Posts Tagged ‘importance of drinking water’

Have Your Children Drink More Water: Are Your Children at Risk for Kidney Stones?

Have Your Children Drink More Water: Are Your Children at Risk for Kidney Stones?

In today’s New York Times, there was an article that caught my eye. The article talks about how kidney stones, a disease that once only afflicted adults, are now being seen in record numbers in children as young as 5 or 6 years of age. It goes on to say how pediatric urologists and nephrologists across the country are seeing a steep rise in young patients and how some hospitals have even opened up pediatric kidney stone clinics.

This enrages me! Just how could this be happening?!? The answer, most experts feel, is attributed to diet. According to the NYT, “40-65% of kidney stones are formed when oxalate, a byproduct of certain foods, binds to calcium in the urine.” The NYT article goes on to state that “the two biggest factors for this binding process are not drinking enough fluids and eating too much salt.” Excess salt can be excreted through the kidneys but when there is too much in someone’s system this severely taxes the kidneys. Drinking more water helps the kidneys flush out toxins and is one of the most important ways we can reduce or prevent kidney stones.

Children today are eating way too much salt! The average American child’s diet consists of the processed meats, French fries, chips, canned soups, processed foods, sodas and even Gatorade. All of these products are extremely high in salt. Children also are not drinking enough water!

If you have a family history of kidney stones, it is important to be especially careful and to eliminate salt from your children’s diets and to increase their water intake. Although these precautions are especially important in high-risk situations, decreasing or eliminating salt and increasing water intake in your diet and those of your children is a healthy and wise choice to make!