Methods to Dissolve Kidney Stones in Children
The recent years have witnessed a rise in the incidence of kidney stones in children. While kidney stone is a common occurrence in adults, infants, young children, and teenagers also have begun developing this. This could be due to various reasons. A defect in the urinary tract occurring during the development years can lead to incomplete voidance of urine. Accumulation of old, stagnating urine in the end encourages crystallization of mineral matters found in urine. Now the environment is set within the urinary tract for the crystals to develop into clusters and grow further to form solid stones.
Cause of Kidney Stones in Children
However, most often, children are affected by kidney problems due to an unhealthy lifestyle. Along with the progressive development of mankind, with living life made easy by the use of electronic devices, we also witness a phase where children very rarely venture out to play during their free time. Instead they plop themselves in front of television sets or play video games. This lack of body movement, lack of strenuous play activities along with frequent intake of ‘junk’ food and carbonated drinks have increased their risk of developing kidney stones. A diet high on sodas, soft drinks, and salt with less water intake cause the urine to become more concentrated. Less diluted urine with more mineral materials present cause an increase in crystal formation.
Thus, concentrated urine means less amount of water and more of chemical compounds that can easily crystallize, clump together, and form kidney stones. The formed stones may either remain within the kidneys itself, gradually grow in size blocking urine flow and cause a lot of discomfort, or flow out of the system along with urine painlessly. Most tiny stones get eliminated out on their own. The larger stones are those that require some help from medicines or medical procedures to be successfully flushed out of the body.
The composition of stones can either be of calcium, uric acid, struvite, or cystine; but, calcium stones, especially calcium oxalate, or uric acid stones are more common in children. These stones develop easily in highly acidic urine. If the size of the present stone is found to be small through various diagnostic tests performed, the patient is often given plenty of fluids and water along with intravenous medications for the pain control. The child will be put under observation for a 24-hour period and in all probability the stone will move out due to the frequent urination. If this fails to happen, additional assistance through drug administration may be given to the child to help pass the stone. Pills like thiazides which are oral diuretics, will increase the flow of urine and these along with plenty of fluid intake will increase the chance of stones moving out of the system on their own.
When both these measures do not provide the desired results, then a medical procedure called extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy will need to be performed. Shock waves are passed via a machine through the child’s body targeting the kidney stones. The vibrations caused by these shock waves will easily split the stones into tiny fragments, and these can easily move along with urine out of the body.