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Kidney Stones in Children: Why Is It Happening?

By Larry Seitz | December 17, 2008

Throughout the pediatric world kidney stones are appearing in children as young as five.  Kidney stones in children you ask.  How could that be?

What would cause this to occur in our children?  Is it something mysterious that abounds in some American diet of our fast paced society?  While it be more prevalent now because of the change in the economic tapestry of this great nation?

Let us look a little deeper.  Is it some manufactured additive or something so common that it is right in front of our faces?  If we assume that our diet is the culprit, therein lies the problem as well as the solution.  Many experts agree that what enters our mouth becomes our undoing.  Common sense would agree with that conclusion.

Studies conducted in adults find that there are crystallizations of several substances in the urine.  Kidney stones can form when these substances become too concentrated.

The gathered statistics claim that 40 to 65 percent of kidney stones occur when oxalate, a byproduct of certain foods, joins with calcium in the urine.  The two major risk factors that cause this linking are not enough fluid intake, that is water, and consuming too much salt.  When these factors occur there is an increase of calcium and oxalate in the urine, which can cause the problem.

Research conducted by Dr. Bruce L. Slaughenhoupt, co-director of pediatric urology and of the pediatric kidney stone clinic at the University of Wisconsin has concluded his results.  They view salt as the culprit in the child’s diet.  This is woefully obvious when you consider a child’s snacks that consist of salty chips or French fries speckled with salt.  Then there are the various fast food products that are loaded with salt such as processed foods, soups, and certain drinks.  Children tend to avoid drinking enough water to avoid going to the bathroom. This is especially true in the midst of their play activities.

Dietary increases in salt usage correlate with the increase of childhood obesity.  Is it then a parental issue to decide when important healthy habits become the everyday practice?  If promoting plenty of fluids, a balanced diet, and reducing foods rich in salt and fat a positive approach to lessen kidney stones, who would disagree with that conclusion?



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