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Kidney stones. The disease affects children more and more often. What causes an increase in kidney stones among minors?

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Kidney stones affect increasingly younger patients. A particularly strong increase in the disease can be observed among teenage girls, American doctors alert NBC News. Specialists point out the differences in the causes of painful deposits in children and adults.

Talking to NBC News editor Katie Camero, experts agree that in recent years they have been observing an increase in the incidence of kidney stones in children. The disease is diagnosed even in 5-year-old patients. It affects teenage girls in particular.

The reasons for the increase in the incidence have not yet been clearly defined. However, doctors suggest that it is caused by a number of different factors, such as increased consumption of highly processed foods, excessive use of antibiotics (especially in the early years of life), and climate changescontributing to more frequent cases of dehydration.

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Kidney stones in children

Kidney stones are a disease in which deposits, also called stones, are deposited in the urinary tract, which are formed from compounds present in the urine, such as calcium or oxalates. When their concentration is too high, instead of dissolving, they form into hard crystals. Some of them are removed from the body automatically. Some, however, get stuck in the urinary tract, leading to severe pain and bleeding. In adults, the occurrence of kidney stones is associated with diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and obesity. “We don’t see this in children,” says pediatric urologist Dr. Gregory Tasian in an interview with NBC News. In his opinion, the majority of young patients who present with kidney stones have no other health problems apart from this ailment.

According to doctors, a diet rich in highly processed and high sodium foods may contribute to the increasing incidence of kidney stones in children. As examples of such products, they mention potato chips, cold cuts, isotonic drinks or ready meals. The risk of urolithiasis may also be increased by not drinking enough water or drinking too much drinks sweetened with glucose-fructose syrup.

Among other risk factors, urologists mention excessive use of antibiotics, which can lead to changes in the intestinal microbiome, conducive to the development of kidney stones. They also pay attention to the influence of high temperatures on the likelihood of developing urolithiasis. As they explain, with the increase in temperature and humidity, the body sweats more and at the same time urinates less, which promotes the accumulation of minerals in the kidneys and urinary tract.

SEE ALSO: A medical robot helps treat small patients with kidney stones

Increased incidence of kidney stones in children

The media does not cite new research results on this topic. They refer to a study conducted by a team of scientists led by Dr. Tasiana in 2016 proved that in the years 1997-2012 there was a 16 percent increase in the incidence of kidney stones among children. The greatest increase was seen in teenagers aged 15 to 19, especially girls.

These data corroborate the results of another study conducted by physicians at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Olmsted County, Minnesota, between 1984 and 2008. According to them, the incidence of kidney stones in children aged 12 to 17 increased by about 6 percent each year during this period.

SEE ALSO: “The condition of the children is very bad, the situation is appalling”

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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