Causes of Kidney Stones – Symptoms & Treatment: Kidney stones are small lumps that form when liquids in the kidney become concentrated and start to crystallize. These painful solid deposits can develop in different locations within the kidneys, but most of them arise from calcium oxalate stones.
If you have one or more kidney stones, a healthy lifestyle can help prevent their recurrence. In addition, there are several precautionary measures you can take to reduce your risk of developing these hardened deposits again.
If left untreated, kidney stones may cause blood cyst or infection. This article will explain causes of kidney stones and how to treat them. Read on to learn more!
What are the types of kidney stones?
Finding out what kind of kidney stone you have, can help identify its source and may provide information on how to lower your risk of developing more kidney stones. If you pass a kidney stone, try to keep it if you can so you may give it to your doctor for analysis.
Types of kidney stones are as follow:
- Calcium stones
In the form of calcium oxalate, the majority of kidney stones are made up of calcium. Calcium stones are classified into two types:
- Calcium Oxalate
Your liver creates oxalate on a daily basis. It is high in some fruits, vegetables, nuts, and chocolate. When you consume certain meals, the substance is absorbed by your body. High vitamin D dosages, intestinal bypass surgery, and specific metabolic conditions can also cause the concentration of calcium or oxalate in your urine to increase.
- Calcium phosphate
People who take medications to treat migraines or seizures or who have metabolic problems like renal tubular acidosis—where the kidneys are unable to help maintain a healthy acid balance in the blood—are more likely to develop this type of stone.
- Struvite Stones
A urinary tract infection (UTI) may cause Struvite Stones. Your urine creates an ammonia buildup due to the infection-causing bacteria. The stones are formed as a result of this. The stones can grow quite quickly.
- Uric acid Stones
These form in those who experience excessive fluid loss as a result of persistent diarrhea or malabsorption, a high-protein diet, diabetes, or the metabolic syndrome. Your risk of uric acid stones may also be increased by specific genetic variables.
- Cystine stones
This rare sort of stone develops when the kidneys release an excessive amount of the specific amino acid cystine into the urine. They appear in persons with cystinuria, a hereditary disease.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
Until a kidney stone moves around or enters one of the ureters, symptoms are generally not present. The tubes that join the kidneys and bladder are ureters.
When a kidney stone lodges in the ureters, it can impair urine flow, irritate the kidney, and trigger ureter spasms, all of which can be excruciatingly painful.
You may then experience the following symptoms:
- Severe, stabbing pain below the ribs on the side and back
- Radiating discomfort in the groin and lower abdomen
- Pain that is intermittent and varies in intensity
- During urinating, there may be pain or burning.
Other warning signs and symptoms could be:
- Red, pink, or brown urine
- Cloudy or putrid odor urine
- Constant want to urinate, urinating more frequently than normal, or urinating infrequently
- Nausea and vomiting
- If there is an infection, fever and chills
As the kidney stone passes through your urinary path, the pain it causes may alter, such as moving to a different spot or becoming more intense.
Causes of Kidney Stones in male and female
- Kidney stones form when calcium, oxalate, and uric acid crystals in your urine combine with other substances and form a high concentration in your urine.
- Stones are formed when two or more crystals bind together. When your urine loses the fluid and other substances necessary to prevent stones from forming, they do.
- A kidney stone can be as small as a grain of sand, and you can pass one without ever realizing it. However, a larger one might severely hurt you and block your pee flow. Some claim that the discomfort can even surpass childbirth.
- Kidney stones can be caused by a variety of factors, such as what you eat and specific medications. You are more likely to develop kidney stones if you or a family member already had ever.
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A kidney stone may also be more likely to form if you:
- Drink not enough water
- Consume a lot of sodium (salt), sweets, or protein.
- Had experienced kidney stones before
- Are obese and/or have undergone intestinal surgery
- Afflicted with polycystic kidney disease
- Take certain medications, such as calcium-based antacids or diuretics (water pills).
- Have a medical condition that results in excessive levels of cystine, oxalate, uric acid, or calcium in your urine (pee)
- Possess a medical condition that results in swelling or harm to your joints, digestive system, or both.
Risk factors of kidney stones
Your risk of having kidney stones is affected by the following factors:
Your risk of kidney stones can increase if you don’t drink enough water every day. People who sweat a lot and live in warm, dry climates may have a higher risk than others.
Consuming a diet heavy in protein, sodium (salt), and sugar may make you more susceptible to developing some kidney stones. This is particularly valid when eating a lot of sodium. Your risk of kidney stones greatly increases when you consume too much salt, which increases the quantity of calcium your kidneys must filter.
Background of Family
You’re more likely to get kidney stones if someone in your family has had them. You have a higher chance of getting kidney stones again if you’ve already had one or more.
A higher incidence of kidney stones has been associated with a high body mass index (BMI), a large waist circumference, and weight gain.
Surgery and digestive diseases
Gastric bypass surgery, inflammatory bowel disease, or persistent diarrhea, which increases the levels of urine-forming chemicals, might cause changes in the digestive system that affect calcium and water absorption.
Other health problems
You may develop kidney stones as a result of illnesses like renal tubular acidosis, cystinuria, hyperparathyroidism, and recurrent UTIs.
Your risk of kidney stones can be increased by taking certain vitamins, supplements, laxatives (when used excessively), calcium-based antacids, and drugs for migraines or depression. Vitamin C is another example.
Treatment of Kidney Stones
Your healthcare provider will first determine if you require treatment after being diagnosed. Some smaller kidney stones may pass through your system when you urinate. This can be extremely painful. If your provider determines that you require treatment, your options include medications and surgery.
It could be given to:
- Reduce pain.
- Control nausea and vomiting.
- Relax your ureter to allow the stones to pass through.
You should consult your doctor before taking ibuprofen. If taken during an acute attack of kidney stones, this medication can increase the risk of kidney failure, especially in those with a history of kidney disease and associated illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.
Kidney stones are treated using one of four surgeries. The first three are minimally invasive, which means the surgeon enters your body through a natural opening (such as your urethra) or through a small incision.
Those 3 minimally invasive are:
- Ureteroscopy: A little instrument called a ureteroscope is passed into your urethra, bladder, and into your ureter to accomplish this surgery. This device visualises kidney stones before retrieving them in a surgical “basket” or breaking them apart with a laser. These smaller kidney stone pieces can then easily exit your body via your urine tract.
- Shockwave lithotripsy: You are placed on a special surgical table or tub during this procedure. High-energy shockwaves are delivered to the stone via water (s). The shockwaves shatter the stones, allowing them to exit your body more easily.
- Percutaneous nephrolithotomy: A tube is inserted directly into your kidney via a small incision in your back during this procedure. Stones are then disintegrated with an ultrasound probe and suctioned out, ensuring that no fragments are passed. Following the procedure, a urethral stent is placed (an internal tube from the kidney to the bladder which is removed one week later). In most cases, patients are kept overnight for observation.
And the last one is:
- Open stone surgery: During this procedure, a longer cut is used. It is infrequently used in comparison to minimally invasive techniques (0.3 percent to 0.7 percent of cases).
How to prevent kidney stones?
To prevent kidney stones, follow these advices:
- Consume enough water daily. For most people, eight to twelve cups of water each day is sufficient. Ask your doctor how much water you should drink each day if you need to limit your fluid intake due to kidney disease.
- Limit your intake of animal proteins like meat and eggs as well as sodium (salt). Your doctor might recommend a specific eating regimen to help prevent kidney stones in the future if they can determine what your kidney stone is comprised of.
- Take all of your prescribed medications as directed by your doctor to manage any health issues that could increase your risk of developing kidney stones.