Kidney Stone

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What is a Kidney Stone? Also known as “nephrolithiasis” or “urolithiasis“, a kidney stone is a medical condition where there is the formation of solid deposits of minerals and acid salts that stick together in the kidney. When this happens, as the kidney transfers urine to the bladder through the solid pieces, the flow along […] Read More

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Kidney Stone

What is a Kidney Stone? Also known as “nephrolithiasis” or “urolithiasis“, a kidney stone is a medical condition where there is the formation of solid deposits of minerals and acid salts that stick together in the kidney. When this happens, as the kidney transfers urine to the bladder through the solid pieces, the flow along the ureter may result in uncomfortable pains while passing. Risk factors include:
  1. High urine calcium levels,
  2. Nutritional intake,
  3. Stress,
  4. Obesity,
  5. Medications,
  6. Calcium supplements,
  7. Dehydration,
  8. Sicknesses such as gout and hyperparathyroidism.
You can control the entry of crystal-forming substances (eg; calcium, oxalate, and uric acid), through healthy eating habits. When your urine contains more of these crystal-forming substances, then the emergence of kidney stones is evident. Drugs contain high levels of these substances. Uric acid is a substance the body produces when food chemicals are broken down. Diets that contribute immensely to the emergence of kidney stones include:
  1. Beans,
  2. Dried peas,
  3. Lentils,
  4. Peanuts,
  5. Soy milk,
  6. Soy butter,
  7. Tofu,
  8. Nuts,
  9. Caffeine,
  10. Spinach,
  11. Swiss chard,
  12. Sweet potato,
  13. Chocolate,
  14. Soda, etc.
The leading cause of kidney stones, however, is a lack of water in the body. The disease is common in persons who drink less than the recommended daily intake (8-10 glasses of water per day). The urine becomes more acidic when it is dehydrated. More water is needed to flush the stones out of the urinary tract. Health Conditions Related To Kidney Stones
  • Lower Back Pains:  A painful condition affecting the lower portion of the spine.
  • Kidney Infection: This is due to a bacterial infection.
  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): Bacteria may affect any part of the urinary system, the urethra, ureter, kidney, or bladder.
  • Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas.
  • Appendicitis: Inflamed appendix, filled with pus, causing severe pain.
  • Hypovolemia: A condition where the liquid portion of the plasma is low.
  • Prostatitis: Swelling of the prostate.
  • Gallstones: Developed hardened deposits within the fluid of the gallbladder.
Diagnosis Diagnosing kidney stones is best achieved via:
  1. Imagery Tests, such as ultrasound, CT, and MRI scans and X-rays, used to have cross-sectional images of the kidney, bladder, and ureter.
  2. Intravenous Pylenography (IVP), which involves an X-ray dye injected into you to highlight your kidney, ureter, and bladder structure.
How Kidney Stones Are Treated Treatment of kidney stones depends on the related factors. Smaller stone sizes normally pass out on their own through urination. The rate of spontaneous passage, apart from the size, also depends on the position of the stones.  Cases of high-grade stone obstruction (large sizes) or/and associated with infection in the urinary tract may require surgical measures. Intense management, including proper fluid intake and use of certain medications as well as careful monitoring, is required to prevent repeat stone formation. Some treatment measures include:
  • Pain Management 
Intravenous administration of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioids to relieve pains caused by kidney stones.
  • Medical Expulsive Therapy
These medications are used to speed up the spontaneous passage of stones in the ureter. Agents include:
  • Alpha-adrenergic blockers such as Tamsulosin
  • Calcium channel blockers such as Nifedipine.
  • Corticosteroid, used in combination with Tamsulosin.
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) Lithotripsy is a non-invasive technique for the removal of kidney stones, mostly done when the stone is present near the renal pelvis.  A lithotriptor machine is passed through small incisions made and used to cut stones into smaller fragments for free passage. The procedure is done through laparoscopy. This technique limits the size of the incision’s needs and allows for faster healing time, reduced pains, and lower risk of infections.
  • Ureteroscopic Surgery
Dietary Management For Kidney Stones Kidney stones are formed as a result of a high concentration of minerals (crystal-forming substances) in the urine. Such substances include calcium, oxalate, uric acid, among others. Food metabolism results in these end products, hence control of our food intake. Types of diets friendly to kidney stone patients include:
  1. Foods are rich in insoluble fiber such as hear, corn, barley, seeds, brown rice, etc.
  2. Fruits such as watermelon, apple, melon, banana, citric fruits, and juices.
The mortality rate of kidney stones is very low. Universally, between 1% to 15% of people are affected by kidney stones at some point in their lives. In 2015, out of 22.1 million cases recorded, approximately 0.07%, which is only about 16,000 resulted in death.  Stones of the inner urinary that contributes more to mortality, particularly in females, the lower urinary tract stones.  Untreated kidney stones may block the flow of urine leading to serious complications and possibly death. It is therefore recommended that patients with kidney stones, especially large stones, should seek medical attention.


Symptoms Of Kidney Stones

Common symptoms of the disease include:

  1. Severe pains in the lower back and abdomen,
  2. Blood in the urine (hematuria),
  3. Vomiting/nausea,
  4. Fever,
  5. Chills.


Causes Of Kidney Stones

Stones form in the kidney when minerals in the urine are at high concentration. Factors responsible range from genetic, environmental, medical, to nutritional factors. Most kidney stones are formed by a combination of two or more of these factors:

  1. Calcium oxalate crystals
  2. Uric acid
  3. Struvite
  4. Cysteine.


How long do you have kidney stones before they pass?

Small kidney stones take an average of 31 days to pass. Stones of 4 to 6mm take an average of 45 days. However, this may require some sort of treatment. Larger kidney stones usually need medical treatment to be removed.

Do kidney stones hurt after they pass?

Pains usually pass once you pass the stone. Any residual soreness and pain should be temporary. Any lingering pain after passing a stone can be a sign that there is another stone, an obstruction, or an infection.

What food should kidney stone patients avoid?

If you have calcium oxalate stones, you should avoid these foods to help reduce the amount of oxalate in your urine.

  • Peanut, nuts, and nut products
  • Spinach
  • Caffeine
  • Beans
  • Rhubarb, etc.

Is rice good for kidney stones?

Foods rich in insoluble fiber are good meals for kidney stones, and this includes brown rice, wheat bran, corn bran, barley, etc.

What are the 4 types of kidney stones?

The four types of kidney stones are:

  • Calcium oxalate
  • Uric acid
  • Struvite
  • Cystine