Tag Archives: kidney stones

illustration of the kidney stones. urology, dialysis

What Causes Kidney Stones

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Dr Cocja

What Causes Kidney Stones


illustration of the kidney stones. urology, dialysis

illustration of the kidney stones. urology, dialysis

Kidney stones also called renal lithiasis are formed from a build-up of crystals made up of minerals and acid salts.  The majority of these stones are calcium salts namely calcium oxalate and calcium and calcium phosphate. This renal condition is actually quite common and is responsible for a high number of visits to the emergency room at hospitals.
Who is at risk?
Kidney stones affect both men and women but men have a higher risk of developing these stone-like lumps in the kidneys or the urinary tract. Persons between ages of 25-49 are more frequently affected. Dietary preferences and the pH of the urine can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. Certain medication can contribute to the build-up of mineral salts such as calcium containing antacids, diuretics and antiretroviral preparations.
Obese persons and pregnant women are also at risk of developing kidney stones. Other conditions which predispose persons to develop kidney stone are:
•    Diabetes
•    Hypertension
•    Kidney infections
•    Hyperparathyroidism
•    Other metabolic disorders

What are the symptoms?
Usually persons begin to exhibit symptoms when the stones start to move around in the kidney or shift to the small tubes (ureters) leading from the kidney to the bladder. It is also entirely possible to have no symptoms whatsoever and the kidney stone are an incidental finding on x-ray or ultrasound studies for other conditions.
Symptoms include:
o    Pain on urination
o    Vomiting
o    Nausea
o    Loin pain which radiates to the groin
o    Blood in the urine
o    Fever and chills (signs of a urinary tract infection)

A description of all the symptoms being experienced as well as a physical examination done by the doctor will give a preliminary diagnosis. A confirmation is given with diagnostic studies i.e. plain and IVP (contrast aided) x-rays, ultrasound and CT scan.

Is there a cure?
Happily for some persons the stones are passed out along with the urine. This can be spontaneous and may even be painless. Not everyone is so lucky as some patients endure excruciating pain when the kidney stone is transiting through the urinary tract.

Treatment options are:
1.    Administering intravenous fluids and analgesics with the hope of the patient expelling the stone(s).
2.    Surgical removal of the stone
3.    Using ultra sonic waves ( lithotripsy) to break up the stones for easier expulsion in the urine

How can kidney stones be prevented?
For persons who have family history of kidney stones or are predisposed to this because of an underlying disease such as gout, the following tips are helpful.
1. Keep your body well-hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water daily
2. Limit the use of acid salts
3. Limit the dietary intake of calcium rich food, high salt foods, excessive sugar and calcium oxalate containing vegetables namely spinach.
4. Limit the use of supplements with minerals
5. Have urinary tract infection treated promptly

If you are experiencing lower backache and urinary symptoms, do not ignore or self-diagnose as there are many medical conditions that could be causing those symptoms. Consult with a doctor without delay.

water-filtration1 (7)

Kidney Stones Like Summer Heat

water-filtration1 (7)Kidney Stones Like Summer Heat

If you have been concerned with Kidney Stones, experts suggest that the hotter, Summer months may be the most difficult for those suffering from kidney stones.

The reason is dehydration, which causes minerals in the body to crystallize in the kidneys.

In the Journal of European Urology, a study in 2012 shows that men, more than women will get kidney stones and at a rate nearly double the population in general.

How much water should you drink?

That question is different for everybody, but kidney patients in particular, should consult their medical professional because living with impaired kidney function and monitoring liquids is critical to getting through the day. Kidney Stones Like Summer Heat but you can protect yourself by drinking plenty of water-provided you are not a kidney patient-then you should ask your doctor how much liquid is right for you!

Kidney patients have to remember that normal kidney’s make urine which is expelled in healthy people. A lot of kidney patients no longer make urine and adding more liquid to their diet just impacts daily living in a detrimental manner.

For the rest of us who enjoy healthy kidney function, safeguarding the health of our kidney’s is crucial by drinking an abundance of water. Not soda and not just any liquids.

Water is the key ingredient and health authorities tell us that we should be drinking about half a gallon of water daily.

Doing so, especially in the hotter months ahead, may save you from dehydration and thus may improve your chances of staving off kidney stones.

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