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Little Warriors: Kidney Stones in Children

Picture a child, instead of enjoying playtime with friends, hunched in pain from kidney stones. How painful this scene was to all of us!! Though less common, the graph of the incidence of kidney stones in children has grown largely in the last several years. So, how do these tiny warriors, our children, end up battling kidney stones? What causes them, and what can we do to protect our little ones? In this blog, we’ll uncover the who, what, and why of this growing health concern. Let’s join with us.

Kidney stones in children

Which children are more prone to developing kidney stones?

  • Children of any age even infants can develop kidney stones although, teens are more likely to have this problem.
  • A family history is another important factor for developing kidney stones in children.
  • Children who have a past history of kidney stones can develop it again.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms are often similar to those in adults such as blood in urine, vomiting, severe abdominal pain or pain in the flank region, urinary tract infection, etc.

Why does this happen?

There are several conditions that accelerate the formation of kidney stones in children:

  1. First of all genetic stone disease, is rare but occurs due to the following reasons and accelerates kidney stone formation.
  2. Primary hyperoxal urea in which urine contains abnormally large amounts of oxalate.
  3. Familial hyperparathyroidism is when parathyroid glands release too much parathyroid hormone, consequently causing extra calcium in the blood.
  4. Xanthinuria i.e. excretion of excess amount of xanthine through urine.
  5. Cystinuria that is too much of cystine in urine.
  6. Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease,
  7. Dent disease is a defect in proximal tubules of nephron. But this exclusively happens in male and appears in early childhood.
  8. Secondly, dehydration due to severe diarrhea for an extensive tenure can cause kidney stones.
  9. Infections such as recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI) can promote formation of kidney stone in children.
  10. Malformation of the genital urinary tract sometimes results in stone formation in children.
  11. Pelvi-ureteric junction (PUJ) obstruction can cause kidney stones in children.
  12. Renal tuberculosis in children can induce kidney stone development.
  13. Finally, changing eating habits is the most common culprit behind this problem. Children nowadays are more fascinated by processed foods like pizza, burgers, fried chicken, chips, sandwiches, frozen food, etc. These add more amount of sodium to their diet and make them prone to developing kidney stones.
  14. The increasing obesity due to sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy eating habits promotes the development of kidney stones in children.
Conditions that accelerate the formation of kidney stones in children

What to do if any child has such symptoms of kidney stones?

Consultation with a nephrologist is crucial for timely diagnosis and appropriate treatments so that further complications of kidney stones can be prevented. If not treated on time it can lead to the functional disorders of kidneys. Proper management of nutrition is also very vital in this regard.

To get any assistance on dietary management for your child you can join our renal cooking group

As we conclude our exploration into the world of kidney stones in children, one thing should be imprinted in our minds – knowledge is our greatest ally in safeguarding the health and well-being of our little warriors. Therefore, by understanding the factors contributing to stone formation, recognizing the symptoms, and exploring the causes, whether genetic, dietary, or underlying health issues, we can help our children overcome this unexpected adversary and ensure they grow up healthy and strong. Together, we can protect our little warriors from the clutches of kidney stones, ensuring their bright futures remain unburdened by this ailment.

To read more about kidney stone

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Dr Pratim Sengupta's Team (Nephro)
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