Kidney stones: is it health problems?

Kidney stones have been causing problems for thousands of years.Men are more likely to develop renal stones( 80% of patients with renal stones are male) and the most common age of occurrence is between 20-30 years old. People who develop renal calculi have about a 50 to 80% chances of having them recur.

It is estimated that one in ten people will have a kidney stone at some time in their lives. The risk of kidney stones is about 11%in men and 9%in women.other diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity may increase the risk of kidney stones.

Kidney stones are also called renal calculi,which are hard,rock like deposits formed in the urinary tract. It is common (1% of population) and recurrent (50-80%) disorders that are usually preventable. Stones formation begins when urine becomes supersaturated with insoluble components due to excessive excretion or factors that diminish solubility.About 20%of kidney stones either from a general metabolism affecting the entire body or from a structural or metabolic problem of the kidney itself.

Metabolic problems include cystinuria and renal tubular acidosis.

Diseases of general metabolism that cause kidney stones are gout,hyperparathyroidism and abnormal intestinal absorption.

The remaining 80-90% of stone disease is idiopathic ( of unknown origin) . Idiopathic stone disease affects all ages. These stones are vary in size and there may be one or more.

Usually, these types of stones are :

1) calcium oxalate

2) calcium phosphate

3) struvita stone

4) uric acid stone – it occurs when urine is saturated with uric acid in the presence of an acid urine PH and dehydration.

Kidney stone is called colic because it often flares intermittently brought on by stretching of the ureters and kidney pelvis as the stone blocks the normal flow of urine.

Causes

Possible causes include drinking a little water, exercise ( too much or too little) , obesity, weight loss surgery or eating food with too much salt or sugar. Eating too much fructose correlates with increasing risk of developing a kidney stone.

Kidney stones increase the risk of developing chronic kidney disease.

Signs and symptoms

1) kidney stone pain which feels like throbbing or tenderness below the rib cage or in the back/ abdomen.

2) producing less urine than usual

3) fluid retention and swelling due to imbalance of electrolytes.

4) indigestion,nausea and loss of appetite

5) cognitive and mood changes due to hydration and shifting electrolytes levels such as confusion, trouble sleeping, fatigue and weakness.

Investigation

1) x- ray

2) sonogram of the abdomen

3) analysis of urine help to determine the diagnosis of kidney stones

4) blood examination

5) kidney function tests

Treatment

1) balanced diet

2) plenty of water drinking – drinking plenty of water helps in diluting the substances in the urine that cause stones.

3) getting very little calcium in diet can increase the level of oxalate and cause kidney stones,get only calcium if needed

4) cut down sodium – a low sodium diet is recommended for those who are stone prone

5) restricted animal protein – eating an excessive amount of animal proteins such as poultry,eggs, seafood and red meat increases the level of uric acid and could cause kidney stones.

6) a diet with high protein reduces the level of citrate,the chemical found in the urine which helps in the prevention of stone formation.

So, eat foods that are rich in magnesium, vitamin supplements as vitamin B6, vitamin C .

Appropriate medicine as advised by doctor

Last surgery or treated with ultrasonic shock therapy

These are the management and treatment for kidney stone diseases.

Prevention

Prevention of recurrence includes strategies such as drinking plenty of water, decreasing sodium intake, avoiding junk foods following medical advice regarding prescribed medications to reduce stone formation,so, kidney stones can cause serious kidney damage and should be properly treated to prevent long – term complications.

Dr S.K.jha