Reducing Kidney Stone Risk
Drinking enough fluid will help keep your urine less concentrated with waste products. Darker urine is more concentrated, so your urine should appear very light yellow to clear if you are well hydrated. Most of the fluid you drink should be water. Most people should drink more than 12 glasses of water a day. Speak with a healthcare professional about the right amount of water that’s best for you. Water is better than soda, sports drinks or coffee/tea. lf you exercise or if it is hot outside, you should drink more. Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup should be limited to small quantities.
Eat more fruits and vegetables, which make the urine less acid. When the urine is less acid, then stones may be less able to form. Animal protein produces urine that has more acid, which can then increase your risk for kidney stones.
You can reduce excess salt in your diet. What foods are high in salt? Everyone thinks of salty potato chips and French fries. Those should be rarely eaten. There are other products that are salty: sandwich meats, canned soups, packaged meals, and even sports drinks.
Some herbal substances are promoted as helping prevent stones. You should know that there is insufficient published medical evidence to support the use of any herb or supplement in preventing stones.
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Who Gets Kidney Stones
Anyone can get a kidney stone, even a young child. In most cases, kidney stones result from an imbalanced diet and not drinking enough water. In some cases, kidney stones form as the result of certain medical conditions or medications that increase stone-forming substances in the urine. Many children with kidney stones have family members who previously had them.
What Are The Causes And Risk Factors Of Kidney Stones
Anyone can get a kidney stone, but some people are more likely than others to have them. Men get kidney stones more often than women do. Kidney stones are also more common in non-Hispanic white people than in people of other ethnicities. You may also be more likely to have kidney stones if:
- You have had kidney stones before.
- Someone in your family has had kidney stones.
- You dont drink enough water.
- You follow a diet high in protein, sodium and/or sugar.
- You have had gastric bypass surgery or another intestinal surgery.
- You have polycystic kidney disease or another cystic kidney disease.
- You have a certain condition that causes your urine to contain high levels of cystine, oxalate, uric acid or calcium.
- You have a condition that causes swelling or irritation in your bowel or your joints.
- You take certain medicines, such as diuretics or calcium-based antacids.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Kidney Stones
Some kidney stones do not cause any symptoms at all, particularly if they are very small and not causing a blockage. However, kidney stones can be painful and cause blood in the urine and generally feelings of being unwell, such as a high temperature and vomiting. If the stone passes out of the kidney into the ureter, it can cause severe pain.
Kidney stones can cause an infection. Signs of an infection include a high temperature, vomiting and/or diarrhoea and urine that is pink or cloudy. Studies have shown that pain is not experienced in approximately half of young children with stones.
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.
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Home Remedies For Kidney Stones In Children
Following are some home remedies parents may try to prevent kidney stones in kids:
- Increasing the fluid intake helps in increasing the urine formation and decreasing the quantities of mineral components that form stones.
- Basil is known to help stabilise uric acid levels. It can prevent kidney stone formation. It also has acetic acid, which helps in dissolving some stones.
- Pomegranates antioxidant properties might reduce the chances of developing stones.
Are Kidney Stones Hereditary
In some cases, kidney stones in kids are hereditary. Some rare hereditary conditions like Dents disease, primary hyperoxaluria, medullary sponge kidney or cystinuria can be the primary cause of kidney stones in kids.
However, not all kidney stones are hereditary. It is unclear the exact role that genetics play in most people with kidney stones.
Most likely, genetics play a role in making you more susceptible to kidney stones. But, environmental factors like diet, hydration and metabolic risk further increase stone risk. These factors can tip you over the edge and cause a kidney stone if you are susceptible.
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How Are Kidney Stones Diagnosed
The doctor will ask about:
- the symptoms and how long they’ve been going on
- your child’s diet
- whether your child could be dehydrated
- whether there’s a family history of kidney stones, or urinary or kidney problems
The doctor will do an exam and probably order:
- blood tests
- urine tests
- kidney function tests
- imaging tests, such as ultrasounds, X-rays, or CT scans. These can show a stone’s exact size and location. This helps doctors decide on the best treatment.
Risk Factors For Kidney Stones
There are many risk factors for forming kidney stones. Some of the most common ones are:
- Family tendency to form stones
- A diet high in salt, meat, and processed foods, and low in fruits and vegetables
- Low urine output from not drinking enough fluid
Other risk factors include:
- Specific inherited conditions
- Certain medicines, such as the seizure drug topiramate, for example, or the blood pressure drug furosemide, which removes excess water from the body
- Blocked urine flow
- Kidney infection
- Not enough physical activity, as when wearing a cast after surgery. This can cause calcium to leave the bones, so that an excess amount builds up in the urinary tract and contributes to stone formation.
- Bowel disease
- Surgery for weight loss
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How Common Are Kidney Stones In Children
Kidney stones are not common in children, but the number of children affected has grown steadily larger during the last several years. Changing eating habits may be responsible, especially the rise in the amount of sodium children eat through processed foods and table salt. Learn how changes in a childs diet may help prevent kidney stones.
The rise in obesity and less active lifestyles may also cause more children to have kidney stones.
What Should Parents Be Aware Of
According to Dr. Lane, parents should be diligent about making sure their children are taking in enough fluids throughout the day. The most important prevention for kidney stones is drinking lots of fluid, she shares. The urine should appear clear or pale yellow. A lot of kids do not want to use the restroom during the day, especially once they enter high school. We need to encourage them to drink more and urinate. As a parent, you need to be somewhat aware of your childs habits, and to make sure they are using the restroom at regular intervals. If your child has stones, watch for sodium in the diet. Remember, sports drinks contain sodium that can promote kidney stones, Dr. Lane adds.
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What Is The Best Advice For Preventing Kidney Stones
Dr. Alon: Drink more fluids, eat healthy and pay attention to diet. A child that has developed kidney stones in the past is at greater risk for developing additional stones in the future. Preventative measures are key.
We also know that changing diet and habits cant happen overnight and itll take a few weeks to make adjustments. We also know teenagers will follow recommendations for several months and then slowly go back to old habits. Its not easy and it requires discipline. Support and encouragement are key to success.
How Are Kidney Stones Treated
Treatment depends on the type of kidney stone and its size. Some kids only need to drink a lot of water and take pain medicines to pass a kidney stone. Those with larger stones may need surgery or other treatments to help remove the stones.
There are different types of stones. A stone that passes in pee and is caught in a strainer can be tested to see what type it is. Knowing that can help doctors find the cause and offer advice how to treat it and prevent other stones.
To help pass a small stone, give your child plenty of water to drink and medicine to ease the pain. Often, over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen are enough. But sometimes, doctors prescribe pain medicine.
The doctor might ask you to strain your child’s pee for a few days to collect the kidney stones. Examining them can help the doctor decide if your child needs more treatment.
Kids whose kidney stones block the urinary tract or cause severe pain or dehydration may need care in a hospital. They might get intravenous fluids and pain medicine to help the stones pass and treat dehydration.
Large stones rarely pass on their own. To get rid of large stones and stones that are damaging the kidneys, doctors can do a procedure to break up the stone. This lets the smaller pieces pass on their own or be removed with a scope or surgery.
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What Are The Causes Of Pediatric Nephrolithiasis
There are many causes of kidney stones, but the most common reason is eating too much salt and not drinking enough water. In fact, the formation of a kidney stone is actually multiple small salt crystals sticking together and growing until it becomes a visible stone.
To describe how kidney stones form, ask your child to imagine sea water evaporating and leaving salt crystals behind. When these stones become large enough to become painful, they may even block the kidneys or the tubes that carry urine.
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?
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What Causes Kidney Stones In A Child
Following are some of the causes of developing kidney stones:
- Higher mineral content in the urine.
- Highly concentrated urine, wherein the water content is low, and the mineral content is high.
- Less water intake or dehydration.
- Some stones develop due to genetic disorders. Although these cases are rare, inborn metabolic issues lead to stone formation. The body makes stones due to certain genetic conditions.
- A family history of kidney stones.
- Defects in the urinary tract or persistent UTI.
- Obesity and reduced activity.
- A diet that has high sodium, protein, or both.
In some cases, the causes of developing kidney stones are unknown.
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 Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Kidney Stones
Most of the time, kidney stones don’t cause symptoms until they move around in the kidney. Small stones might pass through the urinary tract and out of the body with no pain or complications. Larger stones, though, may block the urinary tract and cause symptoms like:
Sharp pain that starts in the side or back
Pain that spreads to the lower belly and groin as stones move through the urinary tract
Pain that comes and goes in waves
Blood in the pee , called hematuria
Feeling sick and throwing up
Needing to pee often or urgently
Fever or chills
A stone that’s too large to move can sometimes create a backup of pee, causing one or both kidneys to swell . Hydronephrosis can cause pain in the side and back. If it’s not treated, it may cause long-term kidney damage. Most kidney stones, though, don’t cause lasting damage.
Do You Know What Causes Kidney Stones In Kids
Mostly minerals and acid salts clumps together to form stones that can be tiny or even marble sized. They are present anywhere along the urinary tract and can stay there without causing pain. They start to hurt when they start moving. Even the kids develop kidney stones. Do you want to know what causes kidney stones in kids? Lets dive in!
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Causes Of Kidney Stones
According to the National Institutes of Health, substances normally found in urine like calcium, magnesium, oxalate and phosphorous can become highly concentrated and cause kidney stones for several reasons.
- Stagnant urine may collect in pools due to defects in the urinary tract, causing stone-forming substances to settle together into stones.
- An anatomic abnormality of the urinary tract accounts for up to one-third of children who have stones.
- Genetics are a factor in kidney stones, so a tendency to form stones can be hereditary. Not drinking enough water or drinking the wrong types of fluids, like soft drinks may cause substances in the urine to become too concentrated.
- Too much sodium in the diet may cause an increase in kidney stones. Some doctors feel that increases in childhood obesity and a less active lifestyle may be contributing to the increase in kidney stones in children.
- Urinary tract infections introduce different types of bacteria into the urinary tract that break down urea a waste product that the kidneys remove from the blood into substances that can form kidney stones.
- Metabolic disorders can lead to kidney stones in children. Metabolism is the process of breaking down food and utilizing the nutrients, while removing the wastes that remain. There are several disorders that can cause kidney stones in children.
Which Children Are More Likely To Develop Kidney Stones
Children of all ages can develop kidney stones, including infants, but they occur much more often in teens. A family history of kidney stones makes a child more likely to develop them. Children whove had kidney stones in the past have a greater chance of developing another kidney stone.
An unhealthy lifestyle and diet can make children more likely to have kidney stones. For example, drinking too little water or drinking the wrong types of liquid, such as sugary soft drinks or drinks with caffeine, may cause substances in the urine to become too concentrated.
Likewise, too much sodium, a part of salt, may force extra minerals into the urine, which can become kidney stones. Unhealthy amounts of sodium are found in many prepared foods, including restaurant meals, chips, sandwich meats, frozen foods, and some sports drinks.
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Who Gets Kidney Stones And Why
The lifetime risk of kidney stones among adults in the US is approximately 9%, and it appears that global warming may be increasing that risk. There are four major types of kidney stones: calcium oxalate/calcium phosphate, uric acid, struvite , and cystine.
A risk factor for all stones, regardless of type, is dehydration. Anyone who is prone to kidney stones should pay attention to good hydration. A randomized trial has shown that drinking 2 liters of fluid a day reduces the likelihood of stone recurrence by about half. The American Urological Association guideline for medical management of kidney stones recommends that patients who form kidney stones should aim to drink more than 2.5 liters of fluid per day.
Anyone with symptoms of kidney stones should be referred to a urologist. The initial evaluation will often include blood, urine, and imaging studies. Decisions about testing, and ultimately treatment, should be made jointly by the physician and the patient. Lets look at specific risk factors and treatment for each of the major stone types.