Lucknow: A three-fold increase in kidney stones among school going children in the age group of 6 to 14 years, has set the alarm ringing. A study conducted by the urology depart of the King George’s Medical University (KGMU) has revealed that the cause of this is the growing trend of binging on burgers and pizzas, both of which contain high sodium present in processed cheese and meats.
According to a senior doctor in the urology department, at least five children with kidney stones were being reported in the KGMU every week.
“The number of such young patients has gone up alarmingly. Till about ten years ago, we had barely a dozen child patients in a year, but now we get five to six every week,” he said.
Dr S.N. Shankhwar, head of urology department, said, “Fast food contains high level of sodium which affects calcium metabolism in the body, causing a condition called ‘hypercalciurea’ leading to formation of stones.
Aerated drinks also decrease the ph level of urine, which does not allow complete dissolution of waste products generated in body, leading to crystal formation and strengthening of previously existing crystals.
Explaining further, he said that the body uses food and energy for tissue repair. After the body uses what it needs, waste products in the blood stream are carried to the kidney and excreted as urine. Kidney stones are formed when substances in urine become highly concentrated. Stones usually begin with a small crystal that solidifies with settlement of newer layers.
He said that the fact is important considering Indians normally consume nearly twice the recommended levels of sodium every day.
“More than 50 per cent children in the sample study binged on fast food every day while another 27.3 per cent consumed aerated cold drinks on a daily basis. These children were prone to kidney stones caused by calcium and uric acid,” the doctor said.