Kidney stones are defined as the hard deposits which are formed with the combination of salts and minerals inside the kidneys. Kidney stones can affect your kidneys, urethra, ureters or any part of the urinary bladder. Most of the time, these kidney stones form when urine is concentrated which allows minerals to turn into crystals and bind together. Passing out kidney stones is a painful task but these stones cannot result in severe damage if identified on time. The management and treatment of kidney stones depend on the situation but in most cases, you just need to drink enough water to pass out the kidney stones. In severe conditions, kidney stones might get stuck within the urinary tract leading to certain complications or urinary tract infections and you might need to undergo surgical therapy.
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If you are experiencing the following symptoms, you are suffering from kidney stones which include pain on urination, radiating pain towards the groin or lower abdomen area, fluctuating pain that comes and goes, severe pain that occurs over the back and sides or underneath the ribs, reddish-brown urine, cloudy urine or foul-smell of urine, persistent to urinate immediately, chills or fever when you experience infection, vomiting, and nausea. Kidney stones are commonly seen in people who have a family history of kidney stones, who have less water intake and undergo dehydration, who are on certain diets rich in proteins, sugar or salt. It is commonly seen in people who are obese, who undergo digestive surgeries, digestive diseases or have certain medical conditions.
Kidney stones are diagnosed through specific tests like blood tests, urine tests, imaging tests like CT scans, X-ray,s and others. The management and treatment of kidney stones include drinking excess water like 2-3 bottles of water which help in flushing out the kidney stones. For small kidney stones, pain relievers are also advised for relieving pain and discomfort like Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen and naproxen sodium. Other than the pain relievers, medical therapy is also advised for passing out the kidney stones like alpha-blockers which helps in relaxing the ureter muscles and aids in passing out the kidney stones. Kidney stones that cannot be treated with medical therapy and conservative measures then other treatment options are also advised for passing out the large kidney stones. The large kidney stones are broken down with the sound waves through the procedure like extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy. This procedure of breaking down the kidney stones is a long period for 45-60 minutes which helps in passing down the stone fragments in the urine. Other than this procedure, percutaneous nephrolithotomy and scope are also used for removing kidney stones.
You can also prevent the formation of kidney stones by adopting healthy lifestyle changes. Drink enough water all through the day especially if you are living in a dry, hot climate. Avoid eating oxalate-rich foods that tend to enhance the formation of calcium oxalate crystals within the urine. Avoid foods like beets, spinach, okra, rhubarb, nuts, sweet potatoes, chocolates, and others. Choose foods that are low in animal protein and salt like legumes. Eat foods rich in calcium as such foods have no negative effect over the kidneys. The doctors might prescribe medicines that help in reducing the formation of uric acid stones, calcium stones, struvite stones, and cysteine stones.
Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!