What Are Kidney Stones?
Renal calculi, also known as kidney stones are small, hard mineral deposits that originate in your kidneys, but can develop anywhere in the urinary tract. This may include the kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra. Kidney stones can form in either one or both kidneys and are common urinary tract disorders. They are known to be one of the most painful conditions, the causes of which vary, depending on the type of stone.
What are the Types of Kidney Stones?
There are different types of kidney stones. They include:
Calcium: Calcium stones are one of the most common types of kidney stones and are made of calcium oxalate, maleate or phosphate. To reduce the risk of developing this kind of stone, you must consume fewer oxalate-rich foods which include potato chips, chocolate, beets, peanuts, and spinach.
Struvite: This type of stone is mostly found in women with urinary tract infections, and are mainly caused by a kidney infection. The stones of this kind can be large, causing a urinary obstruction. Therefore, treating an underlying infection can prevent the development of this type of stone.
Uric Acid: This kind of kidney stone is much more common in men than in women. It can occur in people with gout or even those undergoing chemotherapy. This kind of stone usually develops when the urine is too acidic, which is due to a diet rich is purines. Purine is a colourless substance that is mainly found in animal proteins such as shellfish, fish, and meats.
Cysteine: This kind of stone is rare and occur in both, men and women who have a genetic disorder called cystinuria. Cystine is an acid that occurs naturally in the body and leaks from the kidneys into the urine.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Stones?
A kidney stone may not cause many symptoms until it moves around in your kidney or passes into your ureter. However, a few signs and symptoms of kidney stones may include:
In some cases, where the kidney stone is small, you may not have any pain or symptoms while the stone passes through your urinary tract.
What are the Causes of Kidney Stones?
A kidney stone does not have a definite cause. However, several factors may increase the risk of having this condition. Kidney stones often form when the urine contains more crystal-forming substances such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid than the fluid in the urine. Sometimes, the urine may also lack substances which help prevent the crystals from sticking together. Thus, creating an ideal environment for the kidney stones to form.
What are the Risk Factors for Kidney Stones?
Factors that increase one’s risk of developing kidney stones include:
How to Treat Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones treatment is tailored depending on the type of the stone. Drinking approximately six to eight glasses of water per day can help increase the flow of urine. People who are dehydrated or have nausea and vomiting may need intravenous fluids. A few other treatment options include:
Medication: The presence of an infection often requires treatment with antibiotics. Sometimes, narcotic medications are also used to relieve pain.
Tunnel Surgery: Also, known asPercutaneous Nephrolithotomy, tunnel surgery is performed to remove stones through a small incision in your back. This treatment is used when:
Lithotripsy: This treatment uses sound waves to break the large stones, so that they can pass down the ureters easily, into your bladder. This procedure can sometimes be uncomfortable and may require anaesthesia. It can also cause bruising on the abdomen and back, and bleeding around the kidney and other nearby organs.
Ureteroscopy: This treatment is used when a stone is stuck in your ureter or bladder. Here, the doctor may use an instrument known as a ureter scope to remove it. During this procedure, a small wire with a camera attached is inserted into the urethra and is passed into the bladder. A small cage is then used to snag the stone and remove it. Once the stone is removed, it is sent to the laboratory for analysis.
At Apollo Clinic, we offer you few of the best diagnosis and treatment for various conditions, one of them being kidney stones. With a team of few of the best nephrologists in the country who have tremendous knowledge and experience in the field of nephrology, we aim at providing you with the best medical solutions for all your medical concerns.