Kidney Stones in Kids Linked to Processed Foods


Once viewed as a disease of middle age, kidney stones are appearing in children as young as 5 or 6. Though no data is yet available, urologists in the United States report they are seeing a sharp rise in young patients, according to the New York Times. Pediatric kidney stone clinics have been opened in some hospitals.

Diet is regarded by many doctors as the main cause for the rise, especially the use of table salt in chips, French fries, sandwich meats, canned soups, packaged meals, and sports drinks. In China this winter, many children who drank milk contaminated with melamine, a toxin illegally added to dairy to increase its protein, developed kidney stones. Standard treatment for kidney stones is surgery or shock-wave lithotripsy, utilizing high-energy sound waves to blast the stones into fragments.