Crystals in the urine of newborns and the not-so-newborns is very common and is not necessarily a serious condition. However, it should not be ignored and one must consult the pediatrician to put all fears to rest.
Often crystals in the urine are nothing but result of a poor quality diaper. In very rare cases is the condition caused due to lack of proper nutrition or even malnutrition.
Meaning of Colored Crystals in Infant Urine:
The color of the crystals in infant urine is often indicative of the condition the infant maybe suffering from. For example, clear and transparent crystals are the result of a faulty diaper and nothing to worry about; crystals are present within the diaper to help with the absorption of moisture.
Sometimes these crystals come out of their covering. These crystals are not from the baby’s body. However, orange, pink or slightly blue crystals are from the baby’s body and are cause of concern. The colored crystals are made from urate and calcium. This condition is termed as ‘brick stain’ and denotes dehydration in the baby.
Brick stone is considered a common condition in infants who are only a few days old. The condition requires to be treated although it is not considered serious in nature in neonatals. A newborn feeds on colostrum for the first few days of his life. Colostrum is a yellowish discharge from the mother’s breasts and is high in nutrition.
The mother’s body produces this liquid for the first 3-4 days after delivery. Hence the baby is fed mostly on the colostrum initially. But the mother’s body may not produce high amounts of colostrum that can cause dehydration in the baby. However, the dehydration gets corrected on its own when the baby starts getting regular supply of milk from the mother 3-4 days after its birth.
Brick stain in older babies is a serious and life threatening condition that must be dealt with immediately.
Orange urate crystals in older babies are indicative of lack of enough milk in the baby’s body. The condition could be because of low production of milk in the mother’s body or because the baby is unable to suck the milk properly. If the baby is not gaining enough weight then the mother should supplement her milk with formula milk and start taking treatment to increase her milk production. The formula milk should be continued until the orange urate crystals disappear and the baby starts gaining healthy weight.
The Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome
In some very rare cases the crystals in infant urine are because of a serious condition termed as the Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome. This condition is an ataxia and is very similar to cerebral palsy. Babies affected with the syndrome display abnormal behavior and have problems in analytical development. They also show lack of development of motor skills. Many children who acquire the Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome are never able to walk.
A major sign indicative of the syndrome is overproduction of uric acid inside the body. This excess of uric acid leads to leakage of urate crystals from the body along with urine. To reiterate, presence of transparent crystals isn’t a cause of concern but colored urate crystals in urine of infants need immediate treatment.