What causes kidney stones?
Joe was sitting near the window and saw his neighbour Shiron returning from the hospital. On inquiring to his mother, he came to know that Shiron had to undergo an operation because of a kidney stone.
These stones are formed inside the body and are extremely painful. The biggest kidney stone found so far weighed more than a kilogram and was 17 Centimeters in diameter.
What is a kidney stone?
A hard mass of substance that is formed inside our body in kidneys/ urthera/ bladder or uretus are called as kidney stones.
How are kidney stones formed?
Our urine consists of compounds of Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, Oxalate, Uric acid and Phosphate.
When the levels of these particals become higher, the urine becomes either too acidic or basic then the accumulation of these substances over the time period result in the formation of stones.
Types of stones
- Calcium oxalate – is the most commonly observed stone accounting for about 80℅ of kidney stones.
- Less commonly found stones are of Calcium phosphate or Uric acid .
- The stone made of Magnesium ammonium phosphate can be caused by bacterial infection.
- Genetic disorders also result in formation of certain kinds of stones.
- What happens after the formation of kidney stone?
Generally people don’t realize about having stones in their body until it starts moving. When the stone travels into the ureter, the sharp edges scratch the walls of the urinary tract which causes great pain to the person.
Also due to the wound on the walls of tract at times blood passes out along with urine. This can be accompanied by symptoms like nausea, vomiting and burning sensation while urinating.
When the stone becomes big enough it blocks the flow of urine increasing the chances of infection and Ultimately damaging the kidneys.
5mm or less- If the size is this small then the most effective way to get rid of stones would be to drink large amount of water so that the stone will come out from the body along with urine.
- If stone is slightly larger then medications like alpha blockers relax the muscles and swift the movement of stone through the tracts.
- Potassium citrate creates less acidic urine dissolving the stones.
- Upto 10 mm- stones of this size can be pulverized with Sound waves .High intensity pulses used in Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy are aimed directly at stones. Due the vibrations inside the stones they break.
- For much larger stones that cannot be treated with any of the above methods are eradicated with more invasive techniques.
- Optical fibres are used to deliver laser pulsus which break these stones. Also surgical incision helps in removal of stones.
Avoiding kidney stones
- Doctors suggest drinking plenty of water and limiting intake of Spinach, beets , potato that are rich in oxalate.
- Calcium that is often found in stones actually help binding the oxalate before it can reach the kidneys.
Even if one end up with a kidney stone, there’s no need to get worried. A lot of people suffer with this and get well too.