Everyone has heard of somebody suffering from kidney stones, but not everyone is familiar with its causes and the symptoms that go with it.
Kidney stones are composed of minerals and stones in the urine that tend to stick together, forming small pebbles that can be as small as a grain of sand, or as big as that of a golf ball. These can either stay in the kidneys or exit the body through the urinary tract. Whatever the case may be, patient often suffers, making it hard and painful for him to urinate
Kidney stones may be sometimes caused by genetics. If there are family members that are suffering from the condition, there is a chance that it could also happen to you. Other medical conditions, such as gout, can also cause kidney stones.
There are also cases when kidney stones occur due to the imbalance of minerals, water, and salt in the body. It’s advisable, therefore, to drink enough water to keep your urine light yellow to clear in color, and to prevent concentration of salt in the urine.
While the kidney stones are still in the kidneys, the patient won’t feel any pain. However, severe pain can be felt as the stones exit the body through the bladder and urethra. If this happens, as well as pain in the belly, groin and side, it’s better to contact your doctor immediately for the necessary actions to treat kidney stones. The color of the urine should also be observed as pink or reddish urine may also indicate kidney stones.
When going to the doctor for consultation, he or she will ask you questions about your lifestyle which may have contributed to your kidney stones. Imaging tests, such as ultrasound and CT scans, may also be done to look at the condition of your urinary tract and kidneys.
If the condition is hereditary and more than one stone are found in your kidneys, there may be need for further testing to know if kidney stones may likely happen again in the future.
For simple cases, the doctor may suggest to take pain relievers and give you medications to help the stones pass through. You may also need to drink more water to prevent dehydration, as well as help keep the necessary balance in your urine.
If it happens that the kidney stones are too large to pass through the urinary tract, additional treatments may be necessary to remove them from your system. One example of treatment is the ESWL or the extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, where shockwaves are used to break the stones into smaller pieces. There are also cases where the doctor will manually remove the stone through surgery, or insert a stent or a flexible plastic tub in the ureter to help the stones pass through.
After treatment, there is a small chance of recurrence of kidney stones. One advise to prevent this from happening is to drink plenty of water. There are also certain foods, especially those that are too salty, that should be avoided. Some doctors also take the extra precaution by giving medications that could help prevent the recurrence of kidney stones.