Kidney Stone | Causes & Symptoms of Kidney Stone
The kidney is a two-bean shaped organ in a human body. Its basic function is to remove the waste fluid out from the blood of the body through urine. But when this waste is in too much amount and at the same time urine may lack substances that prevents the waste crystals from sticking together, then this waste start accumulating together and stick to each other in our kidney. These clumps of waste are called Kidney stones. A kidney stone is a strong, crystalline mineral material produced within the urinary tract or kidney.
The medical name for kidney stones is nephrolithiasis. Out of 50, almost 20% of the people in society suffer from Kidney stone problem. Dehydration is an important risk factor for the development of kidney stones. Moreover, the stones can develop anywhere along the urinary tract which consists of these parts – Kidney, ureters, bladder, urethra.
A kidney stone is a very common disease. Men get kidney stones more often than females. Even in non- Hispanic white people kidney stones are more common than in people of another ethnicity.
Causes of Kidney Stone
The biggest risk factor for kidney stones is generating less than 1 liter of urine a day. For this reason, kidney stones are normal in premature infants with kidney issues. But kidney stones are most likely to occur in people aged 20 to 50 years.
Now the question arises that what are the major kidney stone causes? There are an ample amount of answers from our daily life that be counted as the causes of kidney stones and here we present a few of them for you.
• Improper diet
• Overweight or obesity
• Swelling or irritation in bowel or joints
• Due to certain polycystic kidney disease or another cystic kidney disease
• Not regular with drinking water.
• Diet with a high amount of salt, protein, and glucose, etc.
Kidney stone Symptoms
Usually, small kidney stone symptoms are not recognizable but if you have a larger kidney stone then the symptoms could be –
• Pain while urinating
• Blood in urine
• Nausea and vomiting
• Severe, sharp pain in the side and back, below the ribs
• Pain in lower abdomen and groin
• Pain that comes in waves and has an intensity fluctuation
• Pain or burning sensation while urinating
Other kidney stone symptoms are –
- Pink, red or, brown urine
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- A persistent need to urinate, urinating more often than usual or urinating in small amounts
- Fever and chills
Pain caused by a kidney stone can change as the stone moves through your urinary tract — for example, shifting to another location or increasing in intensity
Since the symptoms and causes are so dreadful, there have to be few treatment methods also which can be used to treat kidney stones. So below down find the Kidney Stone treatment options.
Treatment for the kidney stone depends on the size of the stone, what it is made of, whether it causes pain, and whether your urinary tract is blocked. Your doctor may ask you to have a urine test, blood test, x-ray, and/or CT scan to answer these questions and to figure out the right treatment for you.
It uses the sound waves to break up the large stones so that they can be easily passed down the ureters into the bladder. This procedure requires anesthesia as it is a bit uncomfortable and painful. It may cause bleeding and bruising in the abdomen, around the kidney and the surrounding organs.
Percutaneous Nephrostolithotomy or Nephrolithotomy (PCNL)
It is a procedure of removing stone through an incision in the back. An individual can need the procedure if:
- The stone causes blockage and infection or damages the kidney
- The size of the stone grows too large to pass
- When the pain is unmanageable
A doctor can use an instrument called a ureteroscope to extract the stone when it is stuck inside the ureter or bladder. A short wire is inserted into the urethra with a camera attached and passed into the bladder. The doctor then snags the stone in a small cage and removes it. The stone is then forwarded for analysis to the laboratory.
Other than medical treatment there are home remedies also which can be used to treat kidney stones at an early age at home. Kidney stone home remedies are –
- Stay Hydrated – Stay hydrated. Fluids, especially water helps to reduce the chemical composition that forms stones. At least drink 3 litres of water daily.
- Citrus Intake – Citric acid in citrus fruits and juices helps in diluting chemicals that form stone due to naturally occurring citrate. Examples of citrus fruits are grapes, lemon, oranges, etc.
- Intake of Calcium (Vitamin- D) – If your intake of calcium is poor, it can increase the oxalate levels. It is best to get your calcium from food, rather than from supplements, as these have been related to the development of kidney stones. Healthy calcium sources include milk,
yogurt, cottage cheese, and other cheeses. Vegetarian calcium sources include legumes, tofu set in calcium, dark green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and blackstrap molasses.
- Basil Juice – Basil contains acetic acid that helps break down the stones in the kidneys and relieve pain. It is full of nutrients too. This treatment has historically been used for digestive and inflammatory disorders. Basil juice contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, and it can help to improve kidney health. To make a tea, use fresh or dried basil leaves and drink several cups a day.
The basic diet plan for Kidney Stone
– Eat enough calcium in the diet
Three dairy servings a day will help reduce the risk of developing calcium stones. Eat with food.
– Stop additional calcium supplements-
Calcium supplements should be customized by your doctor or kidney dietitian.
– Avoid High Protein intake-
High intakes of protein can cause the renal to excrete more calcium, which can cause more stones to develop in the kidney.
– Reduce high salt intake –
High sodium intake increases the calcium in the urine, thereby raising the risk of stones forming. A low salt diet is also used to regulate blood pressure.
Due to lifestyle and climate change, Kidney Stone has become one of the major medical issues in the world. You need to detect it at an early stage before it becomes fatal.
Dr. Divaanshu Gupta
Dr. Divaanshu Gupta is a cardiac anaesthesiologist in Manipal Hospital, Jaipur. He has done his M.B.B.S. as well as M.D. Anaesthesia from S.M.S. Medical College. He has a vast experience of working in various critical care units of government as well as corporate hospitals.