Kidney stones may cause and can affect any part of your urinary tract- from your kidneys to your bladder. Often, stones from when the urine become concentrated allowing minerals to crystallize and stick together.
Passing kidney stones can be very painful, but the stones usually cause no permanent damage. Depending on the severity, you may only need to take pain medication and drink lots of water to pass a kidney stone. IN some cases, for example, if kidney stones become stuck in the urinary tract, or cause complications, you may need a surgical procedure.
Your doctor may advise preventive treatment to reduce your risk of recurrent kidney stones if you are at higher risk of developing them again.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
A kidney stone may not cause any problems until it moves around within your kidney or passes into your ureter the tube connecting the kidney and bladder. At this point, you may start to experience these symptoms and signs.
- Pain on urination
- Cloudy or smelly urine
- Pink, red or brown urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fever and chills if an infection is present
- Urinating small amounts of urine at a time
- Pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity
- Pain that spread to the lower abdomen and groin
- Severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs
- Persistent needs to urinate
- Urinating more often than normal
Pain caused by a kidney stone can differ, for example changing to a different location or increasing in intensity, as the stone moves through your urinary tract.
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have additional signs and symptoms that you are concern with.
Seek immediate medical help if you experience any of the following:
Pain so severe that you can sit down or find any comfortable position
Blood in your urine
Difficulty passing urine
Pain along with a fever and chills
Pain as well as nausea and vomiting.
Causes of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones often do not have a single definite cause. However, several factors can increase our risk of developing kidney stones
Kidney stones form when your urine carries more crystal-forming substances such as calcium, uric acid, or oxalate than the fluid in your urine can dilute. At the same time, your urine ma lake particular substances that prevent the crystal from sticking together, creating an ideal situation for kidney stones to form.
There four main types of Kidney Stones
Identifying, the type of kidney stone, helps determine the cause and may give an indication on how to reduce your risk of getting additional kidney stones. Types of kidney stones include:
Calcium stones – Most cases of kidney stones are calcium stones, normally in the form of calcium oxalate. Oxalate is a naturally occurring substance found inside of food. Some vegetables, fruits, nuts, and chocolate have high oxalate levels. The liver also produces oxalate. Dietary factors, such as high doses of vitamin D, or internal bypass surgery and metabolic disorder can raise the concentration levels of calcium or oxalate in the urine. Calcium stones can also occur through calcium phosphate.
Struvite Stone- form in response to an infection, such as urine tract infection. These stones can grow quickly and become rather large, in certain cases with few symptoms or little warning.
Uric Acid Stones – Uric acid stones can form in people who do not drink enough fluid or who lose too much liquid, people who eat a high-protein diet, and those who have gout. There are also certain genetic factors that may increase your risk of uric acid stones
Cystine stones – These are stories that form in people with hereditary disorders that causes the kidneys to secrete too much of certain amino acids such as cystinuria
Other types of rare types of kidney stones can also occur.
Kidney Stones Risk Factors
Factors that increase your risk of developing kidney stone include the following:
Family or personal history: If someone in your family has kidney stones, you are at higher risk of developing stones as well. If you’ve already had kidney stones, you are more likely to developing another stone.
Dehydration– not drinking enough water every day can increase you’re of developing kidneys stones. People who live in warmer climates or tend to sweat a lot may be at higher risk than others.
Certain diets- Diets that have high protein levels- sodium and sugar may increase your risk of some kinds of kidney stones. This applies in particular to a high-sodium diet. Too much sodium in your diet will increase the amount of calcium in your kidneys needs to filter and significantly increase the risk of kidney stones.
Digestive diesease and surgery – Gastric bypass surgery chronic diarrhea or inflammatory bowel disease can trigger changes in the digestive process that affect your absorption of water and calcium, which will increase the level of substances that encourage stones to form in your urine.
Other medical conditions or disease can increase your risk of kidney stones; these include cystinuria, renal tubular acidosis, hyperparathyroidism, some urinary tract infections and certain medications.
Kidney Test and Diagnosis
If your doctor thinks, you may have a kidney stone. He or she may recommend diagnostic test and procedures, including:
Blood testing – a Blood test can reveal the amount of calcium and uric acid in your blood. Blood test results help observe the health of your kidneys and may guide your doctor to check for other medical conditions.
Urine testing – 24-hour urine collection test may show that you are expecting a very high level of stone was forming minerals or very low levels of stone preventing substances. This test your doctor may request that you perform two urine collection over two consecutive days.
Imaging test may show kidney stones in your urinary tract. Options range from basic abdominal X-rays which can miss small kidney stones, to high-speed or dual energy computerized tomography CT that may reveal even tiny stones.
Other imaging options include an ultrasound, a noninvasive test, and intravenous urography, which involves inserting dye into an arm vein and taking X-rays) intravenous pyelogram or getting CT images or CT urogram as dye travels through the kidney and bladder.
Analysis of passed stones. You may be asked to urinate through a strainer to catch stones that you pass. Lab analysis will reveal what your kidney stones are made off. Your doctor uses this information to determine what causes your kidney stones and develop a treatment plan to prevent additional kidney stones from forming.
Treatment and Medication of Kidney stones vary, depending on the type of stone and the cause.
Small stones with least severe symptoms.
Drinking water – as much as two to three quarts or 1.9 to 2.8 liters a day can help flush out your urinary system. Unless your doctor instructs you otherwise, drink fluid enough -specifically water – to produce clear or nearly clear urine.
Pain relievers -Passing a small stone can cause some discomfort. To relieve mild pain, your doctor may prescribe pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) acetaminophen (Tylenol others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve).
Medical therapy, Your doctor can give you a medication to help pass your kidney stone. This type of medication, known as an alpha-blocker relaxes the muscles in the ureter, allowing you to pass the kidney stone quicker with less pain.
Large Stones that cause symptoms
Kindly scenes that ca not be treated with basic measures due to the stones being too large on their own or because they are are may cause kidney damage, bleeding or ongoing urinary tract infections. These may require extensive treatment. Procedures can include these:
Using sound waves to break up stones – for certain kidney stones – depending on the location and size, your doctor may recommend a procedure called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL)
ESWL uses sound waves to establish strong vibrations (shock waves ) that break the stones into very tiny pieces that can be passed in the urine. The procedure last about 45 to 60 minutes and can trigger moderate pain, so you may be under sedation or moderate anesthesia to make you at ease.
EWSL can cause blood in the urine, bruising on the back or abdomen, bleeding throughout the kidney and other nearby organs, and discomfort as the stone fragments passes through the urinary tract
Surgery to extract very large stones in the kidney. A procedure referred to as percutaneous nephrolithotomy involves surgically extracting a kidney stone using miniature telescopes and instruments entered through a small incision in your back
You will receive general anesthesia during the surgery and be in the hospital of one to two days while you recover. Your doctor might recommend this surgery if EWSL was unsuccessful.
Using a scope to removing stones To remove a smaller stone in you ureter or kidney, your doctor may pass a thin, lighted tube (ureteroscope) outfitted with a camera through the urethra and bladder to your ureter,
After the stone is located special tools can catch the stone or break it into pieces that will pass in your urine. Your doctor may later place a small tube (stent) in the ureter to reduce swelling and improve healing. You may require general or local anesthesia during this procedure.
Parathyroid gland surgery- some calcium phosphate stone are caused by overactive parathyroid glands, which are located on the four corners of your thyroid gland, just below your Adams apple. When these glands produce too much parathyroid home (hyperparathyroidism), your calcium levels can become too high, and kidney storms may form as a result.
Hyperparathyroidism sometimes occurs when small, being tumor forms in one of your parathyroid glands or you develop another condition that leads the glands to produce the most parathyroid hormone. Removing the growth from the gland prevents the development of kidney stones. Or your doctor may prescribe treatment of the condition that is causing your parathyroid gland to produce the hormone over.
Kidney Stone Prevention
Prevention of kidney stones may include a combination of medication and lifestyle changes and medications
Lifestyle changes may reduce your risk of kidney stones if you drink enough water a daily, you should drink at leat 2.6 quarts of 2.5 liters so water. The doctor may ask you the to measure the output of your urine to make sure your drinking enough. IF you live in a hot and dry environment, or you exercise frequently, you may need to drink more water more often to produce enough urine that is light and clear.
Eat fewer oxalate-rich foods – Foods that tend to be high in calcium include beets, okra, spinach, Swiss chard, nuts, tea chocolate, soy and Sweet potato products.
Choose a diet that is low in salt and animal protein – reduce your salt intake and eat non-animals protein sources, such as legumes.
Continue eating calcium-rich foods, but use caution with calcium supplements – Calcium in food doesn’t have an effect on your kidney stones. Keep eating calcium rich foods unless your doctor recommends otherwise. Ask you, doctor, before you decide to take calcium supplements, as these have been linked to increasing the risk of kidney stones. You may reduce the risk by taking supplements with meals. Diets low in calcium can increase risk of kidney stones. You may reduce the risk by taking supplements with meals. Diets low in calcium can increase kidney stone formation in some people.