Can Children Get Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are found in children as young as 5 years. In fact, this problem is so common in children that some hospitals conduct ‘stone’ clinics for pediatric patients. The increase in the United States has been attributed to several factors, mostly related to food choices. The two most important reasons are not drinking enough fluids and eating foods that are high in salt. Kids should eat less salty potato chips and French fries. There are other salty foods: sandwich meats, canned soups, packaged meals, and even some sports drinks. Sodas and other sweetened beverages can also increase the risk of stones if they contain high fructose corn syrup.
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Whats The Outlook For Kidney Stones
The outlook for kidney stones is very positive, although there is a risk of recurrence . Many kidney stones pass on their own over time without needing treatment. Medications and surgical treatments to remove larger kidney stones are generally very successful and involve little recovery time.
Its possible to get kidney stones multiple times throughout your life. If you keep developing kidney stones, your healthcare provider may work with you to discover why the stones happen. Once the cause is found, you may be able to make dietary changes to prevent future stones.
How To Relieve Kidney Stone Pain
This article was co-authored by Chris M. Matsko, MD. Dr. Chris M. Matsko is a retired physician based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With over 25 years of medical research experience, Dr. Matsko was awarded the Pittsburgh Cornell University Leadership Award for Excellence. He holds a BS in Nutritional Science from Cornell University and an MD from the Temple University School of Medicine in 2007. Dr. Matsko earned a Research Writing Certification from the American Medical Writers Association in 2016 and a Medical Writing & Editing Certification from the University of Chicago in 2017.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 88,496 times.
Kidney stones can be extremely painful. If you are dealing with pain caused by kidney stones, there are several things that you can try to help ease kidney stone pain. Make sure that you see a doctor for help treating your kidney stones because kidney stones may become worse without proper medical treatment. Your doctor may recommend some home remedies or prescribe a prescription pain reliever depending on the severity of your kidney stone pain.
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Causes Of Kidney Pain
There are a number of different things that can cause kidney pain, from infection to kidney stones and beyond. While alleviating your pain might seem like the #1 priority, never forego a doctor visit to get a treatment plan that will eliminate the source of the pain. Some common causes of kidney pain include infections along the urinary tract and kidney stones.
What Is A Kidney Stone
A kidney stone is a hard object that is made from chemicals in the urine. There are four types of kidney stones: calcium oxalate, uric acid, struvite, and cystine. A kidney stone may be treated with shockwave lithotripsy, uteroscopy, percutaneous nephrolithomy or nephrolithotripsy. Common symptoms include severe pain in lower back, blood in your urine, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills, or urine that smells bad or looks cloudy.
Urine has various wastes dissolved in it. When there is too much waste in too little liquid, crystals begin to form. The crystals attract other elements and join together to form a solid that will get larger unless it is passed out of the body with the urine. Usually, these chemicals are eliminated in the urine by the body’s master chemist: the kidney. In most people, having enough liquid washes them out or other chemicals in urine stop a stone from forming. The stone-forming chemicals are calcium, oxalate, urate, cystine, xanthine, and phosphate.
After it is formed, the stone may stay in the kidney or travel down the urinary tract into the ureter. Sometimes, tiny stones move out of the body in the urine without causing too much pain. But stones that don’t move may cause a back-up of urine in the kidney, ureter, the bladder, or the urethra. This is what causes the pain.
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Dissolving Uric Acid Stones
Uric acid stones are the only type of kidney stones that can sometimes be dissolved with the help of medication. Alkaline citrate salts or sodium bicarbonate are considered for this purpose, and sometimes allopurinol. Alkaline citrate salts and sodium bicarbonate increase the pH level of the urine, and allopurinol lowers the level of uric acid. Drinking a lot of water helps to increase the effect of the medication: The more urine there is, the better the uric acids can dissolve. If you have a urinary tract infection , it isn’t possible to treat the uric acid stones with medication.
If the treatment is successful, surgery isn’t needed to remove the stones. But its not clear how effectively medication can dissolve uric acid stones. There hasnt been any high-quality research on this.
How Is Kidney Pain Treated
Treatment of kidney pain depends on what condition is causing it. In order to pinpoint a cause, a number of tools are available to help your doctor make a diagnosis:
- Urinalysis: Checks for the presence of blood, excess white blood cells , proteins, and certain chemicals that are linked to various kidney disorders.
- Imaging tests:Ultrasound or a CT scan provides an image of the physical structure of the kidneys and urinary tract, sees if stones are present, and helps determine if blood flow is adequate.
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Can Kidney Stones Be Prevented
It’s not always possible to prevent some types of kidney stones.
But anyone who’s 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 you 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 you 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 teens who have had kidney stones and try to prevent new ones. The doctor might have you use a 24-hour urine collection test. This measures the volume of pee within a 24-hour period and checks what’s in it.
Kidney stones aren’t usually a worry for most teens, though it’s always a good idea to eat healthy foods and drink enough fluids to avoid dehydration.
Whos Most Likely To Get Kidney Stones What Are The Risk Factors
White men in their 30s and 40s are most likely to get kidney stones. However, anyone can develop kidney stones.
There are several risk factors for developing kidney stones. These include:
- Not drinking enough liquids.
- Having a diet that includes the substances that form the stones .
- Having a family history of kidney stones.
- Having a blockage in your urinary tract.
Certain medical conditions can also increase your risk of developing stones. This is because they may increase or decrease levels of the substances that make up a kidney stone. These conditions can include:
- Hypercalciuria .
Certain foods can also place you at risk of a kidney stone. These foods include:
- Meats and poultry .
- Sodium .
- Sugars .
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Avoiding Recurrence Of Kidney Stones
If you have had one kidney stone, some tips that may help to prevent a second stone forming include:
- Talk to your doctor about the cause of the previous stone.
- Ask your doctor to check whether the medications you are on could be causing your stones. Do not stop your medications without talking to your doctor.
- Get quick and proper treatment of urinary infections.
- Avoid dehydration. Drink enough fluids to keep your urine volume at or above two litres a day. This can halve your risk of getting a second stone by lowering the concentration of stone-forming chemicals in your urine.
- Avoid drinking too much tea or coffee. Juices may reduce the risk of some stones, particularly orange, grapefruit and cranberry. Ask your doctor for advice.
- Reduce your salt intake to lower the risk of calcium-containing stones. Dont add salt while cooking and leave the saltshaker off the table. Choose low- or no-salt processed foods.
- Avoid drinking more than one litre per week of drinks that contain phosphoric acid, which is used to flavour carbonated drinks such as cola and beer.
- Always talk to your doctor before making changes to your diet.
Drinking mineral water is fine it cannot cause kidney stones because it contains only trace elements of minerals.
Treatment Options For Kidney Stones
Small kidney stones often pass out of the body on their own. As long as they don’t cause severe pain or complications, treatment isnt necessary. Larger kidney stones usually need to be treated. Depending on how large the kidney stones are and where they’re located, they can be destroyed or removed using an .
Most kidney stones with a diameter of less than 5 millimeters, and about half of all stones between 5 and 10 millimeters, pass out of the body on their own. These smaller kidney stones are often flushed out in the urine after one or two weeks.
If its thought that a stone will probably be flushed out without any treatment, doctors generally recommend waiting. If the kidney stone causes pain as it travels through the ureter , painkillers like ibuprofen or diclofenac can provide relief.
Larger stones that cause problems will usually have to be broken up or surgically removed. That needs to be done if
- the stone isn’t passed within four weeks,
- there are complications,
- it causes severe colic , or
- the stone is larger than 10 millimeters in diameter.
Uric acid stones can sometimes be dissolved using medication.
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Get Care From An Expert
Kidney stonesare formed when there are more of certain chemicals in the urine than fluid to dilute forming a crystal. That crystal tries tomake its way out of your system through the urinary tract. Sadly, the urethrais smaller than the stone, so its a painful process. Symptoms of kidney stones can include intense pain inthe lower abdomen or back, blood in your urine, or a blockage that stops youfrom being able to urinate. If the pain you are feeling resemblesone of the stories above, get to your healthcare provider fast. They can helpwith some of the pain and put a treatment plan together.
What Is Kidney Pain
People often mistake kidney pain as back pain.
Unlike back pain, which usually occurs in the lower back, kidney pain is deeper and higher up the back. The kidneys can be found underneath the ribcage, on each side of the spine. Pain from the kidneys is felt in the sides, or in the middle to upper back . The pain may also progress to other areas, such as the abdomen or groin.
Kidney pain is a result of swelling or blockage in the kidneys or urinary tract. Other symptoms such as fever, vomiting, or painful urination are clues that the pain is a result of a kidney problem.
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How Does Passing A Kidney Stone Feel
Small stones can pass without any symptoms at all, but larger stones can be a problem.
As long as the stone is in the kidney and not blocking the flow of urine, you probably wont feel it. Eventually, the stone leaves the kidney and enters the ureter on its way to the bladder.
The ureters are tiny, about 1/8 inch wide, so if a stone cant move through, its hard for urine to flow.
This can cause swelling and incredibly painful spasms . Youll feel a sharp, stabbing pain in your side or back, below the ribcage. Pain sometimes radiates to the groin and genitals.
You might find that the intensity of the pain changes as you change position and as the stone continues its journey through your urinary tract. Youll probably find it near impossible to lie still, tossing and turning in an effort to stop the pain. Pain can subside for several hours before returning.
- blood in the urine
The pain tends to ease up once the stone reaches the bladder. If the stone is small, or has broken into small pieces, you may not feel it as it flows from the bladder, through the urethra, and out with the urine.
Stones dont usually block the urethra, since its twice as wide as the ureters, but a larger stone can cause resurgence of pain.
It takes an average of 31 days to pass a small stone. Stones 4 millimeters or larger may take longer or require a medical procedure to assist.
- chills, fever
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Pain That Comes And Goes In Waves And Changes In Intensity
As the kidney stone moves through your urinary tract, youll feel pain differently. With a backache, the pain is usually constant.
Kidney stone pain typically starts high up, near the kidney, migrates toward the abdomen and then eventually moves down toward the groin as the stone moves further down the ureter, says Mike Nguyen, MD, a urologist at Keck Medicine of USC and associate professor of clinical urology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
Kidney stone pain is typically severe and can be sharp or dull. It usually occurs suddenly, without any provoking events.
Mike Nguyen, MD
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Alternate Remedies For Kidney Stones
Increasingly, more people are interested in attempting at-home treatments for kidney stones to decrease the use of medicines, procedures and surgeries. A number of alternative remedies have been acknowledged for the treatment of kidney stones. We will present these below and discuss their likelihood of success.
1. Lemon Juice and Olive Oil
Sounds awful, doesnt it? Some people do claim success in mixing a concoction of lemon juice and olive oil to help dissolve kidney stones as a home remedy. Proponents of this method claim that at the first notice of symptoms, mix five ounces of olive oil with five ounces of lemon juice. Drink this combination straight and then drink a glass of water. Repeat the process again in the late afternoon. Be sure to drink plenty of water as well through the day as well as extra lemon juice, if possible. Continue this treatment regimen for several days until the stone passes. It is thought that the lemon juice could help break down the kidney stones and the olive oil would aid in lubrication to pass the stone more easily. Extra-virgin olive oil is thought to be the best olive oil ingredient to use because it is the thickest and healthiest.
Warning: Lemons are very acidic and can destroy tooth enamel and contribute to heartburn or ulcers.
Our patient surveying indicates some success in a very limited number of kidney stone patients. We give it 2 out of 5 stars.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
3. Coke and Asparagus
We give this remedy 1 out of 5 stars.
What Is A Kidneystone Made Of
Generally speaking,16 types of kidney stones can be created in the human body. And what they are made of can help you prevent additional kidney stones in the future.
The two major types of kidney stones are made up ofcalcium and uric acid. Calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate, and uric acid, alongwith struvite and cystine stones are the major groupings. Technical names likecalcium oxalate monohydrate, hydroxyapatite, and magnesium hydrogen phosphateare a mouthful, to be sure, but knowing exactly what kind of kidney stone youhave can give you the best clues for preventing kidney stones in the future.
Start by collecting your urine to capture the stone as itcomes out. Or by using a coffee filter to catch the stone. After collecting it,take it to your physician they can send it out for tests. Once the testresults come back you two can craft a treatment plan to help prevent kidneystones in the future. In addition to your customized treatment plan, drinkingmore water, eating less meat, consuming more citrus, and reducing your saltintake are general guidelines that can help reduce the odds of kidney stones inthe future.
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Dietary Calcium And Kidney Stones
Only lower your calcium intake below that of a normal diet if instructed by your doctor. Decreased calcium intake is only necessary in some cases where absorption of calcium from the bowel is high.
A low-calcium diet has not been shown to be useful in preventing the recurrence of kidney stones and may worsen the problem of weak bones. People with calcium-containing stones may be at greater risk of developing weak bones and osteoporosis. Discuss this risk with your doctor.
How Long Does It Take A Kidney Stone To Form
You can have kidney stones for years without knowing theyre there. As long as these stones stay in place within your kidney, you wont feel anything. Pain from a kidney stone typically starts when it moves out of your kidney. Sometimes, a stone can form more quickly within a few months.
Talk with your healthcare provider about your risk factors. They might do a 24-hour urine test to check how quickly you develop stones.
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Medication For Kidney Stones
For most people with recurrent calcium stones, a combination of drinking enough fluids, avoiding urinary infections, and specific treatment with medications will significantly reduce or stop new stone formation.
Certain medications such as thiazide diuretics or indapamide reduce calcium excretion and decrease the chance of another calcium stone. Potassium citrate or citric juices are used to supplement thiazide treatment and are used by themselves for some conditions where the urine is too acidic.
For people who have a high level of uric acid in their urine, or who make uric acid stones, the medication allopurinol will usually stop the formation of new stones.