Kidney Stones - Health Center

Kidney Stones

By Refadoc, Posted on : Monday, 28 September 2015 - 10:22 am IST

Kidney Stones - Overview

Kidney Stones

, which are medically known as renal lithiasis are known to be small but hard deposits which are formed inside the kidneys of a person. These stones are made up of minerals as well as acid salts. Known to be the reason for immense pain and discomfort in the affected patients, these can affect any major part of the urinary system, such as kidneys, urinary bladder or even the urethra

The major reason for the occurrence of the

Kidney stones

is the concentration of the urine which allows the minerals to crystallize and stick together, leading to the formation of the stones.

Passing out of these stones can be very painful for a person; however, these stones are not known to cause any kind of a permanent damage to the person. Though they vary from one person to the other, these can be easily removed with the help of medication as well as normal ways, such as drinking a good amount of water.

However, in some rare cases surgery is recommended for the removal of the stones. However, there are some preventive ways in which the formation of the stones can be prevented as well as the accumulation of the stones can be prevented.

Causes of Kidney Stones 

Kidney stones do not have any specific cause for the occurrence. There are many different factors which are responsible for the occurrence of these stones.

In most of the cases due to the crystallization of the minerals in the urine, such as calcium, oxalate as uric acid, and their crystallisation, the stone formation occurs.

Some of the major kinds of kidney stones are as follows:

  • Calcium Stones: These form the majority of the stones which are found in the body. The reason for the occurrence of these stones is calcium oxalate. Oxalate is freely found in the food of an affected person as well as in found in the fruits, vegetables, nuts as well as chocolates. The human liver is also known to produce oxalate. Some of the other reasons for the occurrence of these stones could be the increase in the concentration of calcium or oxalate in the urine.
  • Struvite Stones: As per Kidney Specialists, these are formed in response to the such as that of the urinary system. These tend to grow very quickly in size and can be of a very large size as well. With a little bit of symptoms and very less warning, these stones can grow to be much bigger in size.
  • Uric Acid Stones: These tend to form in people who have a low consumption of water on an everyday basis. Also, people who eat a diet rich in proteins are also at a danger of suffering from this kind of stone infection. Gout and genetic infection are other two major reasons that increase the risk of uric acid stones.
  • Cystine Stones: These are formed in people who suffer from a hereditary infection which causes the kidneys to release a large amount of amino acids such as cystinuria, which causes Cystine stones.

Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Signs and symptoms for a kidney stone may not be visible until it starts to move around in the kidney or passes on to the ureters of the person.

Once this has been done, it can go on to show the following symptoms:

  •   Severe pain below the ribs on either side
  •   Pain spreading to the abdomen and groin
  •   Pain coming in waves and fluctuating all over the abdomen
  •   Pain during urination
  •   Urine which varies in colour such as pink, red or brown
  •   Foul smelling urine
  •   Persistent urge to urination
  •   Fever and chills

Pain can be caused due to Kidney stones. The intensity of this pain as well as its duration differs from one person to the other as the stones start to move all the way through the urinary system of the affected person. It is recommended to see a doctor if you are experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms.

Tests and Diagnosis of Kidney Stones:

In case your Medical Practitioner suspects that you are suffering from Kidney Stones, then he may be prescribing you the following tests in order to determine the condition:

  • Blood Tests: These are done in order to reveal the amount of calcium as well as uric acid which are present in the blood. These tests are used in order to monitor the health of the kidneys as well as help the doctors to check for other medical conditions.
  • Urine Tests: In this, the sample of the urine is collected and it is looked in order to find the presence of the minerals or the stone preventing substances.
  • Imaging Tests: In these, the kidney stones can be easily looked up in the urinary tracts of the person. Also, tests can range from the simple x ray tests to look for small stones or the CT scans in order to look for the even tinier stones.
  • Analysis of Stones: In this, the person is asked to urinate in a container and a strainer is used in order to catch the stones from the urine. These stones are then analysed in the lab in order to look for the makeup and the build of the stones. Later on, the doctors use this information in order to look for the reason for the formation of these stones and their prevention.

Treatment of Kidney Stones

The treatment options for Kidney Stones is largely dependent on the type of the stone and its causative factor. Some of the options are as follows:

  • Small Stones: Medical Practitioners do not suggest intensive for such cases. Drinking 2-3 litres of water every day is enough to help them flush out of the system. Also, the doctors may be prescribing you with some pain relievers in order to relieve you of the mild pain caused by the stones. Medical therapy such as alpha blockers can be prescribed in order to relax the muscles of the ureters and therefore helping the person to pass along the stones easily.
  • Larger Stones: Doctors suggest that the larger stones cannot be passed by on their own as they are too large and can cause internal bleeding and kidney damage of left untreated. In most of the cases for the treatment of the same, sound waves are used in order to break off the stones. This procedure is known as Extracorporeal Shock Wave in order to break the stones into tiny pieces, which can be passed out in the urine. Apart from this, surgery too is used in order to remove the stones with the help of a small telescope and other instruments which are inserted with the help of a small incision on the back of the affected person. Once the stone has been relocated, then tools are used in order to snare the stone and break it into smaller pieces which can be easily passed along in the urine. General or local anaesthesia is given to the affected person during this process. Opinions from Nephrologists should be sought before going ahead with various treatment options.
  • Nephrologist
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