NU Hospitals



How You Can Prevent Kidney Stones

Posted on July 17, 2019 at 4:40 AM

Kidney stones are solid deposits of crystals, usually made of calcium oxalate, which form in the kidneys, bladder, urethra and the ureter. They can be very painful.

Why do kidney stones form?

  • The leading cause of kidney stones is insufficient intake of water.
  • The uric acid doesn’t become diluted enough and hence the urine becomes more acidic.
  • This acidic environment in the urine can result in formation of kidney stones.
  • Excessive concentration of substances like calcium, oxalate and uric acid.
  • High amounts of proteins, salt and glucose in the diet.
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases and infection in the urinary tract
  • Medications such as diuretics, anti-seizure drugs and some antacids can also play a role in formation of kidney stones.

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

In the initial stages, the person does not usually exhibit any symptoms. When the stones move into the ureter, which is the tube connecting the kidney and the bladder, the following symptoms of kidney stones can be observed:

  • Severe pain in the lower back and the sides, called renal colic.
  • Pain radiating to the groin area
  • Blood in the urine (pink, red, or brown urine)
  • Pain that occurs in waves and varies in intensity
  • Sweating, nausea and vomiting
  • Fever and chills
  • Frequent and painful urination
  • Pain in the testicles or the scrotum in men
  • Treatment for kidney stones

Kidney stone treatment depends on their size as well as the composition. Small-sized stones can be treated in the following ways:

Drinking water: Adequate consumption of liquids can help flush out the smaller kidney stones out of the system.

Medication: Pain relievers such as ibuprofen, medicines like diuretics and alpha-blocer drugs are also effective.

Stones which are bigger in size can be treated in the following ways:

Lithotripsy: This method employs sound waves to create strong vibrations that can break up large stones into smaller pieces that can be easily removed from the body.

Ureteroscopy: A thin tube is inserted through the urinary tract in order to break up the stones into smaller fragments which are then removed through the tube.

Kidney Stone Surgery: A surgical procedure called percutaneous nephrolithotomy, by which kidney stones are removed through a small incision in the person’s back may be performed if the lithotripsy was unsuccessful.

Categories: Kidney Stone

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