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Last Updated: Mar 14, 2022
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Kidney Stones - Symptom, Causes, Treatment, Diet, Home remedies and Removal

About Types Signs Causes What happens if kidney stones are left untreated? Risk factors Food Factors Diagnosis Treatment Eligibility Post-treatment Guidelines Prevention Natural ways Diet chart Precautions Side Effects Recovery Results Price Home Remedies Physical Exercises Alternatives

What are Kidney Stones?

A kidney stone is a crystalline and hard mineral material that gets formed within the kidney or in our urinary tract. Kidney stones are a common cause of hematuria (blood in urine) and often cause severe pain in the abdomen, groin or in the flank. Kidney stones are also called renal calculi. Urinary stones, mostly develop in patients who are between 20-49 years and people who have suffered more than one attack of this illness are always prone to further stone development.

People with chronically elevated uric acid levels are also more prone to the formation of uric acid related kidney stones. Pregnant women, though the numbers are few, at times develop kidney stones. Factors that may contribute to kidney stone formation during pregnancy include a slowing of the passage of urine, due to decreasing bladder capacity because of her enlarged uterus and increase in the progesterone levels in her body.

Often dehydration from reduced fluid intake, over time, leads to the formation of kidney stones. This illness is more common in men than in women. The condition of having a stone or multiple stones in the kidney is known as nephrolithiasis. However, having stones in other locations in the urinary tract is known as urolithiasis.

Types of Kidney stones

Kidney stones can be of different kinds, depending on how they look, their composition, and location. It may sometimes be as small as a particle of sand, while the larger ones may be pea-sized. In severe cases, kidney stones may grow to the size of golf balls or obstruct half the kidney.

The colour of stones usually ranges from pale yellow to dark brown. Kidney stones are often round and smooth, some might be irregular and jagged. The most common types of kidney stones by composition include:

  • Calcium stones:

    Calcium is essential for the teeth and bones. The body rsquo;s natural mechanism is to flush out all the extra calcium of the body. When there is an excess of calcium or hindrance in calcium metabolism, calcium tends to fuse with other waste products and form stones. The most commonly occurring kidney stones are calcium phosphate and calcium oxalate stones.

  • Uric acid stones:

    When there is an unusually high uric acid level in the blood, it also starts getting excreted in large amounts in the urine and there is a higher tendency for uric acid stones to form. Among others, a diet rich in meat and fish, which are high in protein, contributes to high uric acid levels.

  • Struvite stones:

    These stones are usually the result of a severe urinary tract infection and occur after or during the ailment. This is because the urine becomes alkaline in nature due to the infection. As a result, magnesium ammonium phosphate is formed, which accumulates in the kidneys in the form of stones. They have a tendency to increase in size very rapidly.

  • Cystine stones:

    A hereditary condition called cystinuria is responsible for these kinds of stones. In this condition, amino acids, especially cystine start to leak from the kidneys and pass into the urine, causing the formation of these stones.

What are the first signs of kidney stones?

Kidney stones may develop in anyone irrespective of age. It is a stone-like collection of minerals and salt which are made up of uric acid or calcium. The stones develop inside the kidney and travel to other body parts. The sizes of kidney stones vary and if the kidney stone is left untreated, it will become large in size and develop more complications and it will occupy the entire kidney.

Smaller stones won’t cause any symptoms until it reaches the ureters. The first signs of kidney stones are pain in the belly, back or groin side, burning sensation or pain during urination, an urgency to urinate, foul smell urine, nausea and vomiting, chills, and fever, oliguria, blood traces in the urine.

Can Kidney Stones go away on its own?

Yes, if the size is small the kidney stone eventually passes through the system without any need for treatment. But in case the stone is very big it may cause blockage in the pipeline which needs to be broken down via medical aid.

Can kidney stones harm you?

Yes, if not treated on time, kidney stones can have drastic impacts on your body. The impact of kidney stones depends on their size. While the smaller-sized stone passed through our body without any problem, bigger stones can cause blockage.

This blockage can cause inflammation, irritation, and other forms of internal and external discomfort, if not treated on time.

Summary: The impact of kidney stones depends on their size. While the smaller-sized stone passed through our body without any problem, bigger stones can cause blockage.

What causes Kidney Stones?

The root cause of kidney stone development is the formation of crystals in your Kidney. This happens because the same structure which is designed to filter the minerals doesn't have the capacity to break the formation of stones. This stone can be made up of excess minerals or uric acid.

What happens if kidney stones are left untreated?

If left untreated, it can create a blockage in the uterus. These blockages can make the pipes narrow. The blockage can also cause excess salt deposition further causing inflammation, irritation, difficulty in passing the urine, pain, and in extreme cases uterus damage.

Summary: If left untreated, kidney stones can create a blockage in the uterus. It can further cause inflammation, irritation, difficulty in passing the urine, pain, and in extreme cases uterus damage.

How long do kidney stones last?

The duration of a kidney stone passing from our body merely depends on its size. Smaller stones ( less than 4mm) can pass through within a week or two with the help of medication and adequate hydration. On the other hand, stones that are bigger than 4mm can take more than 4 weeks to pass out.

Also if you are old, have a large prostate, or have other medical conditions like diabetes or recurring kidney stones it can take longer than usual.

Summary: The duration of a kidney stone passing from our body merely depends on its size. Smaller stones can pass through within a week or two while bigger stones can take more than 4 weeks to pass out.

When should you go to the hospital for kidney stones?

A kidney stone can be life-threatening if not detected or diagnosed on time. Here are some signs that will help you know the seriousness of your kidney disease:

  • Severe and uncomfortable body pain.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Fever and chills.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Difficulty passing urine.
  • Frequent urge to urinate.
  • Burning sensation during urination.
Summary: A kidney stone can be life-threatening if not detected or diagnosed on time. It is important to read the signs carefully to avoid any serious internal damage.

What should you not eat with kidney stones?

There are some food items that can cause kidney stones or put pressure on your kidney leading to kidney stones. Here is the list of food items that one should avoid to prevent or control kidney stones:

  • High salt
  • Animal protein like red meat, pork, chicken, poultry, and eggs.
  • Oxalates like chocolate, beets, nuts, tea, rhubarb, spinach, swiss chard, sweet potatoes.
  • Avoid alcohol, fizzy drinks, colas, and sodas.
Summary: There are some food items that can cause kidney stones or put pressure on your kidney leading to kidney stones. Keep a check on the list to see what to avoid if you have a kidney stone.

What are risk factors for kidney stones?

  • Dehydration is the prime cause of kidney stones and it forms due to lack of fluid in the kidney. So, drinking insufficient water increases the risk factors of kidney stones.
  • It is known that obesity plays a significant job in kidney stones. It might lead to single and recurrent episodes of kidney stones.
  • Patients who suffer from chronic urinary tract infections may have chances of forming larger stones in the kidney. These are commonly called infections or struvite stones.
  • Metabolic conditions such as renal tubular acidosis, hyperparathyroidism, cystinuria, may increase the risk of kidney stones.
  • Obstruction in the kidney or ureters, horseshoe kidney, Ureterocele, Calyceal diverticulum, Vesicoureteral reflux, Ureteral stricture, and Medullary sponge kidney are other risk factors of kidney stones.
  • Diet plays a key role in the development of kidney stones and it has been found that high-sodium foods have the tendency to develop renal stones.

Which foods cause kidney stones?

  • Perhaps the most ideal approaches to maintain a strategic distance from kidney stones is to avoid exorbitant salty nourishments, meats, and other creature protein.
  • To avoid calcium oxalate foods because the calcium in your pee combines with oxalate and forms such stones.
  • Avoid taking high-calcium oxalate foods such as Cocoa powder, Sweet potatoes, Almonds and cashews, Baked potatoes with skin, French fries, Raspberries, and okra.
  • Eating salt raises the measure of calcium in the urine. Hence limit your fast foods, condiments, canned foods, and packaged meats.
  • Farthest point creature protein, for example, cheddar, fish, meat, pork, eggs as they may raise the odds of most sorts of kidney stones.
  • Nutrient C has the inclination of making the body produce oxalate. So, take only 500 mg of vitamin c a day.

How kidney stones are diagnosed?

Diagnosis of kidney stones is a controversial procedure. Usually to confirm the diagnosis of this illness, imaging tests are performed on the patients. In case of medical emergency non-contrast CT scans are done on the patients, since this can be done rapidly and it helps to rule out other causes for flank and abdominal pain.

However, in the recent times, as it is believed that CT scan exposes the patients to significantly more radiation, ultrasound scans along with plain abdominal X-ray is used for diagnosing kidney stones. When patients are put on medication, it has been observed that small stones pass out naturally through the urine. However, for larger stones (beyond 9-10mm) lithotripsy is done to break up the larger stones into small pieces, with the help of shock waves, so that they can pass out through the urinary system.

What are the treatment options for kidney stones?

According to the type of stone, treatment is provided to the patient. Generally, the person is advised to drink at least eight glasses of water to increase the urine flow. People who suffer from severe dehydration, nausea, or vomiting may be advised on intravenous fluids.

Kidney stones removal:

  • Narcotics and pain killers are advised for pain and to treat infection antibiotics are advised.
  • In extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, sound waves are used to break the large stones so that they can easily move to ureters and the same can be urinated easily. Local anesthesia is administered to the patient during the procedure. The patient may suffer from bruising or bleeding after the procedure. The same can be treated with pain killers or other necessary medicines.
  • Ureteroscopy is another procedure in which the stuck stone in the bladder or ureters can be removed with an instrument called ureteroscope.
  • Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy is a surgical procedure and in this procedure, the surgeon removes the stones through a small incision in the back.

Who is eligible for the Kidney Stones treatment?

Patients with kidney stones (regardless of size) are eligible for the treatment plan. It is not gender or age-specific so the treatment can be conducted on anyone.

In the case of diabetes and high blood pressure, one needs a more sensitive approach to the treatment than the general ones.

Who is not eligible for the Kidney Stones treatment?

A kidney stone can cause mild pain and discomfort during urination, it can escalate with time if not treated on time. So even though you may feel small frequent episodes of pain which can be bearable, it is advised to see a doctor.

Even the patient with a 1mm stone can go for medical treatment.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The guidelines post-treatment are:

  • Intake of more amount of water or fluids which facilitates hydration.
  • Avoid high sodium, calcium, vitamin C, and oxalate diet.
  • Avoid foods with excess spice, oil, and protein.
  • Indulge in light to moderate cardio workout sessions.

What are the ways for the prevention of kidney stones?

There are many ways through which you can prevent kidney stones: Best way to prevent kidney stones are staying hydrated all the time as dark urine indicates strong dehydration and it makes the calcium deposit as stones.

  • Drink at least 8-12 glasses of water to stay away from the risks of renal stones. Intake of excess sodium causes water retention that easily leads to dehydration.
  • Avoid taking baked foods, fried foods, monosodium glutamate, sodium nitrate to say bye to renal stones.
  • If you are an alcoholic, reduce the intake of it because alcohol leads cells to increase fluid output. This ultimately causes dehydration.
  • Caffeine has the tendency of speeding up metabolism. It simultaneously causes dehydration. Adults are recommended to take only 4 cups of coffee and any drinks that contain caffeine.
  • Taking vitamins and minerals such as fish oil, pyridoxine supplements, potassium citrate, vitamin B-6 helps in refraining from kidney stone formation.

How to prevent kidney stones naturally?

To prevent kidney stones naturally following things can be done:

  • Avoid stone-forming foods: Rich in oxalate products such as Beets, rhubarb, spinach, chocolate, and tea and rich in phosphate foods such as colas can develop kidney stones. If you already suffer from kidney stones either avoid these items or minimize the quantity of intake.
  • Limit animal protein: Eating abundance animal protein, for example, red meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and fish support the uric acid level and it may prompt kidney stones development High-protein diet helps in diminishing citrate levels in urine accordingly averts kidney stones arrangement.
  • Get enough calcium: Oxalate levels can be rise when your diet has little calcium that eventually causes renal stones. It is better to maintain the essential level of calcium either from foods or from calcium supplements.

What is the diet chart for kidney stones?

If you suffer from a kidney stone, try out the following that would give the best results:

Kidney stones diet:

  • Vegetables: Bitter gourd, ridge gourd, snake gourd, bottle gourd, ladies finger, ivy gourd, tinda, green leafy and vegetables
  • Pulses: Kidney beans, Moong dal, Chickpeas, soybeans, and Masoor dal
  • Cereals: Oatmeal, Brocken wheat, Quinoa Brown rice, Ragi
  • Fruits: Pears, Grape, Custard Apple, Watermelon, Apple and Oranges
  • Meat, Fish and Egg: Chicken Breast, Swordfish, Tuna, Cod, Lean Meat, Salmon, Tilapia
  • Sugar: 1 Tsp/ day
  • Milk and Milk products: Paneer, Skim milk, Yoghurt Cottage Cheese
  • Oil: 1.5 Tbsp/ day (Mustard Oil, Olive oil, Canola oil, Rice bran Oil)

Reat More About: What To Eat And What to Avoid During Kidney Stones - Kidney Stone Diet Chat

What to eat in Kidney Stones?

The diet of a kidney stone patient depends on where the stone is stuck and how big it is. Even though each stone requires different types of care to be broken down, there are some common rules like:

  • Drink at least 2-3 quarts of fluids a day.
  • Eat enough calcium products.
  • Eat a controlled amount of protein.

What not to eat in Kidney Stones?

Things one need to avoid in case of a kidney stone:

  • High sodium diet.
  • High doses of vitamin C supplements.
  • Extra calcium supplements.
  • Foods with high oxalate content.

What are the precautions for kidney stone?

1. Choose more fresh and frozen vegetables and fruits, milk, yogurt and whole grains, small portions of fish, unseasoned meat and unsalted seeds and nuts. If your renal stone comes under calcium oxalate, then limit the amount of nuts intake each day as they are rich in oxalate.

2. Aim at least 12 cups of fluid intake daily. People with cystine stones should aim at least for 16 cups. If you are not used to drinking this much water or fluid, try to increase each cup day by day.

3. Do not add sugary drinks such as fruit drinks, tea or coffee while adding your fluid intake as they may increase the risk of kidney stones.

Should I go to urgent care for Kidney Stones?

In most cases, kidney stone is not considered a life-threatening condition, but it can become one in case the patient is diabetic or has decreased kidney function with the following symptoms:

  • Fever 101.5 °F or above
  • Unbearable pain
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • It burns when you pee

What are side-effects of Kidney Stones treatments?

In general, there are no such adverse effects of kidney stone treatment. In a few cases where an individual is allergic to any element in the medication can have some side effects.

In the case of extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, its long-term use can cause hypertension and loss of renal function if the person was not able to tolerate the post-treatment pain.

Surgery also has the same case, a well-performed surgery never gives of a case of an infected wound or redevelopment of the stone.

How long does it take to recover from Kidney Stones?

The recovery time of the patient depends on the stone size. If the stone is smaller than the average size(1-3 mm) it may take 31 days to pass. If the stone is average in size (4–6 mm) it may take 45 days.

In case the stone is larger than the average size ( 7mm and more) it needs medical treatment or surgery to get removed which may take more than two months to recover.

How can I permanently get rid of kidney stones?

A kidney stone can be a difficult disease to deal with, however, it can be prevented or treated permanently with the help of some home care. Here are some of the consumables that you can add in order to get rid of the kidney stone permanently:

  • Lemon juice
  • Basil juice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Celery juice
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Kidney bean broth
  • Dandelion root juice
  • Wheatgrass juice
  • Horsetail juice
Summary: A kidney stone can be a difficult disease to deal with, however, it can be prevented or treated permanently with the help of some home care.

What size kidney stone requires surgery?

Stone larger than 4 mm or 0.5 cm needs to be removed surgically or via other forms of medical procedures. These procedures include shock wave lithotripsy, ureteroscopy with laser lithotripsy, and percutaneous nephrolithotomy.

Stone shorter than 4mm does not need to be removed surgically, it can be removed naturally by medications and home remedies.

Summary: Stone larger than 4 mm or 0.5 cm needs to be removed surgically or via other forms of medical procedures. Other than that, it can be removed naturally by medications and home remedies.

Can kidney stones be cured without surgery?

Surgery is only recommended only in cases where the stone is so large that it won’t wiggle down from your bladder. If the size of the stone is shorter than 4mm can be treated without surgery. However, stones above 4mm need to be surgically removed.

Summary: Surgery is only recommended only in cases where the stone is so large that it won’t wiggle down from your bladder. Consult your doctor to get advice on the best surgical procedure for your medical treatment.

Can you pass a 7mm kidney stone?

No, it is not possible for a human to pass down a 7mm stone. It needs to be broken down or surgically removed in order to get removed. Only stones smaller than 4mm can be passed down without the surgery.

Summary: It is not possible for a human to pass down a 7mm stone. It needs to be broken down or surgically removed in order to get removed.

Can vitamin D cause kidney stones?

Studies show that vitamin D can increase the risk of kidney stones amongst its patients. It works by increasing the absorption of calcium and leading to kidney stones. However, there is more than one reason that can be associated with your kidney stone.

Summary: Studies show that vitamin D can increase the risk of kidney stones amongst its patients. It works by increasing the absorption of calcium and leading to kidney stones.

pcnl surgery for kidney stones:

Percutaneous Nephrolithonomy (PCNL) is a surgical procedure newly developed to remove kidney stones without any major incisions. It is generally used for stones that are stuck in the kidney or upper ureter. The duration of the procedure is 3-4 hours.

They make a small incision ( around 1 cm) to insert a telescope to guide the laser to break down and remove the kidney stone. The procedure has high success rates and its effects in comparison to other forms of surgeries. A side effect of the procedure includes bleeding, infection, organ or tissue injury.

Summary: PCNL is a surgical procedure newly developed to remove kidney stones without any major incisions. It is generally used for stones that are stuck in the kidney or upper ureter.

Can you treat stones with medicine?

Yes, kidney stones can be treated with the help of medication. Medications are prescribed as per the type of deposition and treatment mode. For calcium depositions, potassium citrate, and diuretics, increase the citrate and pH levels in urine.

In the case of a uric acid stone, allopurinol. For Struvite Stones, antibiotics, and acetohydroxamic acid. And lastly, for Cystine Stones, mercaptopropionyl glycine and potassium citrate composed medications are recommended.

Summary: Kidney stones can be treated with the help of medication. Medications are prescribed as per the type of deposition and treatment mode.

What size kidney does surgery require?

Stone larger than 4 mm or 0.5 cm needs to be removed surgically or via other forms of medical procedures. These procedures include shock wave lithotripsy, ureteroscopy with laser lithotripsy, and percutaneous nephrolithotomy.

Stone shorter than 4mm does not need to be removed surgically, it can be removed naturally by medications and home remedies.

Summary: Stone larger than 4 mm or 0.5 cm needs to be removed surgically or via other forms of medical procedures. Other than that, it can be removed naturally by medications and home remedies.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

If the patient has successfully undergone the treatment without any complications or leftover fragments of crystals in the kidney then it is considered a success. Amongst all cases, the success rate of kidney stones treatment within three months is approximately 75-90%.

How much does it cost to get kidney stones removed?

The cost of the treatment depends on the size and the seriousness of the case. The cost of the treatment includes consultation, medication, and in critical cases surgery.

The cost of the treatment may vary from 15 thousand to 1.5 lacks, depending on your needs, other external factors like a hospital, location, doctor, etc.

Summary: The cost of the treatment depends on the size and the seriousness of the case. The cost of the treatment includes consultation, medication, and in critical cases surgery.

Home Remedies for Kidney Stones:

Early stages of kidney stones can be cured by certain home remedies:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar: It is one of the very popular remedies for kidney stones. It dissolves the stones and flushes it out through the urine. It helps in preventing future occurrence of kidney stones. You can also mix it with honey and drink it thrice a day.
  • Kidney Beans: Kidney beans are very beneficial for the kidneys. It has a high content of magnesium which reduces the symptoms associated with kidney stones. You are advised to boil the beans, strain the liquid and then cool it before drinking. It also helps in easing the pain due to kidney stones.
  • Pomegranate: It’s juice and seeds makes a great remedy for kidney stones due to their sour nature & astringent properties.

Read More About: Natural home remedies for kidney stones treatment at home.

Physical Exercises for the people suffering from Kidney Stones:

Light cardio and jogging are highly recommended for kidney stone patients. This may help you pass the stone easily, promoting a healthy blood flow in the body.

For time specification and type of exercise, you should consult your doctor before starting any exercise routine as intensive exercise can also cause more pain and discomfort if not done under supervision.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are no such alternatives present for the current treatment plan of kidney stones. Since each method is made to treat a specific size group, it is hard to treat the stone otherwise.

Even though one is not able to replace any treatment method, you can start alternative therapies post-treatment to reduce any chance of relapse, some of them are:

  • Herbs and homeopathic remedies
  • Light exercise
  • Balanced diet design as per the restrictions

Consult your doctor beforehand for better results.

Summary: Kidney stone can be described as the deposition of minerals in the kidney pipes. There can be more than one form of kidney stone that can form in both the kidney and bladder. The root causes may include excess minerals in your body and dehydration. It can be easily treated with the help of medications or surgery ( if the stone measures more than 4mm in size).

Popular Questions & Answers

Hello from past 1 week I came to know I came to know I have gallbladder stone 6.1 mm doctor has prescribed me udiliv 150 so upon taking this tablet can I have non veg foods? Or which is healthy food I should consume upon taking this tab pls suggest. Thanks in advance.

Ayurvedic Doctor, Delhi
You should avoid non veg food, dairy products, oily and spicy food. You can go for sprouts ,citrus fruits, apple or apple vinegar, soaked nuts. For gallstone you can also search for nhc life on google.
1 person found this helpful

Hi sir this is suresh from andhra pradesh, age 39, weight 57 kg, height 5.2, water intake 2 liters per day, creatinine test 1.4,urine test negative, 2-4 pus cells ,2-4 epithelial cells found, please suggest about any further scan r test, I need ayurvedic suggestions, I want to use punarnava tab from himalayan brand.

MBBS Graduated From, Diploma in Psychiatry Medicine, Diploma in Human nutrition, Diploma in Immuno-Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Advance Diploma in Physiotherapy(PGAHI) Singapore, Diploma Sport & Exercise Medicine, Residential training in Dermetology
General Surgeon, Koppal
Hello Mr. lybrate-user, we are happy to assist you in a better way of modalities, as such i'm allopathic practitioner I can suggest you regarding this you have take precautions not a single medicines for such kind of infectious, your intake only s...
1 person found this helpful

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