Renal or kidney stones are formed due to the accumulation of waste materials that include minerals and salts which combine together to form stones. They might occur in any part of the urinary tract. There can be various reasons for a kidney stone, such as obesity, your food intake, drugs or other such medicines. Sometimes urine gets concentrated as a result of which waste materials get accumulated leading to stones. Amount of pain they cause varies from stage to stage but generally do not cause any kind of serious damage if recognised at earlier stages. Your doctor normally might advise you to take certain medications along with drinking enough amounts of fluid to remove the stone if it is of a small size. You might also be advised to take certain preventive measures in order to prevent them from occurring again.
As per the data, around 12% of the people suffer from stones, and half of them get severely affected and sometimes even lose their kidneys. Hence, it is very essential to treat them at early stages so that you do not have to undergo severe pain and the complicated procedures of treatment.
In this article, we will talk about the symptoms, causes, and effects of the kidney stone along with how to treat them and the preventive measures.
What are the different types of Kidney Stones?
There are generally four main types of stones. Let’s understand each one of them in detail.
These are the most prevalent types of stones and occur when calcium gets attached to the oxalate in the urine. Low amounts of calcium and less drinking of fluids might lead to stones.
These are another type of stones which are quite common. Certain food products that have huge amounts of basic chemical elements are called purines. If taken in large quantities, purine might produce monosodium urate which when exposed to a particular environment many cause stones. These are due to heredity.
These do not occur quite often and are caused due to the infections in the upper part of the urinary tract. The symptoms are very less most of the time. They grow really fast and become quite large.
These are prevalent in people with hereditary disorders known as cystinuria. In these stones kidneys release a lot of amino acids.
What are the symptoms of a Renal Stone?
One of the most prevalent signs of a stone is the pain in the side of the lower abdomen. This pain varies with the size of the stone. Sometimes it might be as tiny as a grain or even as big as a ball. The more the size of the stone, the easier it is to identify the symptoms. In the majority of the cases they get removed by drinking lots of water but it is very painful. At times the problem might become severe as well. Hence, it is important to treat it at the right time. In extreme cases, you might be required to undergo surgeries.
Let us have a look at some of the most common symptoms of kidney stones.
- Extreme pain in the lower side or the back.
- Pain might even be in the lower abdomen.
- Having irritation while urinating.
- Yellow-colored urine.
- An urge to urinate frequently is also a symptom of a UTI infection.
- Dizziness and vomiting.
- The rise in body temperature and chills.
- Urine has a foul smell and looks cloudy. This is also known as pyuria.
- Hematuria or blood in the urine.
The pain, also known as renal colic, is one of the most extreme ones. Sometimes it is even compared with the pain of being stabbed with a sharp object. It is so extreme that more than half a million people are transmitted to emergency rooms each year.
But, How does this pain occur?
When the stone moves to the narrow ureter it causes pressure in the kidneys, as a result, the nerve cells send the signal to the brain and hence we experience pain. People might even experience dysuria. It happens when the stone reaches the middle of the ureter and bladder.
The urine sometimes is smelly due to the presence of bacteria or the amount of concentration. Stones sometimes affect the nerves in the GI tract which might cause an upset stomach. As a result of which you might experience vomiting.
Having fever and chills is a sign that the condition is severe. If you experience this then you should urgently consult a doctor.
What are the causes of a Renal Stone?
Kidney stones occur when the minerals along with certain waste materials get accumulated and stick together to form stones. This happens due to the lack of fluids inside our body due to the urine getting concentrated. Smaller stones can easily be removed by drinking enough amounts of water whereas the bigger ones might require surgery.
This issue is most likely to occur in people between the ages of 20-50. There are various factors that lead to this problem. Gender also plays an essential role in determining this problem. As per the studies men are more prone to having stones than women. Along with that heredity also plays an important part.
Let us have a look at other factors:
- Drinking lacks fluids.
- Too much weight gain.
- Consuming foods with high quantities of protein, salt, or sugar.
- Taking of drugs, diuretics, calcium-related antacids.
- Any bowel-related diseases that increase calcium consumption.
How to treat the Kidney Stones?
In the case of small stones, one might not require much treatment, as it is very easy to remove them through the following methods.
- Drinking enough fluids:
Nephrolithiasis is one of the most prevalent kidney stones and a lot of information is available regarding that. At earlier stages, one might not notice signs and symptoms hence it is very important to get yourself checked in case you experience any symptoms as mentioned above so that the problem does not go unnoticed. A good percentage of people in India suffer from stones, hence it is very essential to get awareness. Taking sufficient precautions will help in preventing it in the future. Drinking enough water will keep you hydrated and will also remove the small size stone if present. Drinking fewer fluids will make your urine concentrated and will lead to stones hence one must take care of this. Citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges are really good at preventing the formation and also help in dissolving them. The ones suffering from stones must prevent all kinds of foods that are rich in sodium and potassium. As per the studies, the presence of too much salt in urine reduces the chances of calcium from getting absorbed and leads to stones. This is not a big problem. By taking proper and timely treatment you might easily get cured, but you need to follow the advice of your doctor or medical experts. But, it is very well said that prevention is better than cure. If you take the necessary precautions as mentioned above there are high chances you might never get kidney stones.