03 Sep Kidney Stones
Kidney stones can be a very painful condition, causing sharp pain in the lower back, abdomen, and groin. The pain often comes in waves, but it can be sudden, as well. In addition, it can be painful to urinate with kidney stones. Many things can cause kidney stones (renal lithiasis) that form as minerals and salts crystallize in the kidneys. This can create a blockage in the urinary tract, which can require surgery to fix.
- Pain in the lower back
- Pain in groin, abdomen
- Red, pink or brownish tint to urine (blood in urine)
- Cloudy urine
- Frequent need to urinate
- Difficulty urinating
- Painful urination
As kidney stones pass while urinating, it is sometimes possible to catch one by urinating through a screen. Doing this will enable doctors to analyze which type of kidney stones have formed. There are various types.
- Calcium Oxalate and Calcium Phosphate
Oxalate is a compound found in some foods, such as fruits, nuts, vegetables. It is also a substance made in your liver. This can bind together with calcium to create kidney stones.
Calcium phosphate, another variety of kidney stones, is associated with various medical conditions, including renal tubular acidosis and migraine headaches.
- Struvite Stones
Urinary tract infections can yield this type of stones, which are able to grow to large sizes quickly.
- Uric Acid
If you have a high protein diet and don’t drink enough fluids, you could be at risk for this type of stones.
A hereditary disorder brings on this type of stones. The condition results in kidney allowing an excess amount of cystinuria (an amino acid) to be excreted.
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Gastric bypass surgery
- Urinary tract infections
- Renal tubular acidosis
- Diets high in protein, salts or sugar
- Family history of kidney stones
Diagnosis and Treatment
Kidney stones are diagnosed through blood tests, urine analysis, and various imaging options, including computerized tomography (CT) and abdominal X-rays. Ultrasound imaging can also help with diagnosis and intravenous urography is sometimes used. This involves injecting a dye into a vein, which then passes through your kidneys and bladder. While it does so, imaging techniques can better accentuate the kidney stones.
Treatment options include:
- Drinking plenty of water to flush out the stones
- Pain relief medication
- Use of alpha-blocker medication to relax muscles in the ureter
More vigorous interventions include:
- Ultrasound waves deployed to break up the stones
- Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (sound waves that can break stones into smaller, passable pieces
- Percutaneous nephrolithotomy –surgical stone removal from kidneys
- Ureteroscope – inserting of a camera-equipped tube with a light through the urethra and bladder to the ureter
- Parathyroid gland treatment or surgery – treatment for the causal factors of hyperparathyroidism or removal of small tumors from parathyroid glands that are causing the release of the parathyroid hormone. This hormone could be responsible for the formation of kidney stones.