Kidney stones are crystallized material in the urine. These stones form in the kidneys or other parts of the urinary tract. Kidney stones may be made up of a variety of minerals in the blood. The most common are calcium, oxalate or phosphate. Others stones may contain uric acid, struvite, and/or cystine.
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Some of the known causes of kidney stones in children include:
These factors increase your child’s chance of developing kidney stones:
Occasionally, kidney stones do not cause symptoms, and they leave the body in the urine. Often a kidney stone can cause severe pain and symptoms such as:
The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Images of the kidneys and urinary tract may be taken with:
Treatment depends on the size and location of the kidney stone. Treatment may include:
For small kidney stones, having your child drink plenty of water will help her body pass the stone in the urine. The doctor may provide a special cup to catch the stone when it passes so that it can be analyzed. If your child is having a hard time keeping fluids down, she may need to be hospitalized to receive fluids in her vein. The doctor may also give your child pain medicine and antibiotics until the stone passes.
A kidney stone can be painful as it moves through the urinary tract. The doctor may recommend over-the-counter medications or prescription pain medication.
Surgery may be needed if the stone is:
Types of surgery include:
Your child is likely to have another kidney stone if they had one before. Here are some steps that may help to prevent future stones:
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Urology Care Foundation
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Bladder/kidney stones. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital website. Available at: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/info/urinary/diagnose/bladder-kidney-stones.htm#causes . Updated January 2011. Accessed June 25, 2013.
Borghi L, Meschi T, Maggiore U, Prati B. Dietary therapy in idiopathic nephrolithiasis. Nutr Rev . 2006;64:301-312.
Nephrolithiasis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated May 17, 2013. Accessed June 25, 2013.
National Kidney Foundation. Kidney stones. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/kidneystones.cfm . Accessed June 25, 2013.
Last reviewed March 2013 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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