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Kidney Stones on the Rise in Kids

by Lynn Shapiro, Writer | May 05, 2009

The most common symptoms in children with kidney stones are back and abdominal pain. Parents may often mistake their child's symptoms for appendicitis or gastritis. Kidney stones tend to be way down on the list of possible problems.

Doctors say that children between the ages of 5 and 10 who have kidney stones should drink six glasses of water. Kids over 10 should drink 10 glasses, Faerber says.

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Treatment:
-If stones are small, doctors recommend for the children to pass them on their own.
-If the stone needs to be treated, shockwave lithotripsy is used. The procedure occurs under an anesthetic. Sound waves are used to break up the stone into small pieces, which the child can then pass.
-Sometimes doctors perform a ureteroscopy. They pass a very small miniaturized instrument through the urinary system and treat the stone with a laser.
-In cases where the stone is very large, access to the kidney is made through a very small incision in the back. Using a small scope the urinary system is entered, the stone is broken up and the pieces are then retrieved.

"The main takeaway is to get your child to stay away from sugar filled drinks, sodas, colas and go to something natural like plain old water," Faerber says.

Source: University of Michigan Health System.

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