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All You Need to Know About Kidney Stones

Kidneys are fundamental for the smooth functioning of the human body, filtering the impurities from the blood every minute of every day. A commonly occurring condition of the kidneys is the occurrence of kidney stones.

What are Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals and salts that form in the urinary tract. They usually occur when the urine filtered from the blood is so concentrated that the mineral particles in it crystallize and stick together to form rocky structures that vary in size.

What causes Kidney stones?

There are many factors that cause this condition, out of which, consumption of less than the daily requirement of water, is the most common. Most kidney stones form due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Risk factors include high levels of calcium in the urine, obesity, consumption of certain foods, medications, calcium supplements etc.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

These “stones”, when they grow in size (greater than 5 millimeters) often result in the individual facing severe pain in the lower back or abdomen if the stone is causing blockage of the ureter, and sometimes there will be blood in the urine, vomiting or painful urination. The symptoms may include:

  • Severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs
  • Pain in the lower abdomen and groin
  • Painful Urination
  • Pink, red or brown urine 
  • Cloudy urine (as opposed to clear water-like transparency)
  • Foul smelling urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Persistent need to urinate
  • Urinating more than usual
  • Fever and chills (if an infection has started)
  • Urinating small amount of urine

Diagnosis of Kidney Stones

If you have noticed that any of the above-mentioned symptoms apply in your case, you should immediately pay a visit to your doctor, or may be seek an appointment with a qualified nephrologist, who will understand your condition better. The diagnosis of the condition is usually done based on the study of the symptoms, and

  • Urine testing
  • Blood tests
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasound
  • CT scan

Smaller stones usually dissolve and pass with urination, but larger stones will need medication and treatment, sometimes also surgery.

Kidney Stone Treatment

Early diagnosis of a stone development in the kidney is the key to an uncomplicated treatment procedure. It usually depends on the doctor who decides which mode of treatment will be the best for the patient. This decision is based on the size of the stone as well the intensity of the pain the patient is going through.

  • If the pain is moderate to tolerable, the doctor might prescribe the intake of a lot of fluids and wait to see if the stone passes out on its own.
  • Sometimes a medication such as Tamsulosin is prescribed, which relaxes the ureter and the stone passes out with the urine easily.
  • To cope with the pain while waiting for the stone to pass, painkillers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen are prescribed. To ease the Nausea, there will be separate medication.
  • Finally, as the last resort, if the stone is too large to come out by itself, the doctors will perform one of the four common surgical procedures to get the stone out.

Surgery for Kidney Stone removal

There are four types of surgeries that are currently performed on people with kidney stones who are experiencing severe symptoms and discomfort, being unable to urinate due to having their stone blocking their ureter, or in some cases the stone has caused an infection to start in their renal system.

  • Shock Wave Lithotripsy
  • Ureteroscopy
  • Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy
  • Open Surgery

Kidney Stone Treatment in India

With widespread globalization and medical awareness across the country, there are now options available for Kidney Stone Treatment in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, etc.

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