Food habits, lifestyle lead to kidney stones in kids,The Times Of India Delhi,August 22, 2010
Mumbai: Children as young as two are having surgery to remove kidney stones, once considered a grown-ups affliction.
Minal and Mehul Joshi (names changed) were shocked to be told their 18-month-old son Yash had a complex stone, Staghorn calculi, in his kidneys. ‘‘One has always associated kidney stones with uncles and grandfathers. Moreover, the condition seemed easy to resolve with medicines. But we were devastated to learn our son needed a procedure,’’ says Minal.
She believes poor water intake was to blame. But an April study in the Journal of Paediatrics lists a host of lifestyle factors — increased intake of salt, lower intake of milk, obesity and antibiotics — and says these doubled the incidence of kidney stones in South Carolina’s children between 1996 and 2007.
India does not have its own studies on paediatric kidney stones. Doctors offer varied opinions but all agree it’s cause for concern. Paediatric urologist Dr Arbinder Singhal, who operated on Yash says he has seen at least seven or eight such cases in the last one year. Steps towards Prevention
Cut down on colas and drinks high in sugar or salt. A Wisconsin university doctor has warned it’s not just salty chips and French fries, but processed foods like canned soups, packaged meals and even sports drinks like Gatorade Dairy products can reduce the risk of stones because dietary calcium binds with oxalate before it reaches the kidney Children between five and 10, who have stones, should drink six glasses of water a day. Be active Calcium supplements to blame for kidney stones? Mumbai: India’s young are getting hit with kidney stones. Paediatric urologist Dr Arbinder Singhal says: ‘‘We have been seeing about seven to eight children with kidney stones every month for the last one year.’’ In fact, an endoscopic technique called percutaneous nephrolithotomy that was used for grownups was recently improvised for use in children.
The Mumbai-based Paediatric Oncall Journal states that ‘‘kidney stones are not very common in children. However, these stones are being discovered now with increasing frequency, amounting for up to one in each 1,000 childhood admissions.’’ Paediatric nephrologist Dr Pankaj Deshpande says he has seen infants as young as six months with kidney stones. ‘‘We’re definitely seeing more children than before,’’ he says.
Most kidney stones occur when oxalate, a byproduct of some foods, binds to calcium in urine. Other common stones are calcium phosphate and uric acid stones. While no such reasons are established in India, Dr Deshpande feels that only lifestyle reason he would identify is the rampant use of calcium supplements. ‘‘Another reason could be better availability of technology. A decade back, ultrasound screening wasn’t as frequently prescribed as it is today for children,’’ he says.
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