Rise in Kidney Stones in Kids, A Salt Connection

photo courtesy peacefulmind.com

The New York Times reported an alarming story today about the rise of kidney stones in kids as young as 5. Once known as condition mostly affecting middle-age people, pediatric urologists and nephrologists across the country say they are seeing a steep rise in young children, according to the report. Some hospitals have even opened pediatric kidney stone clinics, says the New York Times.


Kidney stones are terribly painful and what's most scary about the findings is the apparent connection to salt. From the article:

“What we’ve really seen is an increase in the salt load in children’s diet,” said Dr. Bruce L. Slaughenhoupt, co-director of pediatric urology and of the pediatric kidney stone clinic at the University of Wisconsin. He and other experts mentioned not just salty chips and French fries, but also processed foods like sandwich meats; canned soups...

Children also tend not to drink enough water. “They don’t want to go to the bathroom at school; they don’t have time, so they drink less,” said Dr. Alicia Neu, medical director of pediatric nephrology and the pediatric stone clinic at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore. Instead, they are likely to drink only once they’re thirsty — but that may be too little, too late, especially for children who play sports or are just active. “Drinking more water is the most important step in the prevention of kidney stones,” Dr. Neu said.

Do your kids love salt-laced foods? Do you think they drink enough water?

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