Kidney stones or the scientific name renal lithiasis, nephrolithiasis, are what we can identify as hard deposits made of mineral and salts that had been formed inside your kidneys. This disease are caused by many factors and will affect an excruciating pain in your urinary tract. Yup, from your kidney right until your bladder.
Passing kidney stones can be a pain, but the stones itself won’t cause any permanent damage, that is of course, you’re diagnosed in the earlier stage. Some people didn’t have to undergo surgeries to remove the stones, they only need to drink lots of water and consume prescribed pain medication then the stones will pass naturally. However, if they are clogged and might cause urinary infection or complications, an immediate surgery will be issued.
To let you notified more about this disease, here are the things you need to know about kidney stones.
One of the things you need to know about kidney stones are that they are generally known to cause an excruciating pain called renal colic down your urinary tract. At this stage, the stones are already moving its way down the ureters. Symptoms also may cause you to experience pain on one side of your back or abdomen.
Men on one side, experience pain in the groin area. The pain of renal colic can be intense even though it won’t last for a long time. Other symptoms also includes :
- Bloody urine (red, pink, or brown urine)
- Vomiting or nausea
- Discolored, cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- Fever and chills
- Frequent need to urinate
- Urinating small amounts of urine
- Aching stomach pain
Those symptoms are usually found when the passing of medium to large kidney stones occur. Small kidney stones, on the other hand, sometimes left unnoticed as they pass down without causing great discomfort. These are important things you need to know about kidney stones.
Types of Kidney Stones
One of the things you need to know about kidney stones are that they have various types! Kidney stones are made up of several types of crystals including :
The most common type of kidney stone and made of calcium oxalate (some cases made of calcium phosphate or maleate). A diet consist of low oxalate-rich food could prevent you from the risk of having this type of kidney stones.
Men are commonly prone to get this type of kidney stones compared to women. Uric acid is formed when the diet is rich in purines which increase the urine’s acidic level. People who has gout or going through chemotherapy also prone to have this type of kidney stones.
Women who have urinary tract infections (UTIs) are at high risk to have this type of kidney stones. These stones could cause urinary obstruction due to its large size. Treating UTI at its earlier stage would prevent the patient from getting struvite in their kidney.
This type of kidney stones is a rare find and can be found in both men and women who have the genetic disorder of cystinuria. Cystine is formed when the acid that occurs naturally in our body leaked from the kidney and mixed with urine.
How kidney stones are treated
One of the things you need to know about kidney stones is how you treat them if you get them! Kidney stones treatment are vary according to the type of stones. The urine samples also would be strained and the stones found would be collected for further evaluation. Treatments can be as simple as keeping yourself hydrated by drinking six to eight glasses of water a day to increase urine flow, or as intricates as these :
Medications can range from antibiotics, pain relief medication or these :
- allopurinol (Zyloprim) for uric acid stones
- sodium bicarbonate or sodium citrate
- phosphorus solutions
- ibuprofen (Advil)
- acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- naproxen sodium (Aleve)
This procedure of using sound waves to break up large stones into smaller size to fit down our ureters can be uncomfortable and will require a light anesthesia. The side effects will cause some bruising around the abdomen and back as well as bleeding around the kidney area or nearby organs
Tunnel Surgery (Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy)
This procedure requires a small incision in your back and only performed if :
- the stone causes obstruction, infection or damaging the kidneys
- the stone has grown too large to pass
- pain can’t be controlled
If the occurrence of a stone got stuck in the ureter or bladder, a ureteroscope will be used to remove it. It is a small camera, attached to a wire will be inserted into the urethra then passed into the bladder. The doctor then will use a small cage to collect the stones to remove it and sent to the laboratory for analysis.
How to Prevent Kidney Stones?
One of the things you need to know about kidney stones is that it is preventable. Read on for some prevention tips!
Kidney stones are generally formed when our body is dehydrated which then easier for salt and minerals to clump together which then formed stones. For most people, they need to drink up more than 8 glasses of water to keep hydrated and to decrease the risk of kidney stones. Avoid or limit the consumption of caffeinated, carbonated, or sweetened drinks.
Citrus drinks like lemonade and orange juice are also good as they both contain citrate which prevents stone from forming. Just make sure to cutback on the sugar. Drink more than your daily recommendations if you’re exercising or generally sweats a lot. We want to make sure you’re well hydrated to decrease the risk of getting kidney stones.
Reduce Oxalate-Rich Food
Some kidney stones are made of oxalate, a natural compound found in foods that binds with calcium in the urine to form kidney stones. Limiting oxalate-rich foods may help prevent the stones from forming. Limit your diet from these rich in oxalate food will help to reduce the risk of getting kidney stones :
- Grapefruit and cranberry juice
- Some nuts like cashew
- Soy products
- Most berries
- Celery and parsley
- Whole grains
Sodium is a No-No
Try to consume less salt or food that are high-salt content as they keep the urine from absorbing calcium to the blood. Which then causes kidney stones. So avoid these food or ingredients at all cost :
- Processed foods
- Canned foods
- Monosodium glutamate
- Sodium nitrate
- Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
- Most ready-to-make food
- Disodium phosphate
Limit Animal Protein
Animal protein would cause in the increasing of urine acid which then may cause both uric acid and calcium oxalate kidney stones. So, watch out your diet and limit these food if you’re preventing kidney disease :
- Red Meat
- Most Fish
- Most Cheese
There you have it! You have now all the things you need to know about kidney stones. Prevention is certainly better than cure. Make sure you take the preventive measures from being diagnosed with kidney stones. Also, take this chance to protect yourself from the unforeseen with our AXA eMedic Online Medical Card. Now available for kids! Choose the best plan for you and your family starting from RM32 per month and get protection for your medical expenses up to RM100,000 annually. Best of all, there is no lifetime limit.
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