composed of minerals and acid salts such as calcium, oxalate, uric acid and phosphate. When these materials clump together, they form tiny hard clumps that can range in size from a few millimeters to bigger than a marble. The hard stones dont just form in the kidneys, they can form anywhere along the urinary tract including the ureters and bladder.
Stones can sit and grow in the urinary tract for months without causing any pain or discomfort. However, when they start to move they can be painful or get stuck and cause a blockage so the urine cannot pass through the urinary tract.What are Kidney Stones?
How To Prevent More Kidney Stones In The Future
Kids with kidney stones have a 50% lifetime risk of having a recurrence. We hit home that they need to drink more water, drink the lemonade and try to avoid sodium, Dr. Rhee says. That means potato chips, pretzels, pizza and all that kind of junk food.
As a final note to parents help your kids stay away from high-sugar, high-calorie drinks, and make sure your child increases his or her fluid intake in hot weather or with exertion. Its important to also continue to encourage physical activity so they can live their most-fun kid days!
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Does Eating More Fruits And Vegetables Help Prevent Kidney Stones
Dr. Alon: Yes. If someone eats something salty, like pizza or a hot dog, and also eats a fruit or a vegetable with the meal the potassium will counter the effect of sodium. Think of sodium as the bad guy and potassium as the good guy. The good guy will be able to control the bad guy. Because of this, no food is off limits you just have to have a good balance between the bad and good.
The average American teenager only consumes 1.5 servings of fruit and vegetables daily. The government recommendation is nine servings a day. We know this can be difficult to achieve, so we recommend at least five servings a day, which means there should be a fruit or vegetable at every meal.
We also highly recommend the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet. While the DASH diet was designed to control blood pressure, it also aims to reduce the amount of sodium and increase potassium in the diet.