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Little-Known Facts That Will Change Your View on Kidney Stones

Dr.Ayushi Bansal 407 Views
Updated: 22 Apr 2024
Published: 22 Apr 2024

A kidney stone is a hard item formed from chemicals in the urine. The four forms of kidney stones are calcium oxalate, uric acid, struvite, and cystine. A kidney stone can be removed via shockwave lithotripsy, ureteroscopy, percutaneous nephrolithotomy, or nephrolithotripsy. 

Urine contains many wastes. When urine becomes too concentrated, crystals develop. The crystals attract other elements and combine to form a solid that will continue to grow unless it is excreted in the urine. These substances are typically removed in the urine by the body's master chemist, the kidney. In most people, drinking enough liquid washes them out, or other substances in urine prevent stones from developing. Calcium oxalate, urate, cystine, xanthine, and phosphate are the chemical components that create stones.

After forming, the stone may remain in the kidney or migrate down the urinary tract to the ureter. Tiny stones can sometimes exit the body through the urine without causing significant pain. However, non-moving stones can induce a urine back-up in the kidney, ureter, bladder, or urethra, thus causing the pain.

Symptoms of Kidney Stone Disease

A kidney stone usually does not produce symptoms until it moves around the kidney or enters one of the ureters. The ureters are tubes that link the kidneys to the bladder.

If a kidney stone becomes caught in the ureters, it can obstruct the urine flow, causing the kidney to enlarge and the ureter to spasm, which can be extremely painful. At that period, you may feel the following symptoms:

  • Severe, acute pain in the side and back, below the ribs
  • Pain spreads to the lower abdomen and groin
  • Pain that comes in waves with varying intensity
  • Pain or burning sensation during urinating.

Other signs and symptoms may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • A persistent need to urinate, urinating more often than usual or urinating in small amounts
  • Pink, red, or brown urine
  • Fever and chills if an infection is present.

Types of Kidney Stones

  • Calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate stones- Calcium-based stones can form if you eat meals high in oxalate or low in calcium and don't drink enough fluid. Calcium-oxalate stones are the most prevalent form of kidney stone.
  • Uric acid stones- Eating animal proteins (such as beef, poultry, pig, eggs, and fish) might lead to uric acid stones.
  • Struvite stone- Bacterial infections can result in struvite stones. Repeated infections can result in a staghorn calculus, which is a huge kidney stone that must be surgically removed.
  • Cystine stones- Cystinuria is a hereditary disease that creates cystine stones. Cystine is a chemical composed of two cysteine amino acids linked together.

Risk Factors of Kidney Stones

You may be more likely to get kidney stones if:

  • Do not drink enough fluids.
  • Consume meat and other protein-containing foods in high quantity.
  • Consume high-sodium or sugar-rich foods.
  • Take a vitamin C supplement.
  • Have a family history of kidney stones.
  • Have a clog in your urinary tract.
  • Have undergone stomach or intestine surgery, including gastric bypass.
  • Take specific drugs. This includes certain diuretics, calcium-based antacids, and certain anti seizure medicines.
  • Have some medical issues.

Treatment and Diagnostics of Kidney Stones Disease

A kidney stone is diagnosed using a medical history, physical examination, and imaging testing. Your doctors will want to know the specific size and shape of the kidney stones. This can be accomplished using a high-resolution CT scan from the kidneys to the bladder or a "KUB x-ray" (kidney-ureter-bladder x-ray), which will reveal the size and location of the stone. Surgeons frequently take the KUB x-ray to establish whether the stone is acceptable for shock wave treatment. The KUB test can monitor your stone before and after therapy, but a CT scan is often preferred for diagnosis. 

In some cases, doctors will order an intravenous pyelogram, or lVP, an X-ray of the urinary system obtained after injecting a dye.

Second, your doctor will determine how to treat your stone. Blood and urine tests will be used to examine the health of your kidneys. Your overall health, as well as the size and position of your stone, will be considered.

Later, your doctor will determine the cause of the stone. After removing the stone from your body, your doctor will analyze your blood for calcium, phosphorus, and uric acid levels. Your doctor may also request you collect urine for 24 hours to test for calcium and uric acid.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. What is the most effective approach to getting rid of kidney stones?

    Answer:- If your doctor believes your kidney stone will pass on its own, drink plenty of water to help wash it out. Take any medications as directed and follow your doctor's advice on what to eat and drink.

  2. When should I see my healthcare provider?

    Answer:- If you have kidney stones, you should know where and how big they are so you can get treated and avoid consequences.

  3. Are kidney stones fatal?

    Answer:- Kidney stones do not cause death.

  4. Can I live a regular life with kidney stones?

    Answer:- Kidney stones should not prevent you from going about your everyday activities or significantly impair your quality of life. Kidney stones are not permanent because you can pass them while urinating, and there are therapeutic alternatives available.

  5. Can kidney stones induce kidney disease?

    Answer:- If you've had kidney stones before, you're more likely to get them again and develop chronic renal disease.

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