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Kidney Stone

Kidney Stones

A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that is stuck in the kidney originating from the substances in the urine. Most of the kidney stones can be eliminated by urine but sometimes, these kidney stones become bigger and gets stuck in the urinary tract, block the urine and can cause great pain. Sometimes, this can cause and infect the urinary system. In that case, seeing the doctor is the best solution.

Causes of Kidney Stones

What causes kidney stones involves many factors:

  1. Heredity - familial tendencies will always play a role in most disease or condition. Some families may be predisposed to having high levels of calcium deposited in the urine which can cause kidney stones. This is then passed from generations to generation. Sometimes, some other hereditary diseases can also cause kidney stones like renal tubular acidosis.
  2. Location - surprisingly, there are places in southern United States wherein they call it the “stone belts” because people living in that are prone to having renal stones. Also, places with hot climates and water are scarce made the people become at risk with the problem.
  3. Dehydration - this is one of the main culprits in kidney stones. When fluid intake is low, the urine becomes too concentrated and this can cause renal stones formation or form the nidus.
  4. Medications - there are medications that can trigger renal stone formation like taking huge amounts of vitamins A and D. some diuretic can contain calcium and this can potentially be a cause for renal stones. Cirprofloxacin, a systemic antibiotic of the flouroquinolone class can cause kidney stones. It is important to drink a lot of water when prescribed to take this drug.
  5. Underlying conditions - patient’s with Crohn’s disease can cause renal stone formation as well as hyperparathyroidism, medullary sponge kidney, and other conditions involving the urinary tract.
  6. Diet - if a person is fond of taking food with too many preservatives such as junk foods or foods high in uric acid, renal formations can likely happen.

Kidney Stone Symptoms and Signs

Kidney stone pain is intense and eases up suddenly. This is usually at the back area and is called as the kidney stone back pain. It can be flank pain or pain at the side or the mid-back that radiates to the groin area. In some men, the pain can be at the testicle or scrotum area.

  1. There is also kidney stone fever as well as chills.
  2. Sweating, nausea and vomiting are also present
  3. When urinating, there is blood or hematuria. This symptom is not always because of kidney stones formation. This can also be linked to bladder infections, trauma and other infections.
  4. Burning sensation when urinating is one of the most common symptoms because the kidney stone obstructs the ureters making the urine difficult to flow and some nerve endings are compressed when urinating.

Kidney Stones Symptoms in Children

It is believed that kidney stones in children are rare however there have been studies that the incidence is getting higher wherein children have kidney stones. This problem is prevalent in Southest Asia, Middle East, India and Eastern Europe,

The kidney stones symptoms in children are similar with the same the adults however the symptoms may be harder to understand because of the behavior of children. Symptoms include:

  • The child cries inconsolably however this can be thought of as colic
  • Intense pain in the lower-back area or on the sides
  • The urine is cloudy or there is hematuria or blood when urinating
  • Fever can also happen
  • Dehydration- this can be tested when the child urges to urinate after three hours. If the child does not urinate within the given time, it is a sign of dehydration.

Kidney Stones Symptoms in Men

Research shows that men are prone to kidney stone formation than women. This is because men have larger muscle mass and the breakdown of this can result to a high metabolic waste which can be a factor in stone formation. Another reason is that the urinary tract of men is more complicated than women.

Kidney stones symptoms in men are much the same as in women which includes severe pain in the renal area which is also known as renal colic.  Sometimes, in severe cases the pain can radiate from the back to the groin and even in the genitals. Urine is also cloudy and can become smelly.

Kidney Stones Symptoms in Women

For women, kidney stones can be very painful that they associate the pain in childbirth pains. Kidney stones symptoms in women are the same as men wherein the pain is at the lower back. Stomach cramping can be associated since the pain will radiate in the abdomen. Bleeding or cloudy urines and even strong urine smell can also be seen when urinating.  Women however have higher threshold than men because women are capable of giving birth wherein the pain is very intense.

Kidney Stones Symptoms in Pregnant Women

Kidney stone in pregnant woman is not an uncommon problem. There are many reasons for this such as the variety of vitamins and minerals when taking during pregnancy. Also, the increasing size of the uterus impedes the urine flow cause renal stones formation.

Kidney symptoms in pregnant women are the same as the signs and symptoms felt by non-pregnant women. This includes fever, chills, pain in the back or in the sides. Kidney stones usually attack in the evening or early morning so it is not surprising why pain is felt during that time.

Kidney Stones Pictures

Picture 1 : Kidney stones in the minor and major calyces and in ureter

Image source : ADAM

Picture 2 : Kidney stones

Image source : ADAM

Picture 3 : Stone in the Ureter

Image source : Healthwise

Picture 4 : Photograph of  Smooth Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones Treatment and Cure

a. Medical Treatment

Drugs can be given to control for pain since it is the main goal when brought to the emergency room. Drugs such as Ketorolac are given. Over-the-counter drugs can also be bought like Ibuprofen.

Anti-emetic drugs are also prescribed since vomiting is felt like Ondansetron, Promethazine.

b. Lithotripsy or the shock wave therapy

can be done by the urologist especially when the stones are big or it is near the kidney. Stones will break up by the use of this procedure because the shock waves vibrate the stones and the surroundings causing it to break up.

c. Home Remedies

They say prevention is always better than cure, so it is very important to keep the body hydrated.

Keeping an active lifestyle is also a good idea but keeping hydrated should also be done

Preparing gingerales or lemon-lime sodas can be good. Limit drinking teas, colas and coffee to only about a cup or two per day.

If the patient has a high uric acid, it always better to avoid meat since when metabolized, it can be broken down to uric acid.

Avoid eating foods rich in calcium oxalates like beets, spinach and chocolates.

References

http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/stones_ez/

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/kidneystones.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kidney_stone#Causes

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/press_releases/2006/12_18_06.html



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