Do you know what causes kidney stones? Have you ever experienced it? Kidney stones are painful, and what’s scary is that this disease is so unpredictable. If not treated in time, it can even result in death. So, let’s discuss kidney Stones causes symptoms and treatment.
What Are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are solid substances made up of minerals and salts that reside inside your kidneys. Kidney stones form when the urine is concentrated and enables the crystal-forming elements, which are calcium, oxalate and uric acid to stick together.
When such elements stick and form into one, they turn into a solid mass that’s as hard as a stone. However, kidney stones don’t affect only your kidneys.
Your ureters, bladder, and urethra can also fall victim to this disease.
There are FOUR types of kidney stones:
This is the most common form of kidney stones, which are made up of calcium oxalate (calcium salt). Although kidney stones can form due to calcium, enough calcium intake can prevent stone formation.
Men are more likely to get Uric Acid kidney stones in comparison to women. When your urine has become very acidic, you can get this type of kidney stone.
Women with urinary tract infections are more likely to get this type of kidney stones in comparison to men. Struvite kidney stones can even form due to some infections in your kidney.
Cystine stones are a rare kind. Anyone can become a victim of it if they have a background of a genetic disorder, called cystinuria.
How Do You Get Kidney Stones?
One of the significant causes of kidney stones is drinking water, less than what your body requires. Why is it important? Enough water helps your body flush out particles that can potentially turn into stones, as urine.
When your urine is dark yellow or orange, you know it’s time for more water.
Specific diets also increase the risk of kidney stones, such as foods like spinach, bran cereal, and grits. Such foods are high in calcium oxalate, which can form calcium stones.
Foods high in sodium puts your body at risk for kidney stones. Such foods are salty snack foods, canned foods, packed meats, salty curry, and even table salts at restaurants.
Other causes of kidney stones are genetics, dehydration, obesity, surgery, and medical conditions.
What happens when you get kidney stones?
Kidney stones are tiny and you can barely tell you have one. But, some signs can help you be suspicious if it’s a kidney stone. Kidney stone starts to be painful after it begins to stir inside your body. Depending on what type of kidney stone it is, the pain can vary. But, almost all kidney stone patients feel the following symptoms.
A kidney stone can be painful after it begins to stir inside your body. Depending on what type of kidney stone it is, the pain can vary.
But, almost all kidney stone patients feel the following symptoms.
- Pain in the side, back, below the ribs
- Pain the groin
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Unusual colored urine
Some other symptoms are awful smelling urine and frequent urination.
How To Treat Kidney Stones?
If kidney stones are not cured in time, it can be life-threatening.
However, there are several treatment methods, such as drinking plenty of water to help flush the stones out.
Ultrasound shock waves are a form of treatment method that helps to break down the stones.
This works especially for those with larger kidney stones.
Besides that, surgery options are also available.
If in any case the kidney stone gets stuck, there’s a treatment method called Ureteroscopy. This method includes a thin telescope that goes up your urethra and into your bladder. Ureteroscopy is 50-80% effective and can gently remove your kidney stone. Pain reliever medicines such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help provide you relief to some extent.
Let’s have a short flashback of everything we discussed so far.
- Kidney stones are tiny formations of minerals such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid.
- The four types of kidney stones are calcium, uric acid, struvite, and cystine.
- Kidney stones can form due to lack of water, specific diets, sodium, genetics and more.
- Some symptoms of kidney stones are body ache, nausea, dark-colored urine, and more.
- Some treatment methods are ultrasound shock waves, ureteroscopy, and more water, of course!
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