Nephrolithiasis, commonly known as kidney stone, is a medical condition in which masses of insoluble crystals form in the kidney. Kidney stones develop when fluid and water consumption is inadequate and also when there is an imbalance in the ratio of urine elements.
There are different types of kidney stones. The most common type of kidney stone is a calcium stone. Uric acid is another kind of kidney stone that is found more commonly in women. The Struvite kidney stone is found mainly in women. Even though cystine kidney stones are not in common, they can develop in people belonging to both genders. The cystine stones occur when the kidney leaks cystine acid into the kidney.
Kidney stones mostly occur in people in their early twenties to their late forties. The risk factors that increase the probability of kidney stones are high-glucose, protein or salt diet, obesity, dehydration, gastric bypass surgery, hyperparathyroid condition, inflammatory bowel diseases and medication such as calcium-based antacids, diuretics and anti-seizure drugs.
If the kidney stones are small in size, doctors just prescribe medications that will flush the stones out of the body with urine. But if the stones are bigger in size, in the range of 5-10 mm, they cannot be treated with medicines and have to removed surgically.
In order to cure Nephrolithiasis, the patient needs to be under pain control medications primarily. In most of the cases, the stones might eventually pass from the ureter and bladder, finally making its passage through the urethra on its own. Patients may also require medications to reduce the pain and also to facilitate easy passage of urine. For cases where the stones are much larger, doctors suggest the removal of the stones surgically via lithotripsy and ESWL. Over-the-counter (OTC) anti-inflammatory medications are prescribed by doctors as well. Stronger medications like ketorolac and narcotic medication, are also suggested for more severe cases.
Several other medications like calcium channel blockers and alpha blockers are also used to increase the speed of passage of these kidney stones. In certain emergency cases with risks of renal failure, the focus of the treatment shifts to correcting the dehydration, preventing scarring and also treating urinary infections.
Individuals who have been detected with nephrolithiasis are eligible to go through the treatment. People who do not have the condition but see symptoms appearing should consult a doctor before considering any form of treatment.
People who have a normal functioning kidney with no signs or symptoms of pain do not need the treatment for nephrolithiasis. If suspected, individuals should consult a doctor before starting any kind of medication.
Patients have to be careful about their post treatment diet. Cutting down on salt and sodium which dispenses more calcium into the urine and high-oxalate food is compulsory for patients. You should intake a sufficient amount of water on a daily basis to avoid any further complications.
In most cases, when the kidney stones are smaller than 5 mm, the stones may pass in a few days or a few weeks. Kidney stones that happen to pass on their own need approximately 40 days. Larger kidney stones have to be removed surgically and post-surgery medications and bed rest is to be followed for a couple of weeks.
Certain lithotripsy surgeries may cost from Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000. The general cost of ESWL process can range between Rs 15,000- 35,000.
Most people who have suffered with the condition have a 50% chance of going through the issue all over again, within a period of 5 years. Patients have to be careful about their food and water intake throughout.