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Kidney stones are said to cause pain so strong and sharp that it resembles labor pains, although today the thing is that labor does not hurt. We are used to seeing them in adults, but they can also occur in children. When we talk about kidney stones, we are talking about hard accumulations of minerals or other elements, normally found in the urine, and that cause pain in the lower back due to the excess pressure of the urinary tract so that the urine can pass.
As for its origin, there are stones that appear spontaneouslyOthers are secondary to abnormalities in the shape of the urinary tract, infections or metabolic alterations (among them, idiopathic hypercalciuria stands out, an entity that causes an increase in the excretion of calcium in the urine). Obesity, sedentary lifestyle and heat (especially if the child does not adequately replace fluid losses due to sweat with water) favor its appearance.
In up to 50 percent of cases there is a family component. That is, some member of the family has had a similar problem.
From a clinical point of view, the most important manifestation is pain. It is a very intense pain, located on both flanks, and radiating to the abdomen. It is described as 'exasperating' (the child incessantly changes position), and is associated with a vegetative procession of vomiting and cold sweat. The movement of the stone produces small erosions on the kidney path, so the child bleeds. Such bleeding is often evident in the urine.
The diagnosis can be established by the clinic, and to document it we can resort to a urinalysis (in which we will see an increased number of red blood cells) and an imaging test (ultrasound, abdominal X-ray or CT).
For treatment, it is essential to hydrate the child (orally or intravenously, if he is very nauseous) and provide analgesia. In complex cases, when faced with bulky stones, surgery must be used. Stones secondary to specific metabolic diseases require individualized preventive treatment.
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