Health

What causes kidney stones? Symptoms and treatment

Hardened clusters of minerals and salts that form gradually in the kidneys are called kidney stones. These hard deposits  can affect the entire urinary tract along with the kidneys.   

There can be various causes or reasons that lead to the forming of kidney stones. The causes are very closely related to the lifestyle and diet of a person. That is why, kidney stones are quite a common ailment that affects millions of people around the world.

Common causes for kidney stones are as follows:

High blood pressure or hypertension- Hypertension and elevated blood pressure is a common risk factor for kidney stone formation. High blood pressure can affect the circulation of blood to the kidneys and this can impair kidney functioning. Due to this, it becomes easier for kidney stones to form. 

Lack of hydration– Not drinking enough water and staying under hydrated is the most common cause of kidney stones. In the absence of proper amounts of fluid, the concentration of salts and minerals in the urine increases. As a result, the minerals can clump together to form stone-like structures. 

Obesity– Being overweight is another major cause of calcium kidney stones in the body. This is because obesity can lead to insulin resistance and increase in the levels of insulin in the body. This can create an imbalance in the metabolic processes and trigger the formation of calcium kidney stones. 

Excessive intake of animal protein– A diet rich in animal protein can also cause the development of kidney stones. Consuming animal protein like red meat, poultry, etc on a regular basis can increase the acidity of the urine. Moreover, it can reduce the levels or urinary citrate. Both these factors can lead to the formation of stones in the kidney. 

Family history- Family history also has a crucial role to play in kidney stone formation. If any of your close relatives had kidney stones, it can make you more prone to the condition. In around 40 percent of the cases of kidney stones, the patient has a family history of the medical condition. 

Symptoms of having kidney stones include

  • Frequent visits to the loo- The kidney stones tend to exert constant pressure on the urinary bladder. This undesired pressure creates discomforts and leads to frequent need to urinate. Also, another problem is that the person with kidney stones may not be able to empty the bladder in one go. The difficulty in emptying the bladder can prove to be irritating and stressful.
     
  • Low appetite and nausea– Losing the normal appetite along with frequent nauseous feeling is a very common identifying symptom of having kidney stones. This happens when the renal calculi interfere or disturb the gastrointestinal functioning.
  • Foamy urine- Foaminess of the urine is among the initial symptoms of kidney stones. Normally, the urine is clear, but when a person suffers from kidney stone, they notice foamy or cloudy urine. This foaminess is due to proteins found in the urine. In addition to this, the person may also notice the foul smell of the urine due to some urinary infection.
  • Blood found in the urine (Hematuria)–  A person with kidney stone may witness the brown to reddish color of the urine if some blood cells are present. The urine may even  appear pink if there is only a negligible amount of blood cells. Therefore, immediate diagnosis of these symptoms is highly necessary to rule out the condition and its seriousness. 
  • Sudden episode(s) of pain below the ribs and in the back– This symptom arises if kidney stones grow larger in size or move in the urinary system. It is certainly the most serious symptom as the pain can be very severe that the person may not be able to sit or stand properly. The pain radiates to the back and the groin as well when the nerve fibers are triggered. If the condition is serious, the pain may even last for upto 3-4 hours unless some emergency measure is taken by a doctor. 

Effective treatment for kidney stones

If the condition of the disease turns out to be very mild or in an initial phase, a few medications along with drinking lots of water flushes out the kidney stones. But for large and multiple kidney stones, the specialist recommends a surgery.

Hearing surgery as the only resort for complete relief may seem to be a little daunting at first. But the fear is understandable with the complexities of an open surgery. But, it is not the case anymore. The modern surgeries for kidney stones are simpler, quicker and way more precise than the traditional procedure.

There are 3 types of advanced surgeries for kidney stones:

  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Laser lithotripsy
  • Shockwave lithotripsy

Be it laparoscopic or laser based, the surgeries inflict no pain, and there is only minimal scarring. These treatments allow the patient to recover faster without enduring pain and complications. The patient recovers completely in less than a week and feels good to resume their normal life routine. 

If you are dealing with the pain of kidney stones and are looking for a reliable urologist, you can contact Pristyn Care. They house some of the best reputed urologists all across India who have treated numerous kidney stone patients successfully. You can book your appointment with one of their specialists and then undergo the treatment at one of their partner hospitals near your place. 

The Bottom Line

It is obvious that leaving kidney stone symptoms unattended for a long time is highly unsafe. You should have a smart approach for dealing with these pesky kidney stones. Therefore, undergoing only modern painless surgery is the right choice for the treatment if your condition requires it. Now that you have an idea of the three effective treatment options for kidney stones, the decision making will become easier for you.  So, contact a specialist as soon as possible for a fast and smooth journey. Now reliable urologist can be found easily.

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