Your kidneys typically eliminate waste from your blood to produce urine (pee). There is a buildup of waste in your blood, and when your kidneys don’t produce enough urine, crystals begin to develop. If you don’t get rid of these crystals in your urine, they’ll build into a kidney stone, which will continue to grow unless you do so.
To the size of a golf ball, kidney stones range in size.
Symptoms of a kidney stone
Dr. Mann explains that while kidney stones are famously unpleasant, a person can live with the stone disease and remain symptomless for years at a time.
“They can cause symptoms if they fall to the ground and become lodged in the tube that empties the kidney,” he says further. “It has the potential to inflict significant agony.”
Among the signs and symptoms are:
- There is blood in the pee.
- When urinating, there is a burning feeling.
- Urine that is cloudy or odorous
- Fever and chills are common symptoms.
- Urination on a regular basis
- Back or side pain that is intense and acute that won’t go away
However, while the vast majority of kidney stones do not cause long-term harm, an infection caused by a stone can be life-threatening.
Common kidney stones Some breed in families. They are common among preemies.
There are several kidney stones. The difficulty is caused by the stone kind.
Stones occur when urine contains too many crystallizing chemicals. These crystals might take weeks or months to mature.
- Most calcium stones are. The most commonly affect guys aged 20 to 30. Calcium may make stone when combined with other elements.
- The most prevalent is oxalate. Oxalate is found in foods like spinach. It’s in vitamin C supplements. Small intestinal diseases enhance the danger of these stones.
Calcium stones can develop when phosphate or carbonate combine.
- Cystine stones can occur in cystinuria patients. It runs in families. It affects both sexes.
- Struvite stones are common in men and women who have frequent UTIs. Large stones can obstruct the kidney, ureter, or bladder.
- Uric acid stones affect men more than women. Gout or chemotherapy can cause them.
- Some drugs, for example, can produce stones.
The main cause of kidney stones is dehydration. Less than 1 liter (32 ounces) of pee per day increases the risk of kidney stones.
A kidney stone can occur in anybody, although some people are more susceptible to developing one than others. Men are more likely than women to have kidney stones. Kidney stones are also more prevalent in non-Hispanic white people than in persons of other ethnicities, according to the National Kidney Foundation. You may also be at increased risk for kidney stones if you have any of the following characteristics:
- You have previously had kidney stones.
- Kidney stones have been diagnosed in someone in your family.
- You don’t get enough water in your diet.
- You consume a lot of protein, salt, and/or sugar in your diet.
- You have a body mass index of 30 or above.
- You have had gastric bypass surgery or another type of intestinal surgery performed on your stomach.
- Polycystic kidney disease or similar cystic kidney disease is the cause of your condition.
- It is possible that you have a medical condition that causes your urine to include excessive quantities of cystine, oxalate, uric acid, or calcium.
- You are suffering from a disorder that causes swelling or inflammation in your bowels or joints, among other things.
You use specific medications, such as diuretics (water pills) or calcium-based antacids, to treat your acid reflux disease.
Kidney stones are diagnosed in the following ways:
Analyses of urine
It is common practice to do a urine analysis as a first step in the process of checking the urine for blood, infections, and other symptoms of kidney stone formation.
CT scans are the most accurate method of diagnosing kidney stones. CT scans are capable of estimating the size of the stone and pinpointing its exact position in the body. This information aids in the decision-making process about which interventions should be adopted.
Ultrasound is used to evaluate the kidney for fluid retention (hydronephrosis) and to monitor the kidneys after the stone has been removed from the system.
X-rays may be necessary in some cases, particularly when a stone is being monitored. It’s vital to remember that X-rays can only detect calcium or struvite stones in the body. X-rays emit less radiation than CT scans, which is why our urologist may choose to use them to monitor a stone rather than repeat CT scans in order to save time.
Although kidney stones are not always avoidable, physicians recommend that people lower their overall risk by doing the following:
- consuming at least 2 liters of water per day
- adhering to a nutritious eating plan
- exercising on a regular basis
An expert in kidney stone prevention and treatment may give dietary suggestions or prescribe medication for patients who are at higher risk of developing kidney stones.
The focus of treatment will be on treating the symptoms as well as removing the stone. There are a variety of approaches that may be used.
The following procedures may be used in treatment:
- a significant increase in the number of liquids consumed orally or intravenously
- medicine for the treatment of pain
- Prescription drugs to aid in the clearance of kidney stones
When to See a Doctor
If you experience any of the following symptoms of a kidney stone, contact your healthcare provider:
- You are experiencing severe back or side pain that will not go away.
- You have blood in your pee.
- Fever and chills are common symptoms.
- Urine that has a foul odor or seems hazy
- When you urinate, you get a scorching sensation.
If you have been diagnosed with a stone blockage, you must have the route validated either by urinating into a strainer or by a follow-up x-ray after the stone has been removed. Being pain-free does not imply that the stone has been removed from the body.