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Health Information For Teens
Kidney stones happen when minerals form crystals inside the kidneys. Then they get bigger and become kidney stones. Kidney stones can move into the urinary tract. There, they can cause problems like pain and blood in the urine (pee). Some stones also can block the flow of pee.
Most kidney stones pass out of the body without causing any damage. Pain medicine and plenty of fluids help most people with kidney stones get better.
Usually, kidney stones don’t cause symptoms until they move around in the kidney or pass into the ureter (the muscular tube that connects the kidney to the bladder). Small stones can pass out of the body with little or no pain.
Larger stones in the urinary system may get stuck and cause symptoms like:
Sometimes, a stone that’s too big to move can create a backup of pee. This can make one or both kidneys swell, causing pain in the side and back. If it’s not treated, it may cause long-term kidney damage.
Most teens who get kidney stones have a health condition that increases their risk for them. These include:
Other things that can make a kidney stone more likely are:
Kidney stones mostly affect adults. But kids and teens can get them.
Some types of kidney stones run in families, so having a relative with kidney stones can make a person more likely to get them. Teens who have had kidney stones before are more likely to get them again.
The doctor will ask about:
The doctor will do an exam and probably order:
Treatment depends on the type of kidney stone and its size. Some people only need to drink a lot of water and take pain medicines to pass a kidney stone. Those with larger stones may need surgery or other treatments to help remove the stones.
There are different types of stones. A stone that passes in pee and is caught in a strainer can be tested to see what type it is. Knowing that can help doctors find the cause and offer advice how to treat it and prevent other stones.
To help pass a small stone, drink plenty of water and take medicine to ease the pain. Often, over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen are enough. But sometimes, doctors prescribe pain medicine.
The doctor might ask you to strain your pee for a few days to collect the kidney stones. Examining them can help the doctor decide if you need more treatment.
Teens whose kidney stones block the urinary tract or cause severe pain or dehydration may need care in a hospital. They might get intravenous (IV) fluids and pain medicine to help the stones pass and treat dehydration.
Large stones rarely pass on their own. To get rid of large stones and stones that are damaging the kidneys, doctors can do a procedure to break up the stone. This lets the smaller pieces pass on their own or be removed with a scope or surgery.
It’s not always possible to prevent some types of kidney stones.
But anyone who’s had kidney stones should:
If dietary changes don’t prevent kidney stones, medicines can help. Depending on the type of kidney stone you had, the doctor can prescribe treatments or medicines to lower the levels of crystal-forming substances in the pee.
Doctors will keep an eye on teens who have had kidney stones and try to prevent new ones. The doctor might have you use a 24-hour urine collection test. This measures the volume of pee within a 24-hour period and checks what’s in it.
Kidney stones aren’t usually a worry for most teens, though it’s always a good idea to eat healthy foods and drink enough fluids to avoid dehydration.
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common reasons that teens visit a doctor. Learn about the symptoms of UTIs, how they’re treated, and more in this article.
With glomerulonephritis, tiny filtering units in the kidneys stop working properly, causing problems like too much fluid in the body and swelling. Most of the time it can be treated. Find out more.
Hematuria is pretty common, and most of the time it’s not serious. Find out what causes blood in the urine and what to do about it.
The kidneys perform several functions that are essential to health, the most important of which are to filter blood and produce urine.
A basic metabolic panel (BMP) is a group of blood tests that provide doctors with clues about how the body is working. Find out why doctors do this and what’s involved for teens.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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