What are kidney stones?
Kidney stones are, in simple words, accumulation certain minerals and salts in the kidney and may also travel to other parts of the urinary tract. The size of the kidney stones can range from just a few millimetres across to even a few inches and can sometimes even occupy the entire kidney. The severity of kidney stones depends upon the place of occurrence, size and quantity and other such factors.
Although kidney stones are one of the most common diseases of the urinary tract, its severity should not be undermined. In the following sections, you will have a clearer understanding of kidney stones, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and the relation between the two.
Did you know that statistically, kidney stones are slightly more common in males than females?
Common causes of kidney stones:
Some common causes of kidney stones are;
- Insufficient water intake for prolonged periods of time.
- High crystal content in urine.
- Large intakes of Vitamin C.
- High intake of animal protein (pork, beef, cheese, fish, etc.)
- Large intakes of food containing phosphorus (generally processed foods).
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD):
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) refers to the condition where the kidneys gradually lose their ability to function as intended. A major function of the kidneys is to filter the wastes and excess fluids in your body to be excreted. Chronic Kidney Disease hinders this process and can lead to a build-up of high levels of potentially harmful toxins within the human body which can ultimately result in high blood pressure, anaemia and even nerve damage.
Progression of Chronic Kidney Disease may require dialysis or kidney transplant.
Symptoms of CKD include:
- High blood pressure
- Too much urine or too less urine
- Change in volume of urination
- Swelling of feet and ankles
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Muscle cramps
- Back pain
Kidney stones and CKD:
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is not always caused by kidney stones. Kidney stones are just one factor that can potentially lead to CKD. Diabetes is a major contributor to CKD. People with recurring kidney stones are at a higher risk of being affected by CKD. Prevention of kidney stones can reduce the risk of Chronic Kidney Disease.
Some ways to prevent the formation of kidney stones are:
- Staying hydrated – Drinking a minimum of 8 to 10 glasses of water a day is recommended.
- Limiting excess salty foods (especially ones containing Sodium).
- Minimizing intake of processed foods.
- Intake of a calculated amount of animal protein as per daily body activity is encouraged.
- Minimizing Vitamin C supplements.
- Eating calcium-rich foods.
Hydration is as important as it is effective. Often, minor kidney stones tend to get diluted pass through the urine which avoids the build-up of salts and crystals in the kidney, essentially avoiding kidney stones.
When to Consult a Doctor?
There is no right time or wrong time to consult a doctor. An abnormality in the passage of urine or observation of any above-mentioned symptoms should be brought to the attention of a well-studied professional to avoid complications in the future.
Regular health check-ups and urine analysis can better predict abnormalities in the functioning of the organs in the body. So Meet the best urologist today !!!