We live in a society that has bad health habits and which in turn becomes the reason for most of the prevalent illness. Mahatma Gandhi’s saying that “it is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver” has to be kept in mind. In this context it is good to understand the importance of one of the common problems that many in our society face; approximately 5 to 7 million people suffer from Kidney Stones in India, according to a survey conducted in 2003.Kidney stones or Renal Calculus are small crystalline material that formed within the Kidney or the Urinary tract. It is said that the reason for the formation is not clearly known. They can be of different sizes; can vary from millimeters to as big as a potato. Kidney is the organ that cleans the blood and removes unwanted chemicals from it and excess water and produces urine. These chemicals dissolved in the urine cluster together and form small stones. When these stones are preset in the Kidney or while they pass through the Kidney they cause pain. At times when these stones brush the inside of the ureter they result in bloody urine.
However, in extreme cases when the pain is beyond normal levels, the following treatments are advised:
Here Laser is used to break the stone, through a telescope that is inserted to the ureter via the urethra and the bladder.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)
Here shock waves are used to break the stone into smaller pieces after which they pass in the urine.
Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL)
A Nephroscope (a thin telescope) is passed through the skin and the stones are broken and sucked back into the instrument.
This is final option if the stone is very big in size.
It is said that the main cause for Kidney Stones is dietary or hereditary effect. However, dehydration is counted among the major causes. A dietician may recommend low oxalate content for those with calcium oxalate stones, i.e., reducing one’s coffee, rhubarb, spinach, etc. Further, Uric acid stones are prevented though medication. However, one advice that would be common to all having Kidney stones is to drink plenty of Water!