What are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys. They form when the urine becomes concentrated, allowing minerals to crystallize and stick together. A kidney stone will not cause symptoms unless it passes into one of the ureters. The ureters connect the kidneys and bladder. If a kidney stone enters and does not leave the ureters, it may block the flow of urine. This can lead to swelling in the kidneys and spasms in the ureter.
This can create several symptoms:
- Pain in the back and abdomen:
This pain fluctuates and changes in intensity. Sometimes the patient will also experience pain while urinating.
- Pink, red or brown urine:
These colours in your urine means that blood is also flowing through your urethra.
- Nausea and vomiting:
A kidney stone disturbs the nerves in your kidneys which can lead to nausea and vomiting.
It is necessary to see a doctor if you are suffering from any of these symptoms.
Causes of Kidney Stones:
There is no single, definite cause of kidney stones. However, there are several factors that increase the risk of developing them:
- Family or personal history:
Heredity does play a role in the formation of kidney stones. If members of your family have had kidney stones, then you are more likely to develop stones, too. Genes are indeed a risk factor. If you’ve suffered from kidney stones before then there is an increased risk of developing another.
It is by far one of the most common causes of kidney stone formation.
Not drinking enough water each day can increase your risk of kidney stones. People who live in warm, dry climates and do not drink enough water are at a higher risk than others. Hot weather triggers dehydration, which can result in stone formation.
- Certain diets:
A diet that is high in protein, sodium (salt) and sugar, increases the risk of kidney stones. Too much salt in your diet increases the amount of calcium your kidneys must filter which increases your risk of kidney stones. Certain foods such as Beets, chocolate, spinach, rhubarb, tea, and most nuts are rich can contribute to kidney stones.
High body mass index (BMI), large waist size and weight gain have been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones. People with kidney stones have a significantly higher body-mass index (BMI) than those without them do.
- Digestive diseases and surgery:
Gastric bypass surgery, inflammatory bowel disease or chronic diarrhoea can cause changes in the digestive process that affect your absorption of calcium and water, increasing the amounts of stone-forming substances in your urine.
- Other medical conditions such as renal tubular acidosis, cystinuria, hyperparathyroidism and repeated urinary tract infections also can increase your risk of kidney stones.
- Certain supplements and medications, such as vitamin C, dietary supplements, laxatives (when used excessively), calcium-based antacids, and certain medications used to treat migraines or depression, can increase your risk of kidney stones.
Knowing the type of kidney stone, you have helps determine its cause, and may give clues on how to reduce your risk of getting more kidney stones.
The following are the different types of kidney stones and how they are caused:
- Calcium stones:
Most kidney stones are calcium stones which are formed from calcium oxalate. Dietary factors, high doses of vitamin D, intestinal bypass surgery and several metabolic disorders can increase the concentration of calcium or oxalate in urine.
- Struvite stones:
Struvite stones are caused as a response to a urinary tract infection.
- Uric acid stones:
Uric acid stones are seen in people who lose too much fluid because of chronic diarrhoea or malabsorption and in those who eat a high-protein diet. Patients with diabetes or metabolic syndrome also are at risk of developing kidney stones.
- Cystine stones:
These stones form in people with a hereditary disorder called cystinuria that causes the kidneys to excrete too much of a specific amino acid.
Kidney Stones in Adults:
While it is true that kidney stones can develop in people of all ages, they are more common in adults than in children. Among adults, kidney stones are more likely to develop between the ages of 40 and 60, but can happen at any age.
If you are middle aged and suffer from abdominal pain, discoloured urine and/or nausea there is a high likelihood that you have kidney stones.
You should immediately see a doctor if this is the case. Laser Kidney Stone Clinic Provides the best kidney stone treatment in Chennai. We generally give non-surgical treatments and only in severe cases do we perform surgeries. As the best urology and kidney hospital in Chennai we promise to give you safe and effective treatment.