Kidney Stones : Know the Causes, Prevention, Symptoms And Treatment350
A kidney stone is an irregularly formed solid mass or crystal, which can range in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball. The ureter, the tube connecting your kidneys and bladder, is where a kidney stone can form. Kidney stones are most usually seen here. Kidney stones are solid deposits of minerals and salts that develop inside your kidneys. They are also known as renal calculi, nephrolithiasis, or urolithiasis.
Diet, excessive body weight, various illnesses, certain supplements, and medications are only a few of the causes of kidney stones. Each section of your urinary tract, from your kidneys to your bladder, might be impacted by kidney stones. As urine gets concentrated, minerals can crystallize and adhere to one another and frequently lead to stones.
Although passing kidney stones can be extremely painful, if they are caught early enough, they often do not result in permanent harm. Depending on your situation, you might merely need to take painkillers and consume a lot of water to remove a kidney stone. Surgery could be required if stones get trapped in the urinary system, are linked to an infection, or cause problems.
If you have a higher chance of getting kidney stones again, your doctor may suggest preventative care to lower your risk.
Many factors may raise your chance of developing kidney stones, although there is frequently no one specific explanation.
Kidney stones occur when your urine contains more crystal-forming substances, such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid, than the fluid in your urine can dissolve. The conditions for kidney stones to develop are favorable if your urine lacks chemicals that keep crystals from adhering to one another.
Various kidney stones
Finding out what kind of kidney stone you have can assist in identifying its source and may provide information on how to lower your risk of developing more kidney stones. If you pass a kidney stone, attempt to save it if you can so you may give it to your doctor for examination.
Kidney stone types:
The majority of kidney stones are calcium stones, usually in the form of calcium oxalate. Your liver produces oxalate every day, which you can also get from food. Several fruits, vegetables, nuts, and foods like chocolate have high oxalate content.
Dietary factors, high vitamin D doses, intestinal bypass surgery, different metabolic disorders, and dietary factors might cause the quantity of calcium or oxalate in urine to increase.
Another type of calcium stone that might form is calcium phosphate stone. This particular type of stone is more common in metabolic diseases like renal tubular acidosis. It could also be associated with a number of medications used to treat seizures or migraines, such as topiramate (Topamax, Trokendi XR, Qudexy XR).
Stones of struvite. Struvite stones may develop as a result of urinary tract infections. Often with little symptoms or little warning, these stones have the potential to develop swiftly and become extremely huge.
Urate crystals. Those with chronic diarrhea or malabsorption, those who consume a high protein diet, those who have diabetes or metabolic syndrome, and those who lose too much fluid can all develop uric acid stones. The risk of uric acid stones may also be increased by specific hereditary variables.
Stone crystals. Those who have a genetic condition called cystinuria, in which the kidneys expel an excessive amount of a certain amino acid, develop these stones.
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The kidneys can occasionally develop crystals from waste materials in the blood.
The crystals may accumulate over time to create a lump that resembles a hard stone.
The substances that form stones are:
- Acid uric.
- Cystine (rare).
- Xanthine (rare).
Some of the waste materials that leave your body include substances like these and others.
The risk of kidney stones is highest in white men in their 30s and 40s. Nonetheless, anybody can get kidney stones.
There are a variety of reasons why kidney stones can occur:
- Failing to consume enough liquids.
- Consuming meals that contain elements that promote the formation of stones (phosphate, for example, is in meat, fish, beans and other protein-rich foods).
- Having kidney stones run in one's family.
- An obstruction in the urinary system.
Due to a pre-existing illness:
The chance of acquiring stones may also be increased by specific medical conditions. This is because it is possible that they will change the components of a kidney stone's concentration levels.
These ailments may consist of:
- Hypercalciuria (high calcium levels in your urine)
- High blood pressure
- Cystic fibrosis and gout.
- Kidney cysts.
- Parathyroid condition.
- Diarrhoea is persistent and inflammatory bowel illness.
- A few surgical procedures, such as weight-loss surgeries or surgery on the stomach, the intestines, or both.
Due to some types of medication:
If you use certain medicines, your risk of developing a stone may increase. These medicines consist of:
- Diuretics (water pills).
- Antacids made of calcium (used to treat osteoporosis).
- Crixivan® (used to treat HIV infections).
- Dilantin® and Topamax® (used to treat seizures).
- Cipro® (ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic).
- Ceftriaxone (an antibiotic).
Due to diet:
Your chance of getting kidney stones may also rise with certain diets. These foods consist of:
- Poultry and meat (animal proteins).
- Sodium (diets heavy in salt)
- Sugars (fructose, sucrose and corn syrup).
If you have little kidney stones, you might not even realize it. In most cases, you can pass them without any pain. You might have had a kidney stone for years without knowing it. You may experience symptoms if it begins to move or becomes really large.
Symptoms of larger kidney stones include the following:
- Abdominal discomfort on one side (abdomen). This discomfort might start as an intermittent dull ache. Moreover, it can worsen and require a trip to the ER.
- The acute, intermittent ache that makes you feel queasy or unwell and/or vomiting.
- Having urine with visible blood.
- Having discomfort while urinating.
- Having trouble urinating.
- Having a greater urge to urinate.
- Chills or a fever.
- Having foul-smelling, muddy pee or urine.
The majority of kidney stones are tiny enough to pass via your urine, and you may be able to take medication to manage the symptoms at home.
Bigger stones may require surgery to be broken apart or removed.
According to estimates, up to half of all individuals who have previously experienced kidney stones will do so again over the next five years.
The risk of kidney stones can be reduced in a number of ways, including:
- Be sure to drink a lot of water every day to stay hydrated in order to prevent kidney stones. Every day, consume six to eight 8-ounce cups (about 64 ounces). Your increased frequency of urination helps "flush away" the accumulation of the compounds that lead to kidney stones, so staying hydrated is beneficial. Make sure to drink even more if you perspire a lot.
- Restrict your salt intake. Consume less salt. To get assistance with meal planning, you might want to contact a dietitian.
- Weight management: Try to drop some weight if you are overweight. See your doctor about the ideal weight range.
- Heed prescriptions: Certain drugs that aid in the prevention of kidney stones may be prescribed by your doctor. Depending on the sort of stones you develop, the medicine may vary.
To avoid waste products congealing into kidney stones, it is crucial to maintain pale urine.
Drugs could be recommended to:
- Lessen the pain. An over-the-counter drug like ibuprofen or, if you are in the emergency room, an IV narcotic may be suggested by your healthcare professional.
- Control nausea and vomiting.
- To help the stones pass, relax your ureter. Medications like nifedipine and tamsulosin are frequently recommended.
There are four main surgical techniques available to treat kidney stones.
The first three procedures are minimally invasive, which means the doctor only makes a tiny incision or uses a natural opening to enter your body (like your urethra).
To perform a ureteroscopy, a tiny device known as a ureteroscope is inserted into the urethra, bladder, and ureter. This device either smashes kidney stones or displays them before retrieving them in a surgical basket, using a laser, to divide them. The tiny kidney stone particles can then easily exit your body through your urinary system.
During shockwave lithotripsy, you are positioned on a certain form of surgical table or tub. The stone is subjected to powerful shock waves that travel through water (s). The shockwaves shatter the stones, making it simpler for them to exit your body.
This is a possibility if other therapies for kidney stones are not working because there are too many stones, they are too big or heavy, or they are in the wrong places. With this procedure, a tube is put right into your kidney through a small incision in your back. The stones are then split apart using ultrasound so that no particles need to be passed. An implanted urethral stent is placed next (an internal tube from the kidney to the bladder which is removed one week later). Patients are typically kept overnight for observation.
Open stone removal:
During this procedure, a longer cut is used. It is not as common as minimally invasive procedures (0.3% to 0.7% of cases).
Complications of Kidney Stones:
If you can relate to any of the following:
- Your pain is excruciating or severe
- Your body temperature is elevated.
- You experience trembling or shaking, and there is blood in your pee.
You should contact for medical assistance immediately.
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Page last reviewed: Mar 16, 2023
Next review due: Mar 16, 2025