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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Kidney stones may develop to anyone irrespective of the 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 a 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.
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.
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:
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.
To prevent kidney stones naturally following things can be done:
If you suffer from a kidney stone, try out the following that would give the best results:
Kidney stones diet:
Reat More About: What To Eat And What to Avoid During Kidney Stones - Kidney Stone Diet Chat
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.
Early stages of kidney stones can be cured by certain home remedies:
Read More About: Natural home remedies for kidney stones treatment at home.