FREE Shipping on orders over $899

WhatsApp Customer Service

Everything you should know about kidney stones and their prevention

Everything you should know about kidney stones and their prevention
Kidney stones, also known as renal lithiasis or kidney stones, are a common health problem that affects millions of people around the world. These small solid formations that develop in the kidneys can cause severe pain and other uncomfortable symptoms. In this article, we will explore in detail what kidney stones are, their causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and, most importantly, how to prevent their formation.

What are kidney stones?

Kidney stones are solid accumulations of minerals and salts that form in the kidneys or other organs of the urinary system, such as the ureters or bladder. These accumulations vary in size, from small particles that look like grains of sand to large stones that can be the size of a marble.

Kidney stones can be extremely painful and cause serious complications if not treated properly. Fortunately, most kidney stones can be prevented through diet and lifestyle changes.

Causes of kidney stones

Kidney stones can form due to a variety of factors, and the causes may vary depending on the type of stone. The most common types of kidney stones are:

1. Calcium oxalate calculations:

These are the most common stones and are mainly made up of calcium oxalate. The main causes of calcium oxalate stones include:

  • High-oxalate diet: Eating foods high in oxalate, such as spinach, beets, and walnuts, may increase the risk of calcium oxalate stone formation.
  • Dehydration: Lack of fluid intake can concentrate urine, which facilitates the formation of calcium oxalate crystals.
  • Metabolic problems: Some people may have a metabolic disorder that makes them prone to calcium oxalate stone formation.

2. Uric acid stones:

These stones form when there is excess uric acid in the urine. Causes of uric acid stones may include:

  • High-purine diet: Eating foods high in purines, such as red meat and seafood, can increase uric acid production in the body.
  • Dehydration: Lack of fluids can cause uric acid to concentrate in the urine, increasing the risk of stones.
  • Medical conditions: Some medical conditions, such as gout, increase the risk of uric acid stones.

3. Calcium phosphate calculations:

These stones form when phosphate combines with calcium in the urine. Causes may include:

  • Medical conditions, such as metabolic or kidney disorders, that increase phosphate excretion.
  • Excessive consumption of calcium supplements.

4. Cystine stones:

These are rare stones and are due to an inherited condition that causes the kidneys to excrete too much cystine in the urine.

5. Struvite calculations:

These stones form in response to urinary tract infections. They are mainly composed of ammoniacal phosphate and magnesium.

6. Calculations of other types:

In rare cases, kidney stones can form due to other substances, such as medications or chemicals.

Symptoms of kidney stones

Kidney stone symptoms can vary depending on the size and location of the stone. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Severe pain: One of the most characteristic symptoms of kidney stones is severe pain in the side or back, often radiating to the lower abdomen and groin. This pain is known as renal colic and can be intermittent or constant.
  • Pain when urinating: Some people experience pain or burning when urinating when they have kidney stones.
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine: Blood in the urine or cloudy, foul-smelling urine may be a sign of kidney stones.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Kidney stones can cause nausea and vomiting, especially when the pain is severe.
  • Feeling of urinary urgency: Some people feel the need to urinate more frequently due to the irritation caused by kidney stones in the urinary tract.
  • Blood in the urine: The presence of blood in the urine, known as hematuria, is a common symptom of kidney stones.
  • Fever and chills: If you have an infection related to kidney stones, you may experience fever and chills.

It is important to note that some people may have kidney stones and not experience any symptoms until the stones begin to move or cause a blockage in the urinary tract.

Diagnosis of kidney stones

If you experience symptoms that suggest the presence of kidney stones, it is important to seek medical attention. The doctor will use several tests and procedures to diagnose kidney stones and determine their size and location. Some of the common tests used to diagnose kidney stones include:

  • Urinalysis: A urinalysis may reveal the presence of blood or crystals in the urine, suggesting the presence of kidney stones.
  • X-ray: X-rays can show the location and size of kidney stones.
  • Computed tomography (CT): CT is one of the most effective tests for detecting kidney stones. It provides detailed images of the kidneys and ureters, which helps determine the location and size of stones.
  • Ultrasound: Ultrasound can be used to visualize the kidneys and detect the presence of stones.
  • Blood tests: Blood tests may be done to evaluate kidney function and look for possible signs of infection.

Kidney stones treatment

Treatment for kidney stones depends on several factors, such as the size and location of the stones, as well as the severity of the symptoms. Some of the treatment options include:

1. Observation:

If the kidney stones are small and not causing symptoms, the doctor may choose to simply watch and wait. In many cases, small stones can be passed by the body naturally.

2. Medications:

Medications may be prescribed to relieve pain and help relax the muscles in the urinary tract, making it easier for stones to pass.

3. Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL):

This procedure uses shock waves to break stones into smaller pieces, making them easier to pass through urine.

4. Ureteroscopy:

In this procedure, a thin, flexible tube is inserted into the urinary tract to reach the stones and remove them or break them up with a laser.

5. Surgery:

In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to remove kidney stones, especially if they are large or causing severe obstruction.

6. Prevention of future stones:

Once kidney stones have passed, it is important to take steps to prevent new stones from forming. This may include dietary changes, increased fluid intake, and specific medications, depending on the underlying cause of the stones.

Prevention of kidney stones

Preventing kidney stones is essential to avoid future painful episodes. Here are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing kidney stones:

1. Drink enough water:

Staying well hydrated is essential to prevent the formation of kidney stones. Drinking enough water dilutes the minerals and chemicals in the urine, making it difficult to crystallize.

2. Limit sodium intake:

Excess sodium in the diet can increase the amount of calcium in the urine, increasing the risk of calcium oxalate stones. Reduce the amount of processed and high-sodium foods in your diet.

3. Control oxalate intake:

Some foods are rich in oxalate, such as spinach, beets, chocolate, and nuts. If you have a history of calcium oxalate stones, you may need to limit your intake of these foods.

4. Increase citrate intake:

Foods rich in citrate, such as citrus, can help prevent kidney stone formation. Citrate inhibits the formation of crystals in urine.

5. Limit the intake of animal proteins:

Diets high in animal proteins can increase the excretion of uric acid in the urine, increasing the risk of uric acid stones.

6. Control underlying medical conditions:

If you have medical conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease or idiopathic hypercalciuria, work with your doctor to manage them and reduce your risk of kidney stones.

7. Follow medical recommendations:

If your doctor has prescribed medications or supplements to prevent kidney stones, be sure to follow his or her instructions.

Kidney stones are a painful but treatable condition. With proper diagnosis and timely treatment, most people can overcome episodes of kidney stones and prevent their recurrence through diet and lifestyle changes. If you experience symptoms that suggest the presence of kidney stones, do not hesitate to seek medical attention. With the right support from healthcare professionals and adopting healthy lifestyle habits, you can effectively manage this condition and keep your kidneys in good health.

Remember that prevention is key when it comes to kidney stones. By following the guidelines and recommendations mentioned above, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing these painful formations in the kidneys . Take care of your kidneys and maintain a healthy life!

Remember that prevention is better than cure

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.