Facts about Kidney Stones
• The largest known kidney stone weighed about 1.36 kilograms. The smallest
• Kidney stones come in any color--from yellow to brown
• The shape and size of the stone may tell something about how it was formed.
• Most kidney stones are very small and are readily passed from the body during urination.
• The presence of a urinary tract infection can increase the severity of stone disease and make treatment more difficult.
Where are the Stones formed
Urinary System in the human body consists of Kidneys , Ureters , Urinary bladder and Urethra. Stones can get formed in Kidneys , Ureters and bladder. The Stone are known differently according to the location where they get formed.
• Upper Urinary Tract Stone are stones which are formed in kidneys.
• Lower Urinary Tract Stones are stones which are formed in Ureters or Urinary bladder.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones that are above the renal pelvis of the kidney usually do not have any symptoms or pain. We know that Ureters are responsible for carrying the Urine from the Kidney to the Bladder. Symptoms often occur when a stone migrates into the ureter, and prevents the drainage of urine from the kidney into bladder causing blockage. This can cause many symptoms.
When stones are present or stuck up in the ureter, a person can experience the following symptoms:
• Pain : Pain is the major symptom of a kidney stone. An excruciating pain called renal colic may be felt in the side of abdomen and even spreading to middle to abdomen(in worst cases). This is because the Ureter tries to push the stone down to the bladder by contracting its muscular walls. When the pain has passed to entire Abdomen then it can mean that the person is now having a severe UTI – Urinary Tract Infection.
• Increase in frequency or urgency of urination : Once UTI Infection starts as the stone has got blocked in the ureter the patient will have increased urination , or urge to urinate frequently. This will also cause pain and severe irritation during urination.
• Nausea and vomiting : The next stage after a Sever pain can be Nausea and vomiting sensation along with the pain. The Patient will have a Vomiting feeling at the sight or smell of food itself.
• Blood in the urine : Prolonged presence of Stone in Ureters because it got stuck up there can erode the lining of ureters. This will cause blood to be passed along with the urine.
How are Kidney Stones Diagonised
Diagnosis of stones generally consists of
• Ultra Sound Analysis and X Ray Analysis : Can give us the information on number of stones , their size and the location.
• Laboratory Examinations : The person's blood and urine sample will be collected and analyzed to measure the levels of calcium, electrolytes, uric acid, and other components. The acidity of the urine is also checked.
Treatment for Kidney Stones
Treatment for the kidney stones varies based on the size of the stone. If the stone is of really smaller size then doctors generally give few medicines to dissolve the stone. An advice to drink a lot of water is also given. If the stone is of larger size say greater than 8mm in size then Doctors generally go for lithotripsy.
Lithotripsy can be of two different types. They are :
• Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)
• Laser Lithotripsy.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)
In ESWL, Shock waves created by high-voltage discharges are focused on the kidney with the stone. The waves are transmitted through water. Through this, The stone gets reduced into powdery substance and passed out through urination. This ESWL is used in cases where the stone is of less than 3cm size and is also located in the pelvic region of the kidney.
With laser lithotripsy, a small instrument is inserted into the urethra and snaked into the ureter containing the stone. Focused laser energy is used to fragment the stone.
Uteroscopic stone removal
This technique is used when the kidney stone is located in the middle or lower portions of the ureter. Here a small fiber-optic instrument called a ureteroscope is passed through the urethra and bladder and then into the ureter. The stone is then located and removed with the use of a special tool, or it is shattered with a shock wave. A small tube called a stent is left in the ureter for several days to promote healing of this portion of the urinary tract. Open surgery in operation theatres with anesthetic is also performed in rare cases where incision is made on the skin and pelvis or ureter is opened to remove the stone. Recovery can take some 4 – 6 weeks.
Some drugs given for controlling and treating kidney stone
• Thiazide : A diuretic that is given reducing excessive calcium from the urine and thereby preventing calcium stones.
• Allopurinol : Used to reduce Uric acid and thereby preventing formation of uric acid stones.
• Polycitra K : Contains potassium citrate which is used for reducing uric acid.
• Toradol : This is given for relief from kidney pain.
Simple treatments that can be taken at house if you have stone at present
• Every 30 minutes, drink 8 ounces of water with the juice of half a lemon. Alternate lemon with fresh apple juice if desired.
• Aloe Vera juice can help reduce the size of a stone during an acute attack and help prevent stone formation.
Prevention of kidney Stone
As said ”Prevention is always better than cure”. Kidney stone can be prevented by
• Drinking a lot of Water
• Changes to diet such as avoiding certain food items which contains oxalates such as tea , cocoa , Dark greeny stuffs and food rich in calcium like diary products.
• Some fruit juices, such as orange, blackcurrant and cranberry, may be useful for lowering the risk factors for specific types of stones. Orange juice may help prevent calcium oxalate stone formation, black currant may help prevent uric acid stones, and cranberry may help with UTI-caused stones.
• Avoidance of cola beverages.
• Avoiding large doses of vitamin C.
If you want to check out basic information on kidney stones , what are these and their types click Kidney Stones