Kidney stones form due to mineral imbalance in the body and are hard deposits made of salts that collect inside the genitourinary system. They can deposit anywhere in the urinary tract—from the kidneys to the bladder. They can be quite painful, however, they do not cause any permanent damage if they are diagnosed early. Read on to know more about kidney stones, and how you can deal them:
Types of kidney stones:
Although the exact cause of stone formation is not known, there are some mineral imbalances that can contribute to stone formation.
Calcium stones: These are common stones that can form due to persistently high levels of serum calcium. They accumulate in the form of calcium oxalate.
Struvite stones: These occurs in response to an infection, such as a urinary tract infection. They have a horn shaped appearance, and can become quite large.
Uric acid stones: High serum uric acid levels can contribute to uric acid stone formation, and they can aggravate in people who don’t drink enough fluids. Moreover, they can occur due to genetic factors and conditions such as gout.
Cysteine stones: Occur in people with a hereditary disorder where certain amino acids accumulate and then released in the urine.
Symptoms of kidney stones:
Until it moves itself, or passes out, a kidney stone can cause symptoms. These can include: persistent need to urinate, pain on urination, fever and chills. There can also be urine in small amounts, cloudy or foul smelling urine, and even persistent need to urinate.
The pain associated with kidney stones often occurs in waves, and fluctuates in intensity. The pain starts from the side below the ribs, and radiates to the lower abdomen and groin. Sometimes, it causes the color of the urine to change to brown or red.
If the stone changes position, the site of pain can also change—as the stone moves through the urinary tract. Sometimes, the pain is so severe that it can cause nausea and vomiting as well.
Treatment of kidney stones:
Depending on the type of kidney stone that you have, your healthcare provider can opt for any option treatment. Some kidney stones can pass by on their own, while others may need medication. Drinking as much as 1.9 to 2.8 liters can help in the passage of stone by flushing the urinary system. Unless countered by your healthcare provider, you should drink as much water as you can if you are suffering from kidney stones.
Pain relievers can help eradicate the discomfort if you have minor pain. Over the counter pain killers like ibuprofen, NSAIDs like naproxen and acetaminophen can help manage this pain. Your doctor can also add an antispasmodic for discomfort.
For bigger stones, there are other treatment options: for instance, ESWL—extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy. ESWL uses sound waves to create strong vibrations to break the stone into tiny pieces. These pieces are easily excreted out of the body.
Surgery is also an option for very large stone through a procedure called Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy that uses telescopes and instruments to remove the stone. Ureteroscope can also help remove the stones from the ureter or the urethera.
If you are suffering from kidney stones, then it is best to seek professional help. Book an appointment with a top urologist in Lahore, Karachi and Rawalpindi through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your concerns.