Teenage is the phase of a person’s life which falls in the range of 13-19 years. It is called so as the age number ends with “teen” The time period or the transition between childhood and adulthood. Thus proper care of health during this period is a must.
Health is not just being disease free or injury less. It is instead a state of physical, mental and social well being. During teenage, a child develops mentally and physically. This development needs proper guidance and care to avoid any problematic issue. Disease such as Allergies, Asthma, and Obesity are common in teenage. But disease like suffering from kidney stones is rare yet painful for them.
A Guide for Kidney Stones in Teens
What are kidney stones?
Kidney stones are small, solid masses made of crystals formed in an individual’s urinary tract. These usually originate in kidney but sometimes may develop anywhere in the urinary tract. They occur due to saturation point occurrence of concentration of salts and minerals.
These are often seen in adults but teens may also suffer from kidney stones. The size of a kidney stone varies from being a fraction of inch to several more inches. Stones sized 5mm could easily pass through the urinary tract naturally. But stones larger than this could may them painful to pass down the tract. They could even block the urine and which would lead to may more urinary tracts disorders.
For teens, kidney stones prove to be shackle as it affecting the academic and physical performances badly.
Causes of kidney stones in teenagers
There are many causes of kidney stones. A teen having a kidney stone has an underlying condition that increases the risk of kidney stone development.
Following are general causes for kidney stones :
Not drinking enough water causes concentration of uric acid in urine may increase. Chances of developing crystals resulting in kidney stone increases due to high urine saturation.
Difficulty in break-down and processing of food in teens could lead to high concentration of cysteine or calcium oxalate in the urine which often leads to the development of kidney stones.
Caffeine or sugar-containing drinks or eating too much salt at home, this may develop calcium stones in kidney. Obesity also increases the risk of kidney stone formation.
These stones often lead to urinary tract problems but sometimes these problems of the urinary tract are also prone to kidney stone formations as well. Kidney stones are followed by crystal formation which is formed due to improper urination and accumulation of excess urine.
This is a genetic disease which is characterized by high concentrations of cysteine ( an amino acid ) in urine, this leads to the formation of cysteine stones in kidneys.
Medical conditions and medications
Health conditions like gout, thyroid, and parathyroid disorders, utis, kidney disorders may also lead to stone formation. And sometimes during treatment of any disease if there is consumption of high dose medicines then also there can be a development of stones.
If there is any family history of gout, kidney stones and utis then the teen is more prone towards developing kidney stones .
Symptoms of kidney stones
Smaller kidney stones that remain in the kidney often doesn’t cause any symptoms, but if they become larger then they cause pain and discomfort. Some common symptoms of stones in teens are as follows :
There is a neuronal connection between the kidney and gastrointestinal tract due to which the stones in kidney trigger nerves in the gi tract and upsets the stomach and nausea and vomiting occurs.
Back pain and belly pain
The teen will feel back pain which may also radiate to belly and groin area as the stone moves down trough urinary tract. The pain starts usually due to blockage of urinary tract when the stone is passing through this narrow tract.
Burning sensation at the time of urination
If the stone reaches the junction of ureter and bladder a sharp or burning sensation is felt during urination. Doctor’s might call this dysuria.
Blood in the urine
Hematuria ( blood in the urine ) is one of the common symptoms in patients having kidney stones. This blood may be pink, red or brown. Sometimes the blood cells of the patient are too small that they can’t be seen without a microscope.
Cloudy or smelly urine
Normally healthy urine is clear and doesn’t have any strong odor. Cloudy or foul-smelling urine indicates any infection in urinary tract. Cloudiness in urine indicates the presence of pus, smell indicates infection due to any bacteria.
When larger stones stuck in the ureter, flow of urine is either slow or urination is a little bit each time and if there is totally stoppage in urine flow then it is a medical emergency.
Fever and chills
Infection in the kidney or in any other part of urinary tract could show signs like fever and chills.it can be a severe and serious complication to a kidney stone. These signs can be associated with other problems. Fever along with pain require immediate medical attention.
Treatment of kidney stones (in teens)
Small stones may naturally pass out from the body but larger stones cannot thus they can lead to pain, swelling and high levels of uric acid concentration in the body. Severe pain like this requires medical assistance for removal of the kidney stones.
Following are the medical procedures to get rid of the kidney stones:-
Sound waves or shock waves
Also known as lithotripsy is medical procedure involving the destruction of hardened masses of kidney stones. These stones are broken down into small pieces and thus these could pass out from the body now easily through urine.
This is performed by a device known as ureteroscope. It is a small tube with a camera at one end. This device pinpoints the location of the kidney stones. Teens are usually given anesthesia and then a small tube is inserted into the urethra and then continues up in the urinary tract to find kidney stone. After locating the stone the tube breaks down the kidney stone into small pieces.
Surgery is an effective way for removal of large kidney stones in teens. Nephrolithotomy , a common procedure for removal of kidney stone is involved these days. A small incision is made by the surgeon at the back of the patient and an endoscope in the kidney is inserted to break down the kidney stone.
Kidney stones are not an issue of worrying in most of the teens. Although it is always a good thing to eat healthily and stay hydrated by drinking lot of water or other fluids to avoid dehydration in the body.