Kidney stones (renal lithiasis) are nothing but some small and hard deposits that are found inside the kidneys. Minerals and acids combine to create those kidney stones. There are different causes of kidney stones. They may affect different parts of the urinary tract) the kidneys to the bladder. When the urine becomes concentrated, the minerals present in it crystallizes and stick together to form the kidney stones. Even though passing them can be quite irritating, but they generally do not result in any permanent damage. You can get rid of kidney stones by drinking lots of water or taking some medication. There are different preventive treatments available which will reduce the risk of recurrent problems of kidney stones.
Kidney stones may not result in any symptoms if they do not move around in the kidney or go to the ureter (this is the tube that connects the bladder and the kidney). When that happens, you will see the following signs and symptoms –
- Severe pain in the back and side, below the ribs
- Pain that reaches the lower abdomen and groin
- Pain with different intensity
- Pain in waves
- Pain while urinating
- Pink, red or brown urine
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- Persistent urge to urinate
- Urinating more
- Fever and chills if an infection is present
Pain resulting from a kidney stone may change over time if the stone shifts from one place to another. The intensity may also increase if the stone moves in the urinary tract.
Causes of kidney stones
There is no specific single cause of kidney stones. Several factors may increase the possibility of having kidney stones. These stones form when the urine is full of crystal forming substances like oxalate, calcium and uric acid. If these substances are more in comparison to the fluid, then they may form together to create the kidney stones. Kidney stones may also form if your urine lacks the substances that prevent crystal formation.
Types of kidney stones
It is important to know about the type of kidney stone you have because depending on the type the treatment will vary and it’s easier to find the causes when you know the type of kidney stone. The different types of kidney stones are-
Most of the kidney stones are calcium stones. They are found in the form of calcium oxalate. Oxalate is a natural element which is found in different types of foods. Foods like fruits and vegetables, chocolate, nuts have higher amount of oxalate in them. The human liver also produces oxalate. There are several factors that can increase the concentration of calcium or oxalate in urine such as diet, high doses of vitamin D, different metabolic disorders, intestinal bypass surgery etc.
Calcium stones may also be found in the form of calcium phosphate.
Struvite kidney stones are seen if there is an infection in the body. It is mostly seen in the case of urinary tract infection. Such stones can grow quicker and become large. They may not provide any symptoms or warnings.
Uric acid stones
Uric acid stones are seen in cases of people who do not drink the record amount of fluids necessary. It is also seen in cases of people who lose too much of fluid. This type of stone is found in cases of people who need a high-protein diet. It is also common in cases of people having gout. Some genetic factors may also be responsible for uric acid stones.
It is a hereditary problem.
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