How would you describe kidney stones?
Renal calculi or kidney stones are solid substances that are formed by crystals. Kidney stones typically come from the kidney. But, they can also be created anywhere around the urinary tract, which is made up of the following:
- the kidneys,
- the ureters,
- the bladder,
- The urethra.
Kidney stones pain is the most difficult pain disorder to experience in the body. The causative factors for kidney stones differ due to the kind of stone.
Classification of kidney stones
All the known kidney stones are not made up of similar crystals. The various kidney stone types are:
Kidney stones caused by calcium stones are the most widespread. Often, they consist of calcium oxalate (although they can contain calcium malware or phosphate). Reduction of foods containing oxalates can minimise the risk of having calcium stones. Foods rich in oxalates are:
- potato chips,
But, despite the fact some of those kidney stones contain calcium, having adequate calcium in your food can prevent you from having kidney stones.
This kidney stone type is more prevalent in men rather than among women. People who have gout or who are undergoing chemotherapy can possibly have this kind of kidney stone.
This stone type develops with acidic urine. A food which contains lots of purines can enhance the acidic level of urine. Purine is a substance with no colour that is present in animal proteins like shellfish, fish and meats.
This kidney stone type is common the most among women who have urinary tract infections (UTIs). These stone types are fairly large and can cause a blockage in the urinary organs. They are a result of an infection of the kidney. If the infection is treated, development of the struvite stones can be prevented.
Cystine stones are usually rare to find. They usually affect men and women alike that suffer from Cystinuria which is a genetic disorder. With this stone type, cystine which is a naturally occurring acid found around the body –flows out of the walls of the kidney and enters the urine.
Risk factors associated with kidney stones
The greatest possible risk factor that promotes the development of kidney stones is producing daily urine quantities lower than a litre. This is the reason for kidney stones being popular among premature infants that seem to have kidney disorders. But, kidney stones have a likely probability of affecting people whose ages fall between 20 and 50.
Various factors can maximize your chances of getting a stone. In the USA, white people have a higher chance of having kidney stones than people who are black.
Gender is also a major determinant factor. Based on the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a greater number of men than women tend to have kidney stones. Having a history of past kidney stones can increase the risk factor. Similarly, someone whose family have a past history of the disorder is prone to having kidney stones.
Other causative factors in are:
- meals with high content of salt, glucose or protein,
- a hyperparathyroidism condition,
- gastric bypass surgery,
- inflammatory bowel disorders that cause an increase in the absorption of calcium,
- Taking medications like triathlete diuretics, drugs against seizures as well as antacids that are calcium based.
Identifying the signs and indicators associated with kidney stones.
Kidney stones are typically associated with extreme pain. The signs that indicate the existence of kidney stones might not arise until the time that the stone start moving down to the ureters. This accompanying extreme pain is known as renal colic. The kidney stones pain may affect a part of the abdomen on the back.
For men, the pain can spread to the groin region. The pain associated with renal colic usually is unstable and can get pretty intense. People who have renal colic are typically restless.
Other indications associated with kidney stones are:
- presence of blood in the urine,
- foul smelling or discoloured urine,
- urinating frequently,
- Passing out urine in little quantities.
In the event where one has the small kidney stone disorder, the pain or signs may not be noticed because the stone easily passes through the urinary tract.
The reason kidney stones could be a difficulty
Stones are not always present in the kidney. Periodically, they move from the kidney and get to the ureters. Due to the delicate and small nature of the ureters, the size of the kidney stones might make it too difficult for the stones to pass easily from the ureter down to the bladder.
Stones passage through the ureter can lead to irritations and spasms in the ureters. This can lead to blood appearing in the urine. Other times, the stones can block urine from flowing. It is a condition known as urinary obstruction. The urinary obstruction typically can cause kidney damage as well as kidney infection.
Diagnosing and conducting a test for kidney stones
Diagnosis of the disorder, typically requires an assessment of the entire health history of the individual and as well as a physical examination. Several other test methods are:
- Testing of the blood for the presence of phosphorus, calcium, electrolytes and uric acid.
- Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) as well as creatinine to examine the functioning of the kidney.
- Urinalysis to examine the kidney for bacteria, blood, white cells and crystals.
- An assessment of passed stones so as to ascertain their type.
The tests below can be able to exclude obstruction:
- Retrograde pyelogram,
- Intravenous pyelogram (IVP),
- Abdominal X-rays,
- Kidney ultrasound,
- Conducting an MRI scan that focuses on the kidneys and the abdomen,
- Abdominal CT scan
The contrast dye that is usually employed in IVP and CT scan can make the kidney to function abnormally. But, for individuals who have a kidney that functions normally without any problems, there is no cause for concern.
The dyes when mixed with some medications for kidney stones treatment can increase the possibility for the damage of the kidney. Ensure that the radiologist is aware of the medications for kidney stones treatment before you use.
Method for kidney stones treatment
A procedure for kidney stones treatment is done by determining the stone type. Urines are typically examined and the stones are obtained for assessment. An intake of between 6 and 8 glasses of water on a daily basis increases the flow of urine. People who have dehydration or have a case of extreme vomiting and nausea may require intravenous fluids.
Other options for kidney stones treatment are:
The proper relief for pain, patients may need narcotic medications with the presence of an infection, patients may require antibiotic treatment. Medications of other types are:
- Allopurinol (Zyloprim) for stones associated with uric acid,
- Thiazide diuretics to inhibit the formation of calcium stones,
- Sodium citrate or sodium bicarbonate to reduce the acidity of the urine,
- Phosphorus solutions to inhibit the formation of calcium stones,
- Ibuprofen (Advil) for dealing with pain,
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) for tackling the pain,
- Naproxen sodium (Aleve) for tackling the pain.
The extracorporeal shock wave type of lithotripsy employs the use of sound waves to breakdown big stones so that the stones can pass easily through the ureters down to the bladder. This method is usually not a comfortable one and patients may need light anesthesia. It leads possibly to back and abdominal bruises as well as bleeding around the parts of the kidneys and organs that are near the kidney.
Tunnel Surgery (Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy)
The surgeon takes out the stone by cutting a little slit in your back. A patient may require this method if:
- The stone clogs up the kidney and causing infection or if it is causing damage to the kidney,
- The stone has become too big to pass,
- The pains have become unbearable.
When a kidney stone stays stuck in the bladder or the ureter, the doctor may take the stone out with the use of a medical instrument known as an ureteroscope.
A miniature wire that has a camera attached to it is fixed and places inside the urethra and moved down to the bladder. The doctor employs the use of a little cage to grip the stone and take it out. The stone is subsequently taken to the laboratory for the purpose of analysis.
Kidney Stone Prevention
A major way of preventing these stones is adequate intake water of water. The Mayo Clinic gives a recommendation that people should take in adequate water so as to pass out approximately 2.6 quarts of urine on a daily basis. An increased passage of urine helps in flushing the kidneys.
You are able to replace water with lemon-lime soda, ginger ale and fruit juice so as to increase your intake of fluids. If the kidney stones are associated with low levels of citrate, then citrate juices can assist in the inhibition of kidney stone formation,
Consumption of oxalate containing food substances in moderate portions and a reduction of the consumption of animal proteins and salt is able to also minimise the risk of having kidney stones.
Your doctor can medically recommend medications to assist in the prevention of the formation of Uric acid and calcium stones. If you have the kidney stones disorder or there is a risk you might have a kidney stone, you should contact your doctor to outline the best prevention methods.