What Are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones (renal calculi) are clustered deposits of minerals and salts in your kidneys. When the urine gets concentrated, it leads to the crystallization of these salts and minerals, forming these stones. These stones can deposit anywhere in your urinary tract, from your kidneys to even your bladder. Kidney stones formation happens when the urine contains substances that often form crystals— such as uric acid, calcium, and oxalate — then the urine can dilute. Some medical conditions, obesity, excess weight, and not drinking enough water are other causes of kidney stones. These stones don’t cause any permanent damage if diagnosed and treated on time. But, passing these stones through your urethra is very painful. You may need nothing more than to drink lots of water and take pain killers to pass a kidney stone. But if the stone has become stuck in the urinary tract and is causing a urinary infection, you may have to go under surgery.
And if you are at risk of developing the stones again, you’ll have to take other preventive methods recommended by your doctor.
Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Stones:
These stones don’t cause any pain and symptoms if it isn’t moving around into your kidney or passing through your ureters. If the stone is stuck in the ureter, it can block the urine flow, which in turn will cause swelling in your kidneys and ureter spasm. It will cause much pain, and you may experience these symptoms :
- Severe pain in your back or side of the Abdomen, swelling of the feet.
- Radiating pain in the lower abdomen and groin.
- Difficulties while urinating ( burning sensation and pain).
- Blood in the urine.
- Vomiting and nausea.
- Foul-smell in the urine because of the infection.
- Urinating in small amounts but very often.
- Chills and fever.
Types of kidney stones
Information about kidney stone type helps determine its cause and how to reduce your risk of kidney stones by applying preventative measures.
kidney stones types are consists of:
- Calcium stones: Usually, most kidney stones are made up of a substance called calcium oxalate. Oxalate is produced daily by the liver or absorbed from your diet. Certain nuts, vegetables, and fruits, even chocolates, have a high content of oxalate.
- Calcium phosphate:Calcium phosphate also is a substance that forms the stones in the kidneys. These stones generally form because of metabolic conditions, as Tubular Acidosis. It may also be associated with certain medicines taken for seizures or migraines, such as topiramate (Topamax, Qudexy XR, Trokendi XR).
- Struvite stones: Struvite stones are caused because of urinary tract infections. These stones can become quite large by multiplying and sometimes have few symptoms and warnings.
- Uric acid stones: Certain genetic factors, a high protein diet, and losing too much fluid from the body can cause them to form. Uric acid stones can develop in people with diabetes or metabolic syndrome.
- Cystine stones: A Hereditary disorder called cystinuria causes the kidneys to excrete a specific amino acid in too much quantity, causing stone formation.
Factors That Increase The Risk For Kidney Stones:
Factors that lead to risks of developing kidney stones are consists of:
- Genetic history: If your family has had a history of kidney stones, then you may also develop some issues, or you are likely to. And if you already have a stone or two, then you are likely to develop more.
- Dehydration: Your body needs water to work efficiently, and if you are not drinking enough water, many things could go wrong, one of which is urine concentration, which will lead to stone formation. So you should always remember to drink enough water every day, especially if you live in a dry/hot place.
- Higher dosage of sodium or protein: Eating food with higher rate of salt, sugar and high protein diet increases the risk of some types of kidney stones like Calcium oxalate stones. Especially a high-sodium food increases the quantity of calcium that your kidneys have to filter and significantly increases your risk of stone development.
- Obesity And Excessive Weight:Excessive weight gain, obesity or high BMI rate or large waist size can be responsible for the increased risk of kidney stones.
- Surgeries and Digestive diseases: Chronic diarrhea, Gastric bypass surgery, bowel inflammation disease, can cause some changes in your digestive system and process that can affect the filtration process in the kidneys, increasing the risk for stone formation.
- Medical Issues: Conditions like urinary tract infections, tubular acidosis, cystinuria, thyroid. a can also increase the risk of formation of kidney stones.
- Supplements: Certain medications and supplements like vitamin-c, calcium, and excessive use of laxatives increase the risk of kidney stones.