Kidney stone is one of the emerging and prevalent medical problems in this new generation. Around 12% of the world’s population is suffering from kidney stones. It is estimated that 1 in 10 will have a kidney stone at least once in their lifetime. Most people get kidney stones in their middle ages.

A kidney stone is medically known as renal calculi. Renal refers to kidney and calculi refers to stone. This is the deposition of minerals and salts on surfaces throughout the kidney. They are highly concentrated and are mostly present in the tubules of kidneys.

There are different types of stones and they are classified based on their composition and location. The most common stone is made up of calcium salts (calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate). Some of the less common salt compositions are struvite (10%) due to UTI (urinary tract infection), uric acid (8%) due to diet, and cysteine (2%).

The cause for renal calculi is the presence of highly concentrated metabolites in the urine, Ph changes in urine (Ph of greater than 8), drinking less water, obesity, diet (food with excess sugar and salt), certain medications (Lasix, Topamax) and absence of stone inhibitors. Urine stagnation can also be a cause (holding urine for a long time).

The pathogenesis for this disease is obvious. The urine contains certain substances (probably crystals) which may not be diluted and carried away with the fluids. Also, the absence of stone inhibitors makes those substances combine together and settle in certain places. Over the years, small amounts of substances combine together and become big obstructing the flow of urine.

Kidney stones usually don’t cause any pain. In fact, their presence is not known for a long time and some people live with it without their knowledge. When the stones roll and fall into the urinary bladder through the ureters (tubes connecting the kidney to the urinary bladder) and obstruct the flow of urine, then urine blocks, the urinary bladder swells, and ultimately this causes heavy pain.

Some other symptoms seen include abdominal pain, back pain, blood in urine, nausea, vomiting, foul smell in urine, painful urination, and frequent urination. If this is not taken care of, then it can lead to severe complications like CKD (chronic kidney disease), UTI, bladder failure, etc.

The calculi can be diagnosed by blood and urine analysis and finding out the levels of chemicals, ultrasound scan reveals the approximate size of calculi, CT scan for accurate results revealing the location of the stone and correct size.

Most kidney stones can be easily removed through medication if they are in small size and detected early. Certain medicines like alpha-blockers and stone inhibitors can remove the stones but they cause heavy pain while urination.

Calculi sizes of more than 5cm require surgical removal for those for whom the medications failed. Laparoscopy, lithotripsy, ureteroscopy, tunnel surgery, and open surgery are some of the surgical methods that can be done to remove the stone.

The most important thing above all is prevention by diet. Because there are high chances for those to develop stones again. So, they have to drink a lot of water, urinate without holding it, avoid salt, avoid cola and sugars, non-vegetarian food, and other foods which can elevate the crystal level (rich in oxalate).

  • Beetroot
  • Chocolate
  • Spinach
  • Peas
  • Nuts
  • Wheat bran

HAPPY READING!!

Know about the benefits of pot water

Read the next blog in this series

Results

#1. What are the main components present in a stone?

Select all that apply:


#2. Select the compounds that can be present in a calculi (stone)?

Select all that apply:


#3. Is diabetes related to formation of kidney stones?


#4. Pick out the cause not related to formation of renal calculi?


#5. What are the common stone inhibitors?


#6. Which one is not a complication of renal calculi?


#7. Pick the odd one out (diagnosis for stones)


#8. Find out the correct surgical methods for removing renal calculi?

Select all that apply:


#9. Pick out the foods that need to be avoided for kidney stones?

Select all that apply:


#10. Pot water helps in relieving from kidney stones or prevent the formation?


finish