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Everything about Kidney stones

What are Kidney Stones?

Nephrolithiasis or Kidney-Stone is a widespread urinary tract disorder, where hard and crystalline substances are formed in the kidney or other parts of urinary tract.  These crystalline stones are primarily formed as a result of concentrated urine in the urinary system.  

Primary Causes of Kidney Stones  

Kidney stones are primarily formed due to the constant accumulation of certain kind of chemicals in the urinary system that includes – ammonia, calcium, uric acid and cysteine. Additionally there also exist certain medical conditions or habits that could also lead to formation of kidney stone. Here are some of those cases– 

  1. Intake of low fibre and high protein diet for a long duration of time can cause kidney stones
  2. Occurrence of kidney stones is hereditary  
  3. Too much load on a single kidney as a result of removal of one functioning kidney causes kidney stones
  4. People with earlier records of kidney stones or kidney infections could get kidney stones 
  5. Individuals with less activities or ones who are bed bound are prone to Nephrolithiasis 
  6. Individuals who have had suffered kidney stones in their 20s are prone to get it again 
  7. Patients suffering from Crohn’s disease i.e. intestinal condition are vulnerable to kidney stones

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

One might be suffering from kidney Stones if he/she bumps into any of the following symptoms. Folks with such symptoms are advised to consult a physician at the earliest…

  • Consistent and frequent urge to urinate
  • Blood in urine
  • Persistent and piercing pain in the abdomen, middle/lower side of back
  • Sweating or Chills
  • Nausea sensation and frequent vomiting

How to Avoid Occurrence of Kidney Stones?

Yes, there are ways to mitigate occurrence of kidney stones and are remarkably simple. Some of the ways to prevent kidney stones are as follows –

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Give your body ample exercise
  • Do not withhold urination
  • Avoid intake of too much sugar
  • Intake Magnesium and Calcium rich foods
  • Reduce Meat and Poultry Consumption
  • Avoid foods that are rich in oxalate and phosphate

Treatment Options for Kidney Stones

Treatment for kidney stone majorly depends on the condition’s severity that includes type of stone, size of stone and symptoms of the condition. With multiple treatment options available, it is important to converse with your physician accurately, so that he can pin point the best option for you. Here is the list of treatments that are possible for kidney stones – 

  1. Without medication – Allowing the stone to pass – For kidney stones that are small and less severe (bearable pain), physicians mostly recommend for patients to wait until the stone has passed with the urine. During this wait, the patient is asked to drink loads of water to dilute the urine as much as possible.  Medication such as pain reliever is usually given when the pain becomes intolerable. 
  2. With medication – Allowing the stone to pass – In some cases where additional help in the form of medication is prescribed for easy pass of the kidney stone with the urine. Tamsulosin (Flomax) is usually prescribed that relaxes the urethra, to make it easy for the stone to pass. 
  3. Shock Wave Lithography or SWL – Mostly recommended for kidney stones that are large and when they are positioned either in the kidney or the urethra. In SWL, shockwaves of either ultrasound or x-rays are administered on the stone in order to break it into smaller pieces. Once done, it is a wait until they pass with the urine. 
  4. Percutaneous nephrolithotomy or PCNL – PCNL is recommended when the kidney stone is very large and making it or its fragments pass with the urine is not an option. In PCNL, a small incision, which is sufficient to pass a nephroscope, is made in the lower back of the body. An instrument passed through the nephroscope that fragments the stone into smaller pieces and sucks them out. PCNL is highly recommended treatment by urologist for large kidney stones.

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