Pediatric Kidney Stones – Diet Control – What to Eat & Not
Severe abdominal pain in children is often associated with bowel disorders. But, many toddlers and school going children have begun to experience excruciating lower abdominal pain related to kidney stones. Parents are finding it difficult to cope with this sort of a problem faced by their kids, especially in those who are yet to develop their communication skills.
It is up to the pediatrician to identify the exact cause for it. The advance made in technology currently and the easy availability of sophisticated diagnostic techniques, these put together have made it less stressful for physicians to make a conclusive statement as far as pediatric kidney stones are concerned.
Once it has been confirmed that the child has a tendency to develop kidney stones, a change made in his or her eating habits will affect the formation of kidney stones in a positive manner.
Increasing water intake of the child has a prominent part to play in reducing the child’s risk of developing any more kidney stones. Excess urination will assist in flushing out mineral matters, which go into the making of a kidney stone, from the system along with the urine. Also, urine made thinner by excess water will dissolve mineral elements, preventing stone development.
Kidney stones are of various types, and some of these are calcium based. So the parent of a child forming calcium kidney stones will obviously attempt to reduce the child’s milk intake. This will not facilitate the child in preventing stone formation. Calcium is not considered the culprit here, but foods containing high oxalates. This is because the most common type of calcium stones developed by children is the calcium oxalate type.
Oxalates are high in most green leafy vegetables, nuts, and most important of all – chocolates and cocoa. Children love chocolates and to deprive them of these requires a lot of energetic determination by the parent, but it needs to be done – avoid giving the child chocolate treats. Also, adding to their milk chocolate flavored health drink powders is not recommended. The calcium salt and oxalates produced by the cocoa powder will combine more easily to form stones.
Children, especially the little ones who are getting used to different food tastes and textures, can be notorious when it comes to getting them to eat what the parent wants them to. Boiled veggies or soups placed in front of them will only be pushed aside; they would rather starve than eat these. Their food favorites will almost always be pizzas, burgers, French fries, nuggets, patties, etc. But these are highly processed food products, containing a lot of sodium in it. Excess sodium in blood will lead to high calcium excretion in urine, encouraging calcium stone formation. Avoid giving them easy access to these fast foods. Instead, encourage them to eat more home cooked foods. If these meals are avoided by them, do not force them to eat it. Once hunger pangs sets in, they will be more than willing to eat what is offered to them then.
Diet control measures should be put in place only when the child has experienced passing a kidney stone, and the stone analysis has been done to determine the type. If the child is a first timer in experiencing pain from kidney stones, then seek professional help to eliminate the problem at hand immediately.
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