Kidneys are the vital organs responsible for clearing the body’s toxic products, salts and other waste material from the body in the form of urine. They help in maintaining the electrolyte balance in the body, produce hormones responsible for making red blood cells (RBC) and regulate the blood pressure.
Nephrolithiasis is the other name for kidney stones. Kidney stones are formed due to the deposition of minerals and salts in the inner lining of the kidneys. Most of these stones pass on their own through the ureters into the urinary bladder and move out of the body through urine. Some of the stones are too large to pass through and cause an obstruction in urine passage.
The symptoms associated with kidney stones are:
The symptoms might be an indication of other underlying health conditions which is determined only through diagnosis.
Kidney stones are formed as a result of the deposition of salts, hard minerals, and chemicals that are too big to be passed through the urine. They’re usually very small in the initial stages, but they grow to an extent that can be removed only through surgical procedures.
The factors that are responsible for forming kidney stones are:
Types of kidney stones
The various types of kidney stones formed are:
Calcium stones: Majority of the stones formed in the kidneys are calcium stones. About 80% of the kidney stones are calcium stones.
Uric acid stones: Uric acid stones are formed in people who don’t drink adequate quantities of fluids, lose too much of fluid, consume high protein diet and have gout problems. About 5% to 10% of kidney stones formed are uric acid stones.
Struvite stones: These types of kidney stones are formed in response to infections like urinary tract infections. About 10% of kidney stones formed are struvite stones.
Cystine stones: These types of kidney stones are found in people who have a hereditary problem of excreting more amounts of certain amino acids and it’s a rare one. Hardly less than 1% of the kidney stones formed are cystine stones.
Risk factors for developing kidney stones
The following are the factors that increase the risk of developing kidney stones. These factors are:
There are various tests done to confirm the presence of kidney stones. Some kidney stones do not cause any pain and they can be confirmed only through diagnosis. The various diagnostic tests performed are:
Kidney stones usually pass out through the urine, if they’re small. The following are some of the treatments provided, which depend on the size and cause of the kidney stone.
Removal of large stones
Some of the kidney stones formed are too large to pass through the urine and they cause severe pain, urinary tract infections, bleeding and other problems. There are special procedures used to remove these stones. This includes:
Removal of smaller stones
Kidney stones which are smaller in size do not require any surgical procedures and they’re easily eliminated from the body. The stones are removed by:
Depending on the stones formed the mediations can be as follows:
The following lifestyle changes help to prevent kidney stones. These are:
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