Kidney Stones Treatment in Children
Kidney stones are hard deposits of salts and minerals from your urine that form inside your kidneys. They can be as small as a grain of sand to as big as a golf ball. They more likely develop in teens than infants. However, the last few decades have seen a rise in the total number of kidney stone cases in children
Why Do Kids Get Kidney Stones?
There is no definitive cause of getting kidney stones. However, there are several factors that can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. For example:
- Genetic predisposition: Someone with a history of kidney stones is more likely to develop them during their lifetime.
- Dehydration: Not drinking enough water, especially when you are in a dry climate or are in a humid climate where you sweat profusely, is one of the more common causes of dehydration that can result in kidney stones.
- Obesity: A larger BMI and a larger waist are also co-linked with a higher risk of kidney stones.
- Medicines: Certain drugs and supplements like vitamin C, calcium-based medicines, laxatives can also eventually lead to kidney stones.
- Diet: A high-protein, high-sodium, and high-sugar diet is most likely why kidney stones are becoming more and more prevalent in children.
- Other medical conditions: Other diseases in the excretory system like VUR, UTI, PUJ, etc. can also result in formation of kidney stones.
What Can You Tell If Your Child Might Have Kidney Stones?
A kidney stone can very silently keep growing within the system, and your child won’t even feel a thing. It only starts to show symptoms when it shifts within the kidney or moves to the ureters. If a stone blocks a ureter, the passage between the kidney and the bladder, that’s when the symptoms begin to show. Here are some of the tell tale signs:
- Frequent, painful urination
- Stabbing pain in the lower back or the sides
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Cloudy or pinkish (blood-stained) urine
Dr. Mallikarjuna Reddy, a Robotic, Paediatric & Reconstructive Urologist, reminds you, “The pain associated with kidney stones can change and/or come-and-go. This is because of the stone(s) changing their positions inside the body.”
How Are Kidney Stones Extracted?
The treatment for kidney stones depends on the size and location of the stones. To determine that, a combination of blood and urine tests, along with ultrasounds, CT scans and MRIs of the abdominal area are conducted. These tests and imaging techniques will help the doctor diagnose not only the status of the stones but also if they have caused any damage or infection internally. Accordingly, a treatment plan is devised.
The smallest of the stones pass through urine naturally; although, a strong dose of painkillers and muscle relaxers is needed to manage the pain. A small course of antibiotics will make sure that the microtears caused by the stone do not get infected.
For medium-sized stones, sound waves are used to break down the stones into smaller pieces so that they can pass through urine.
For large stones, laparoscopic surgery might become necessary, where the surgeon extracts the stones from the kidney through a small surgical hole in the back. It is a modern surgical technique that involves a very short and pain-free recovery time for no more than 10 days after which your child can resume their normal life.
With a good diet and plenty of water to drink, the risk of recurrence of kidney stones can be reduced to a minimum.