Kidney Stones : Types, Causes, Signs & Symptoms
KIDNEY STONES – The kidneys are reddish-brown bean-shaped organs located in the retroperitoneal space of the abdomen. They carry out the function of removing waste produced by the metabolism into the urine. But deposition of hard masses of minerals and acid salts inside your kidneys hinders its functioning. These hard masses of minerals and salts are known as kidney stones (also known as nephrolithiasis or renal calculus or urolithiasis. Renal calculus is usually formed in the kidney and passes down the urinary tract (ureters, bladder, urethra). These stones may vary in size. These can be as small as sand grain and as large as a pearl. Small stones of size less than 5 millimetres usually don’t cause any pain or show any symptoms and can easily pass out through the urine. But the stone size of more than 5 millimetres can cause blockage in the urinary tract causing immense pain in the abdomen area.
TYPES OF KIDNEY STONES
Calcium stones (most common), uric acid stones, struvite stones and cystine stones (rare) are some of the types of stones that develop within the urinary tract.
Calcium stones (most common)- Calcium stones are formed due to the accumulation of calcium and oxalate (a compound found in most foods) or sometimes calcium and phosphate.
Uric Acid Stones- Highly acidic urine results in the formation of uric acid stones.
Struvite Stones- High levels of magnesium, phosphate and ammonium led to the formation of struvite stones. Urinary tract infection due to bacteria may also be the reason for developing one.
Cystine Stones (rare)- Cystine stones are formed from a natural chemical called cysteine produced by the body. It is the rarest occurring kidney stones develop in the person with genetic disorders.
CAUSES OF KIDNEY STONES
It is often seen that men get kidney stones more frequently than women. In fact, the occurrence of kidney stones is most common in non –Hispanic white people than in people of another domain.
Here are some main causes which may lead to the formation of renal calculus.
- You are more likely to get stones if you don’t drink an adequate amount of water.
- Obesity or overweight may also lead to such disease.
- People consume diet rich in protein, sodium and sugars are more prone to develop kidney stones.
- There are chances of emergence of kidney stones if you had it earlier.
- High levels of cystine, oxalate, uric acid or calcium in the urine.
- Renal diseases like polycystic kidney disease may be the reason for developing kidney stones.
- Medications such as diuretics or calcium-based antacids.
- It is also observed that kidney stones may develop in people who had undergone various surgeries like gastric bypass surgery or intestinal surgery.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF KIDNEY STONES
Urgent medical attention is needed if a person shows the following sign and symptoms.
- The most common sign is intermittent pain in the abdomen which may radiates along your sides, back and below your ribs.
- One may feel pain and a burning sensation while urinating. A person might suffer from a urinary tract infection along with kidney stones.
- The presence of blood in the urine is also an indication. This is known as haematuria.
- Cloudy and foul-smelling urine is also a sign of kidney-related disorder. Bacterial infection along the urinary tract produces a foul smell.
- People with kidney stones may experience nausea and vomiting.
- Slow or no flow of the urine indicates a blockage in the urinary tract.
- Sometimes a person suffering from kidney stones may also experience fever and chills.
In such a situation, one must consult a doctor without any delay. Doctors at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre , Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad provide hassle-free diagnosis and treatment.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT FOR KIDNEY STONES
The size of the kidney stone will determine the right treatment for you. The doctors at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad will ask you to undergo certain tests (urine test, blood test, X-ray). The right treatment will be decided on the basis of clinical diagnosis.
If the stone is of small size, then your doctor will recommend certain medications and will ask you to drink plenty of fluids. This will help the urinary tract to push it down and expel it out of the body.
But additional treatments are required in treating the large size stones. One of them is shock wave lithotripsy. Under this treatment, stones are broken down into smaller fragments using shock waves.
After the treatment, these fragments can easily passed out through urine.
Another treatment is ureteroscopy in which doctors use a tube-shaped tool to remove small stones or break larger stones into pieces which are smaller enough to pass through the urinary tract. This treatment is performed under general anaesthesia.
Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is the surgery performed in severe cases where a tube is directly inserted into the kidney to remove kidney stones.
Doctors and Surgeons of the urology department at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad are known to provide world-class treatment for all major and minor surgeries listed above.
PREVENTION OF KIDNEY STONES
- The best-recommended way to prevent from developing kidney stones is to drink plenty of fluids on a regular basis. This will keep your body hydrated and may reduce the chances of developing kidney stones. It is highly advised to take at least 8- 10 glasses of fluids every day.
- Reducing the amount of sodium and animal protein in your diet may also help in preventing stones in future.
- Once the composition of stones is figured out, your doctor can suggest diet plans to avoid developing kidney stones. Certain modifications in your diet will minimise the risk.
- Certain medicines like diuretics inhibit the formation of calcium stones.
DEPARTMENT OF UROLOGY AT YASHODA HOSPITAL & RESEARCH CENTRE, NEHRU NAGAR, GHAZIABAD is known for providing the best treatment and patient management for all medical and surgical problems such as removal of kidney stones, lithotripsy, percutaneous nephrolithotomy etc. The team experts are highly skilled and offer smooth and comfortable treatment.