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Kidney Stones in Children- Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

A kidney stone is a solid mass created from substances present in the urine. Usually, these substances are passed in the urine, but when there isn’t enough urine volume, these substances can get highly concentrated and crystallized. These substances can be calcium, oxalate, phosphate, uric acid, xanthine, and cystine. If your kid has a kidney stone, it might be because of inadequate fluid intake.

Symptoms It is possible that your child has a kidney stone and there isn’t any symptom. However, when the stone becomes very large or starts to move, that’s when the signs start to appear. If you see any of the following symptoms in your child, contact a pediatric nephrologist near you:

• Feeling pain in the side of the body or lower back. This pain might begin as a dull ache that appears and disappears frequently. However, when it turns severe, you must take your child to see a doctor immediately. • Vomiting or feeling nauseous with the pain • Feeling pain while urinating • Seeing blood in the urine • Being unable to urinate • Experiencing chills or fever • Urinating frequently • Having urine that looks cloudy or smells bad. If your child has a small kidney stone, they won’t experience pain or display any other symptoms. Eventually, they will be passed out of the body through the urine. Causes Kidney stones are the result of high levels of oxalate, phosphorus, or calcium in the urine. At normal levels, these minerals don’t cause any problems and are usually found in the urine. There are some foods and beverages that can increase your child’s chances of having a kidney stone. Also, the risk of developing kidney stones is higher when your child is not able to move for a long duration like when they are in a cast or after surgery. When children are not moving, extra calcium is released from the bones into the blood. Treatment The treatment of kidney stones depends on their size, type, and location. For small kidney stones, your child won’t need any treatment. They might have to urinate through a strainer to get the kidney stones in a container. This kidney stone will be sent to a lab for testing. In order to move the stone along, you have to make your child drink lots of water.

In the case of a large kidney stone or multiple stones, urgent treatment is required as it causes great pain and might even block your child’s urinary tract. Here are a few treatment options:

1. Shock wave lithotripsy - This treatment works from outside your child’s body by blasting the stone into smaller pieces. These smaller pieces can pass through the urinary tract easily. During the procedure, your child will be administered with anesthesia to help them stay still and prevent pain.

2. Ureteroscopy and Cystoscopy - During ureteroscopy, a long and thin instrument is used to look at the lining of the kidneys and ureters and find a stone. During a cystoscopy, a thin tube with a small lens at the end is used for looking inside the bladder and the urethra. In both these procedures, the instrument is inserted through the urethra. Once the doctor has found the stone, it is either broken into smaller pieces or removed.

3. Percutaneous nephrolithotomy - In this treatment method, a small viewing tool named nephroscope is used for locating and removing the kidney stone. The doctor will make a cut in the back and insert the tool into the kidney. For large kidney stones, a laser might be needed for breaking the stone into smaller pieces. After all these procedures, the doctor might leave a ureteral stent, a thin and flexible tube, in the urinary tract that will allow the stone to pass and help with the urine flow. Once the stone has been removed, it will be sent to a laboratory for finding out its type.

After the stone has been removed or passed, your child will have to collect their urine for 24 hours. This is done for measuring the amount of urine produced and the mineral levels in it. If they don’t make enough urine or have high mineral levels in it, they might form stones again.

In order to ensure that your child gets the best treatment, visit the Rainbow Children’s Hospital and talk to the best pediatric nephrologist in Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore.


Senior Consultant - General Pediatrics MBBS, MD- PEDS

Malviya Nagar,Panchsheel Park