Kidney stones are hard, crystalline, mineral materials that can be formed inside a kidney or in a urinary tract. Kidney stones are also sometimes termed as “renal calculi”. Kidney stones can often cause severe pain in abdomen, flank, or in groin region, and may also cause blood in the urine (hematuria). A stone may stay in the kidney or it may break loose and travel down in the urinary tract. Even if a stone is small in size, it can pass all the way out from the body without causing much pain, but if the stone is large, it can get stuck in the urethra, bladder or in the urethra causing block in the urine flow with great pain.
The most common type is calcium stones, this type of stone is formed when there is too much calcium in the diet, the calcium that is not use by bones and muscles goes to the kidneys. In many people, kidneys flush out the extra calcium with the rest of urine but in some cases the calcium stone is formed within the kidney commonly known as calcium oxalates stones.
The second type is known as Struvite stones, it may form after an infection in the urinary tract. These stones have magnesium and waste product ammonia.
The third form of Kidney Stones is uric acid stones, formed by excess uric acid in the urine. If there are uric acid stones forming, and your blood uric acid levels remains high then you should cut down meat from your diet.
The fourth type of kidney stones is cystine stone. Cystine is basically an amino acid that makes up muscles, nerves and other parts of the body and this can be build up in urine to form stones.
There are numerous causes that leads to develop kidney stones.
Well initially kidney stones may not produce symptoms but it may emerge suddenly in the form of pain in lower back, groin or abdomen region. Diagnosis can be made with helical CT scan and X-rays.
In pregnant women, or those who are asked to avoid radiation exposure, an ultrasound can be performed to detect the stones.
Mostly kidney stones, pass out from the urinary tract within 48 hours by drinking lots of water. Some anti-inflammatory medication may be given to control the pain. Nontheless, it all depends on the size of the stones - large stones have fewer chances and small ones have more, but a stone larger that 9mm to 10mm cannot pass without specific procedures. Sometimes shockwaves are passed through stones, that break them into tiny pieces and then they pass out from urine.
Prevention is better than cure. Rather than going through a procedure, it’s wise to prevent the stones to form. This can be done by drinking lots of fluids, make it a habit to have plenty of water especially during the summer time. If you have already had a stone, then depending on the cause, make some dietary changes. For example, if you have a tendency to develop calcium stones then you should avoid calcium rich foods and also foods that are high in oxalates, like spinach, swiss chard, rhubarb, beets, peanuts and wheat germ.
Kidney stones usually passes out from body in urine, but of course if the stone is larger then it’ll be difficult to pass and will cause pain, certain procedures are there to remove kidney stones that are almost painless. Individuals who have once developed kidney stones are always at risk to develop more stones, so caution must be taken.