Kidney stones are the hard deposits of salts and minerals formed inside the kidneys. Medically it is called nephrolithiasis.
Causes of kidney Stones:
Kidney stones are caused by various factors.
Drinking less water:
Less water intake leads to concentrated urine, crystal settling, and kidney stone formation.
Eating more sugar and salt in diet:
More consumption of salt in diet leads to kidney stone formation.
Frequent urinary tract infections can lead to the formation of struvite stones due to increased urine acidity.
High calcium diet:
Consuming moderate amounts of calcium-rich foods or medications can prevent oxalate stone formation as calcium combines with oxalates.
High uric acid:
Consuming a high purine diet, having metabolic disorders, or experiencing sudden dehydration due to severe diarrhea can increase uric acid levels, which can lead to kidney stone formation.
When an excess amount of the amino acid cystine is released by the kidneys, it can lead to the formation of stones in urine.
Obesity: In obese patient when fat is no more absorbed, fats are bind with calcium and during this oxalates left behind which further forms oxalate stones.
Diabetic people or high sugar levels:
People with high blood sugar levels develop sugary crystals that accumulate and cause kidney stones. Maintaining controlled sugar levels can prevent stone formation.
Usually, small kidney stones do not cause symptoms, but larger stones can cause pressure on surrounding tissues leading to various symptoms.
Severe flank pain:
stones when become larger in number and cause pain, sometimes the pain becomes very intensive and needed intravenous pain killers.
Sometimes, a kidney stone can move into the ureter and block the flow of urine, causing urine flow disturbances. This obstruction can also cause injury to the ureter, resulting in bleeding, which is medically known as hematuria.
Acute kidney injury:
In case a bigger stone gets stuck in the ureter and fully blocks the path, it can lead to an emergency situation that requires immediate intervention. Otherwise, urine can flow back into the kidneys and cause acute kidney injury.
Frequent urinary tract infections:
Heavy crystals can cause urine more acidic which lead to bacterial growth in urine called urinary tract infection.
Kidneys stones can be prevented by following tips.it mostly depend upon the diet you eat.
Reducing salt intake can lower risk of kidney stones caused by salt precipitates in kidneys.
Less consumption of sugars: high sugar levels in blood makes urine more c
Less use of food that increases uric acid levels in the body: Avoid use of food that increases levels of uric acid such as red meet, alcohol, sugary drinks, juices and sweets.
Limit use of calcium containing suplements: Avoid too much consumption of calcium containing foods such as milk, Cheese, yogurt, whole grains, almond, leafy green vegetables etc.
Limit use of oxalate containing foods: lower the use of food that contains oxalates such as beets, fried potatoes or finger chips, nuts, green leafy vegetables such as spinach etc.
Avoid dehydration Or low water intake: Continuous dehydration or low fluid or water intake leads urine to be more concentrated which leads to sedimentation of minerals and crystals in kidneys which further leads to stone formation.
Avoid use of extra calcium supplements: Use excessive use of calcium supplements or if necessary to take the supplements drink more and more water with the medication of during the course of treatment.
What are the complications of kidney stones?
Severe pain: Patient with kidney stone suffer from severe pain usually needs hospitalization for intravenous administration of pain killers.
Sometimes stones slipped from kidney stuck in ureter .If the stone is in small size that may pass into urine without any pain or feeling. However if a large size stone stuck in the ureter it blocks the ureter and obstructs the flow of urine. Urine flows back into the kidney and if not treated with 24hours to 48 hours kidney failure may occur.
Sepsis: Concentrated urine or obstructed urine may lead to colonization of bacteria that lead to urinary tract infection.
Renal failure: Stone stucked or obstructed in ureter causes back flow of urine into kidneys which causes kidney failure.
Frequent Urinary tract infection: Patient suffers from frequent urinary infections due to urinary stasis.
Severe bleeding (hematuria): Sharp edges of stones injure the inner walls of ureter and causes bleeding.
Treatment of kidney stones:
Most of the kidneys stones pass out through urine when you drink more water but large size stones need surgical or medical interventions. Following procedures are carried out for kidney stones.
Lithotripsy (ESWL extracorporeal shockwaves lithotripsy): kidney stones are crushed by using shock waves .these wave are used externally as well as internally by inserting a scope through urethra to ureter and then kidneys. After this procedure patient id advised to drink more water at least three litters per day to remove the particles of crushed stones.
Open surgery: More complex and big stones which cannot be crushed through wave rays are surgically removed by open surgery.
Drinking much water: Drinking more water prevents stone formation and removes tiny stones though urine. Furthermore, more water consumption prevents accumulation of minerals and crystals in kidneys.
Painkillers: pain is reduced through painkillers.However,it does not treat the stone but provide relief from pain. More use of painkillers should be avoided as it leads to drug addiction as well as not good for kidneys.
Moreover, kidney stones are preventable by modifying diet and life style, such as drinking more and more water, use less salts in diet, use less food containing oxalates and avoid over use of calcium supplements .furthermore, weight reduction is also an important key factor to reduce stone formation.