Difference between kidney stones and gallstones
Unlike normal stones found on the ground, we are talking about unusual stones that may be found inside the human body. The kidney and gall bladder are vulnerable organs that become the site for stones.
Such stones may hinder the functioning of these organs. Although both kidney stones and gallstones have certain commonalities, they have significant differences.
Let’s know more about Kidney Stones and Gallstones:
Our kidneys’ role is to filter blood and convert liquid wastes into the urine. Insufficient intake of water leads to the formation of kidney stones. A kidney stone is formed due to the
accumulation of several minerals in the kidney.
Normally, the kidney uses water for the process of mineralization. However, when there is not enough water in the system, it has difficulties mineralizing, and kidney stones form in the ureter
and cause excruciating pain.
The purpose of the gall bladder is to store digestive fluid called bile. This fluid is secreted by the liver and aids in the digestion and absorption of lipids in our body.
Bile juice contains bile salts, cholesterol, fats, water, and bilirubin, which is a yellow-brown pigment. Gallstones are hardened deposits of bile that consist of high cholesterol levels and
Who’s at the risk?
It was commonly observed that people who had gallstones were also prone to developing kidney stones and vice versa. Women over the age of 40 with comorbidities like diabetes and
obesity are more likely to develop gallstones.
People who either lose or gain weight frequently in a short span are also at risk of having gallstones. Men over 40 are much more likely to develop kidney stones than women.
Besides, it is hereditary and there is a 50% chance of developing kidney stones in the next ten years. This is for those who have a history of kidney stones. Obesity people and those who take
calcium supplements are also at risk of having kidney stones.
Signs and symptoms of stones:
The initial stage of both stones is asymptomatic and they can exist without causing any problems. Perhaps, this is due to the size of stones that are as small as a grain of sand.
For kidney stones, signs and symptoms appear once the size of the stone becomes big enough to block the flow of liquid in the urinary tract.
Due to its large size, it can stretch and irritate the ureter which causes unbearable pain in the lower back which radiates to the lower back and groin part.
Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and sometimes blood in the urine. In terms of gallstones, they usually go unnoticed in the gallbladder, but sometimes they can grow to be as big as a golf ball, resulting in a gallbladder attack.
It causes intolerable pain and other complications when the stone slips into the bile duct and blocks the bile tract.
It is essential to remember that jaundice or high fever with chills are indicative of more serious complications. Therefore, consult a doctor if you experience these symptoms.
Treatment for Gallstones and Kidney Stones:
Well, medications can provide temporary relief in the case of gallstones. But it’s difficult to treat big stones simply with medication. If the pain is unbearable, it is highly recommended to
remove the gallstones while preserving the gall bladder.
Since there is a high chance of gallstone recurrence even after the removal of stones, therefore, it is highly likely to remove the entire gall bladder by the procedure of laparoscopic
Fortunately, a person can survive and function normally despite removing the gall bladder. Small kidney stones usually pass on their own in urine by drinking enough fluids and taking analgesic medications which are helpful until the stone passes. If the pain is unbearable and the stone is too large and causes some medical complications, a Urologist will recommend lithotripsy surgery for the removal of kidney stones.
Can kidney stones and gallstones be prevented?
Prevention of Kidney Stones:
To avoid the formation of kidney stones, it is important to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water daily. People should avoid foods with high sodium oxalate content and animal protein.
Prevention of Gallstones:
There is no definitive guarantee that gallstones can be prevented. A healthy diet and avoiding fatty foods, especially those containing high cholesterol, will help you lower the risk.
Instead, a vegetarian diet and a high-fiber diet will be helpful. The most effective way to prevent gallstones is by maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Weight loss is another effective way of
lowering the risk of gallstones by exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet.
The process should be done slowly and under the guidance of a nutritionist. It is necessary to consult a doctor for those who are taking oestrogen hormones or contraceptive pills.
In conclusion, if you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of gallstones or kidney stones, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention.
And visit the hospital which has skilled and reputed gastrologists and urologists. Likewise, Yashoda Hospital Research Centre is very experienced in dealing with both kidney stones and
Head to the Centre of Renal Sciences at Yashoda Hospital Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad for a diagnosis and treatment that will set you back on your path to health. Always remember, you can shape your life into what you want it to be.
Kidney Stones v/s Gallstones
Kidney stone is hard crystalline made of calcium, phosphate, oxalate, and uric acids.
Gallstone is a hard lump made of cholesterol, bilirubin, and bile salts.
It is found in the kidney or urinary tract.
Gallstone is found in the gall bladder or bile duct.
Stone can be as small as a grain of sand and it can be as big as several centimeters in diameter.
Stone can be as small as a grain of sand and it can as big as a golf ball.
Pain occurs when:|
When a stone is too large and it moves through the urinary tract. In addition to that, it blocks the flow of urine.
Pain occurs when:|
Stone causes blockage in the gall bladder or bile duct.
Kidney stone causes intolerable pain in the lower back that radiates to the parts of the lower abdomen and in the groin part. Pains are usually inconstant.
It causes severe pain in the mid-upper abdomen that radiates to the back or under the shoulder blades.
Blood in the Urine, pain during urination and facing difficulty in urinating, and frequent micturition. Along with that, some other symptoms are fever, nausea, and vomiting.
Fever, Nausea, vomiting, and sweating.
Food that contributes to the formation of Stone:|
Diet: High sodium, Oxalates, animal protein and inadequate intake of water in the system, and High calcium.
Food that contributes to the formation of Stone:|
High cholesterol diet and fatty food.
Stone smaller than 10mm can pass in urine or it can be treated with the help of medication.
An invasive surgical procedure such as lithotripsy is performed to remove kidney
Gall bladder removal can be done laparoscopically.
50% chance of recurring kidney stones if people had a kidney stone before.
People who already had a gallstone are more susceptible to the reappearance of gallstones.