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Kidney Stones in Children on The Rise, U-M Expert Says
Date:5/4/2009

High sodium diets, sedentary lifestyles and not drinking enough water are to blame.

ANN ARBOR, Mich., May 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When Lisa Garnes received a call from her daughter's daycare saying that 3-year-old Emma was complaining of back pain, she never dreamt the cause would be a condition often associated with middle aged men: kidney stones.

"They said that Emma was doubled over in pain and saying that her back hurt her," says Garnes.

Garnes took her to the pediatrician, who suggested it was a urinary tract infection. A half hour later, she called again to tell her doctor that her daughter couldn't keep anything down. The doctor suggested taking her to the ER.

After a battery of tests, including an ultrasound, the doctor returned with the news: she had kidney stones.

"It was quite hard to believe," Garnes says.

The growing incidence of kidney stones in children can be linked to the modern diet and lifestyle, says Gary Faerber, MD, a urologist at the University of Michigan Health System.

"I am seeing more and more children who have kidney stones," says Faerber. "It's a real phenomenon."

To treat Emma, urologists performed two lithotripsies to break up the stones and performed surgery on a tough one she couldn't pass. Doctors said she had high levels of oxalates (found in many fruits and vegetables) in her system, which required putting her on a low oxalate diet. Oxalates can be found in strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, chocolate, peanut butter and nuts. Doctors also suggested she spike up her water intake.

Typically, kidney stones are found in adults between the ages of 35 and 60 but children can get them, too. A family history of kidney stones is also a significant risk factor.

Children today seem to live a lifestyle that puts them at risk of kidney stones, meani
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SOURCE University of Michigan Health System
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