Kidney Stones

A kidney stone is simple a small mass of matter that crystallizes and forms in the kidneys, making it difficult for urine to flow freely and escape the body. They are a common cause of urinary tract infections (UTI) in both men and women.

There are several different types of kidney stones that may form.

 

  • Calcium stones – These are the most common for men and women – especially men between the age of 20 and 30 years. . They are more common in men between age 20-30. Calcium can combine with other substances, such as oxalate (the most common substance), phosphate, or carbonate to form the stone. Oxalate is present in certain foods such as spinach. It’s also found in vitamin C supplements. Diseases of the small intestine increase your risk of these stones.
  • Cystine stones – These may form in people who have cystinuria, a disorder that runs in families. It can affects both women and men.
  • Struvite stones – These are found mostly in women who have a (UTI) urinary tract infection. They can grow very large, blocking the kidney, ureter, or bladder which can cause other serious problems to develop.
  • Uric acid stones – These are more common in men than in women, but they still can occur in females. They can come about as a result of problems with gout or chemotherapy treatments.
  • Other substances may also form kidney stones, including the prescription medications acyclovir, indinavir, and triamterene.
Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones

 

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Next we are going to look at some of the common signs and symptoms that may appear as a result of kidney stones. If you experience two or more of the symptoms listed below, you may have kidney stones or a kidney infection. In either case, once the symptoms appear it is a good idea to consult with a doctor so the problem can be taken care of before it gets worse.

 

  • Urination Problems – Whether it is painful urination, the feeling of having to go but not being able to release urine or even discolored urine, because the kidneys are tied to the urinary tract, other problems usually develop that are a sign of a kidney infection or kidney stones.
  • Fever and Nausea – Additionally, a person may run a low grade fever and have an upset stomach or loss of appetite.
  • Pain in the Back – A pain in the lower back in the area of the kidneys may be another sign that there is a problem with kidney stones, which can lead to more serious conditions like a kidney infection – which could result in death.

 

As mentioned, if you are experiencing two or more of the symptoms listed above, you want to consult with a health care professional right away so the problem does not get worse.

Causes of Kidney Stones

There are quite a few different causes of kidney stones in adults. Depending on the type of stones that appear, it may be due to a number of things. They typically form when urine contains too much of a single substance and it has a chance to build up – forming a “stone” in the kidney. Whatever the cause, the more important matter is to look out for the signs and symptoms and to take action if you think there might be a problem.

Treatment for Kidney Stones

Before your kidney stones can be treated, it must be made clear that they are the cause of your problems. This is done by a variety of urine or blood tests that may be taken. Once kidney stones are diagnosed, treatment usually comes down to antibiotics, bed rest and getting a lot of fluids – particularly water.

Drinking at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day is important to help the kidneys flush out whatever might be forming inside of them. This will enable you to produce more urine. You should be outputting at least a quart of urine a day so that substances in your body do not have a chance to build up and form into kidney stones.

There are some medications that may help you decrease the chances of new stones forming as well as breaking down any that have already formed. Your doctor or health care provider will be able to give you more information on these and whether or not they are right for you. The most important thing you can do is to take action once you start noticing the signs and symptoms of kidney stones.

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