Kidney stones are on the rise - in children.
This has been in the news recently due to the tainted dairy products from China that contained melamine - and one of the symptoms of melamine contamination is kidney stones.
The main reason cited in the rise of kidney stones in general, including those seen in children - is too much salt in our diet. Pre-packaged meals, drinks and snacks are now staples of many children's diets and these processed foods are loaded with sodium. Drinking plenty of water is vital in preventing kidney stones and most of us prefer sports drinks, soda pop and fancy caffeinated drinks that can be instrumental is seeing kidney stones on the rise.
So what exactly are kidney stones?
They are minerals and calcium that form a kind of stone - ranging in size from pebbles to marbles to golf balls. They form in the kidneys (people can get them from poor diet, lack or water, a medical condition - or there can be a genetic component or even no clear reason) and can remain in the kidneys or leave them and pass through the urinary system - often in a very painful way.
How can they be avoided?
Sometimes they can't be - but a diet low in sodium and overly processed foods, as well as high in water intake will serve a person well.
How do I know if I have a kidney stone?
Pain in the side or back, as well as pink urine and possible nausea/vomiting are all signs of possible kidney stones. X-rays and a urinalysis can let you know if you have stones.
Kidney stones will often pass on their own or a doctor uses a kind of 'shock' treatment to break up the stone (s) in order to let them pass more easily. Sometimes a stent is used to open the urethra up enough to let the stone pass through.
So keep up with the fresh veggies, fruits and less processed foods and make sure 8-10 glasses of water are a part of your daily diet.
Have you had kidney stones? What was the experience like?
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