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Last Updated: Aug 25, 2020
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Kidney Stones - Symptom, Causes, Treatment, Diet, Home remedies and Removal

About Types Signs Risk factors Food Factors Diagnosis Treatment Prevention Natural ways Diet chart Precautions Home Remedies

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 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.

What are risk factors for kidney stones?

  • Dehydration is the prime cause of kidney stone 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 infection 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:

  • Narcotic 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.

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 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.

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.

Popular Questions & Answers

My father 65 is ckd patient with diabetes type 2 and hypertension. His pressure in every evening remains greater than=180/ 100. He takes cilacar 20 in parts as morning 10 & night. He used to take inderal 40 last year. What home remedies can lower his pressure along with medication? He has a strict diet and water count of 1.5 ltr. Please let me know the difference between cilacar & inderal also?

Homeopathy Doctor, Sindhudurg
Hello avoid salt, pickles, sugar etc. Eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. I suggest you to give him homeopathic treatment along with allopathic medicines to control hypertension, further progression of ckd, and diabetes.

Hi doctor, my father is aged 55 and is suffering from diabetes for which he is taking hamdard diabeat and for thyroid he is taking thyronorm 75 mcg. He has got stroke (ischemic stroke) few months back and is recovering. But, he has also been diagnosed with high serum creatinine and blood urea levels. Creatinine was 3.39 in the recent report and blood urea level were 91.21 and blood urea nitrogen is 42.03. Please suggest me some ayurvedic or unani treatment and what type of food to avoid. Thanks a lot.

MBBS, CCEBDM, Diploma in Diabetology, Diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics, Cetificate Course In Thyroid Disorders Management (CCMTD)
Endocrinologist, Dharwad
Hello, Thanks for the query. Let me clarify that I am not an Ayurvedic doctor. So I am not suggesting that kind of treatment. However, looking his very creatinine, urea and protein levels, I felt like answering the query. These values clearly show...

My creatinine level is 1.4 and egfr reading is 58.73 ml/min/1.73 m2. Last month creatinine was 1.33 and egfr was 62.31 ml/min/1.73m2. I am taking losar 25 mg by a nephrologist. I want answer by a nephrologist if possible as am I going in a right direction as decline in these values are disturbing me. This time doctor has advised to take nefrosave too. Value for hba1c is 5.9. Please suggest.

MBBS, DNB (Internal Medicine), DNB (Nephrology), MNAMS(Medicine), MD - General Medicine
Nephrologist, Delhi
Hello lybrate-user/ kake, there is a slight increase in creatinine which can be a technical variation. This is too short duration to determine the progression of the disease. Just focus on strict blood pressure control and other diet modifications...

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