There are ample numbers of medical conditions which can occur in our body. Kidney helps to clean the body toxins and transform the unwanted waste of the body into urine. Since kidneys are like filters of our body, the dirt or unwanted waste can sometimes accumulate and cause serious harm to the kidneys. There are various health diseases which are associated with the kidneys; one of the common but equally serious problems is that of stones. Kidney stones due to building up of dissolved minerals in the body. Let us know from the expert in detail about this disease.
What are Kidney Stones?
According to health expert, Dr Rakesh Tyagi, Nephrologist from Sahara Hospital, Lucknow, kidney stones are small ball like formation of excess waste particles which are accumulated over the time in the kidney. It is a far more serious disease than people assume it to be. It can lead to various infections, urinary problems and kidney damage. Kidney stones slowly develop due to low fluid consumption, dietary factors and other causes due do history of the person. Kidney stones can cause severe pain, blood during urination and permanent kidney damage if not taken precautions. Hence it is always recommended to drink plenty of water and take more healthy fluids in the body. It can lower down the risk of having kidney stones.
Kidney stones can be developed anywhere along the urinary tract and can be found in-
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
- Blood while urination
- Vomiting and nausea
- Urinary tract infection
- Pain in groin, side of abdomen
- Increase need for urination
There is also a chance that kidney stones block the passage of urine which can further result in kidney infection. The symptoms of this can include-
- Fever and chills
- Weakness and fatigue
- Foul smell in urine.
What Are The Types of Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are crystal like structure which is present in the body however not all the kidney stones are made up of the same type. The various type of kidney stone formation can be of-
1# Calcium- Stones which are made up of calcium are most common and are made up of calcium oxalate. It is caused by eating more of oxalate rich food such as potato chips, peanuts, chocolate, spinach, etc. By reducing the intake of oxalate rich food, there are less chances of having this type of kidney stones.
2# Uric Acid- Kidney stones made of uric acid are more common in women than men. It is because they occur in people who have more gout or those who undergo chemotherapy. The stones develop when the urine is too acidic. This acid formation is due to purines, it is a colourless substance which is found in animal protein.
3# Struvite- These types of stones are large in size and are found mostly in women who are suffering from urinary tract infection. It can cause obstruction in urination which ultimately results in kidney infection. Treating UTI at right time can prevent creation of struvite stones in the body.
4# Cystine- These are rare kidney stones which are normally not found easily. It happens more due to genetic disorder cystinuria. Cystine is a type of acid which can form naturally in the body and leaks towards kidney into urine. It can happen to both men and women equally.
Factors Which Can Lead to Kidney Stones
- Dehydration or having less than 1 litre of water regularly
- Gastric bypass surgery
- Diet with excessive proteins, salt or glucose
- Inflammatory bowel disease which increases calcium absorption
- Medical drugs like antiseizure drugs and calcium-based antacids
What Are the Complications Of Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones can also cause some major complication for the body resulting in other severe health conditions. If the kidney stones block the tube that connects the urinary bladder to the kidney then urine will be unable to pass out of the body. This dysfunction can increase the risk of UTI or kidney infection. If the stone formation happens multiple times blocking the passage of urine then it can cause chronic kidney disease. Unfortunately, 50% of people who have kidney stones develop another stone within 5-7 years which becomes dangerous to health.
Treatment for Kidney Stones
There are few treatments which are available for treating kidney stones. But it depends on size and type of the stone which is formed. The common treatment which is recommended by doctors in not so severe cases are-
- High intake of water and fluids by mouth or intravenously
- Pain relief medication
- Medication to speed up the passage of stones
- If large stones are formed then it requires some operational methods such as shock wave lithotripsy, uteroscopy or percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PNCL).
- Shock wave therapy uses the ultrasound waves to break the stone into smaller pieces which make it easier to pass through the bladder.
- Uteroscopy is a bit long procedure; it is a operation in which they pass a long, thin tube through the persons urethra till the ureter. This connects the bladder with the kidney. Then they use laser to break up the stone into small particles which pass through easily.
- PNCL is a quicker procedure which involves passing thin instrument through the back into the kidney. That instrument breaks down or removes the stone using laser energy. But this operation cannot be done without giving general anesthesia as it involves too much pain.
Kidney stones are of various types depending on their nature. It can be formed due to lack of water in the body, improper intake of food, obesity etc. Kidney stones happen more usually in men than in women. These stones can cause several other health conditions if precautions are not taken at the right time. It is important to know the symptoms of kidney stones and consult a doctor if you find them in your body.
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