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Kids prone to kidney stones!

Kidney stones are hard, pebble-like pieces that form in one or both the kidney s when high levels of certain minerals occur in urine. Kidney stones can cause permanent damage to kidney if not treated on time. Though kidney stone occurs mainly in adults but children are not immune to it.

In children, mostly kidney stones are caused by high levels of calcium, oxalate or phosphorus in the urine. Some children may have hereditary cause of kidney stone formation and in these cases, there is strong family history of stone formation.

Additionally, consumption of certain food items in excess like nuts and nut products, peanuts, spinach, red meat, chicken, cheese and other dairy products can increase the risk of stone formation in children.
I remember treating a playful 2-year-old child. He suddenly became irritable and his parents got anxious. Later, he developed fever and pain in lower side of back. His parents consulted his doctor, who advised some blood tests and an Ultrasound.

To the utter shock of the family, he was detected to have stones in both his kidneys which ultimately required surgery for stone removal. Since then he has been under constant supervision of doctors and taking diet and water intake as advised along with medicines prescribed.

Kidney stones in children may not trigger much symptoms . Symptoms when present are sharp pains in the back, side and groin, red or brown blood in the urine and irritability, pain in passing urine, fever etc. Diagnosis is usually by Ultrasound or CT scan of abdomen. Blood and urine tests are done to detect any infection and other metabolic abnormality in children.

Prevention of Kidney stone is by asking your child to drink more water. Medication can help to decrease risk of stone formation in children who have a tendency of recurrent Kidney stone formation. Some children may require surgery for the same.

(Dr. Amit Kumar, Director & HOD, Department of Nephrology & Renal Transplant, SHALBY Sanar International Hospitals, Gurugram)