What is Kidney stone and its symptoms?
The kidneys remove waste products from the blood through the urine. When waste products do not properly leave the kidneys, it can result in kidney stones.
A kidney stone is a solid mass made of minerals and salts that forms in the kidney. Kidney stones can grow to the size of a golf ball while maintaining a sharp, crystalline structure. A kidney stone may stay in the kidney or may also travel down the urinary tract including the ureters, bladder, and the urethra.
Kidney stones are caused by high levels of calcium, oxalate, and phosphorus in the urine. These minerals are normally found in urine and do not cause problems at low levels.
What are the types of Kidney Stones?
There are four main types of kidney stone mentioned below:
1. Calcium Stones:
Calcium stones are the most common types of kidney stones. Normally, extra calcium that isn’t used by the bones and muscles goes to the kidneys and is flushed out with urine. When this doesn’t happen, the calcium stays in the kidneys and joins with other waste products to form a kidney stone. Limiting intake of foods such as peanuts, spinach, beets, chocolate, and sweet potatoes may be beneficial.
2. Uric Acid Stones:
A uric acid stone may form when the urine contains too much acid. Certain genetic factors also may increase the risk of uric acid stones. Red meat, organ meats, and shellfish have high amounts of a natural chemical compound known as purines. High purine intake leads to a higher production of uric acid and a larger acid load for the kidneys to excrete.
Following a healthy diet plan that has mostly vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products may be beneficial. Limiting sugar-sweetened foods and drinks, alcohol, animal-based protein may also be beneficial.
3. Struvite Stones:
Struvite stones form in response to an infection, such as a urinary tract infection. These stones may develop suddenly and become large quickly.
4. Cystine Stones: Cystine stones result from a disorder called cystinuria that is passed down through families. Cystinuria causes the amino acid cystine to leak through the kidneys and into the urine.
What are the signs and symptoms of Kidney Stones?
Signs and symptoms of kidney stones may include:
1. Severe pain in the back, side, lower abdomen, or groin
2. Blood in the urine
3. Pain while urinating
4. Unable to urinate
5. A constant need to urinate
6. Cloudy or bad-smelling urine
7. Fever and Chills
8. Nausea and vomiting
9. Urinating small amounts of urine
Are you at risk for developing kidney stones?
Factors that increase the risk of developing kidney stones include:
· Not drinking enough liquids.
· Family or personal history of kidney stones.
· Repeat urinary tract infections.
· Blockage in the urinary tract.
· Hypercalciuria, high calcium levels in the urine
· High blood pressure
· Kidney cysts
· Inflammatory bowel disease