Health Watch - Kids and Kidney Stones

January 20, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Broadcast News) -- Ashley Stella loves to spend time with her two pet lizards. She got them to keep her company after she had to stop going to school."You're just standing there and, all of the sudden, you just feel this pain, like, right here, like needles just poking you and moving around," says Ashley. The pain is from kidney stones that keep coming back.

"I usually take a bit of medicine and curl up into a ball and just lay down," she says.

Mehul Dixit, M.D., D.M., is a pediatric kidney specialist at Florida Hospital in Orlando, Fla. He says the diet of today's kids put them at risk for kidney stones. The typical junk food diet -- too much salt and not enough water -- is to blame for the tiny mineral deposits, which can bring excruciating pain when they lodge in the urinary tract.

Water is key to preventing kidney stones. Children should have 30 ounces to 60 ounces of water each day beginning at age two. Kids should have only three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt each day.

By following a special diet and taking medication, Ashley may be able to go back to school soon.

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For more information, please contact:

Mehul P. Dixit, MD, DM
Medical Director, Florida Hospital-
Pediatric Renal Transplant Program
Florida Children's Hospital
(407) 896-2836