Introduction | Types | Causes | Symptoms | Risk | Remedies | Treatment | Prevention Tips
What are Kidney Stones?
Kidney stone is a hard crystalline, mineral material that usually originates within the kidney or urinary tract. Kidney stones are also known as Nephrolithiasis or Renal calculi. This condition has different names depending upon its location. It is known as Urolithiasis if it is formed Urinary tract. And is also known as Ureterolithiasis, if the location of formation is ureters. As it can develop within the kidney, ureters, bladder and urethra. Kidney stones vary on the basis of size and type of stone. People with having a family history of kidney stone are more likely to get this health problem.
Types of Kidney Stones:
There are different types of kidney stones, made up of materials like —
- Uric acid: This type of kidney stones are found in people going through chemotherapy or having gout. Uric acid kidney stones are more likely to be found in men than women. When a person consumes too much meat, Shellfish, and fish which contains a high level of a colourless animal protein called Purine, then their urine’s acidic level starts increasing due to Purine and thus they develop a uric acid kidney stone.
- Calcium stones: Calcium kidney stones are the most common ones. It is made up of calcium oxalate, which may contain calcium phosphate or maleate. You might be surprised to know, that to prevent calcium stones, one should increase the intake of calcium, to prevent the formation of its stones. And should avoid foods containing high oxalate like potato chips, spinach, beets, peanuts etc.
- Struvite: Women suffering from Urinary tract infections ( UTI) are more likely to get Struvite kidney stone as well. Infection is the main cause of the formation of this type of stone. One can avoid it by getting treatment for the underlying infection. As these stones are large in size, thus can cause blockage or obstruction in the passing of urine.
- Cystine: It is caused by a genetic disorder called Cystinuria, thus named Cystine. It occurs due to the leakage of Cystine acid from the kidney to urine. People having Cystinuria, can also develop a Cystine kidney stone. Although Cystine Kidney stone type is very rare.
Causes of formation of kidney stones:
Our urine can dilute calcium, oxalate and uric acid to an extent. But when the amount of these stone-forming mineral get increasing in excess, then it can not be diluted and thus gets collected in the form of stone. Other than this, dehydration, obstruction to the flow of urine, urinary tract infections, Metabolic abnormalities like the disorder of metabolism may also lead to kidney stone formation. Other medical causes are as follows:
- Chronic diseases
- Hypercalciuria ( high level of calcium in the urine)
- Inflammatory bowel diseases
- Intestinal bypass surgery
- Some medications like Crixivan etc.
- Excessive consumption of salt, sugar, animal protein, stone-forming materials etc.
- Hyperoxaluria etc.
Symptoms of Kidney stone formation:
Some of the people don’t even have any kind of symptoms as they develop “silent stones”. But most of the people experience symptoms like —
- Sudden cramp or pain of lower back or abdomen or groin.
- Pain with nausea
- Pain followed by vomiting
- Blood in urine
- Difficulty in urination with a burning sensation
- Penile pain
- Testicular pain
- Severe pain below the ribs
- Pink, red or brown urine
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- Urinate in small amount but more frequently
How to pass the kidney stone?
Kidney stones first form in the kidney and then move to the ureter with urine. A ureter is a small tube that allows urine to flow and connects the kidney to the bladder. Kidney stones of small size may easily pass out with urine, but the bigger ones create problems, as the large size kidney stones get stuck in the ureter. Size and location affect the passing of stone.
- Size — In 80 % of cases, stones of smaller size get pass naturally within 31 days, only if its size is smaller than 4 mm.
Stones of the size of 4 – 6 mm also get pass naturally in around 60 % of cases. It takes about 45 days. But in some cases, it requires treatment also.
Stones greater than 6 mm need medical treatment to pass. Only 20 % of cases are found in which it gets past naturally, but for this, it takes about one year or more.
If the stone is too large to pass, surgery is needed to be called ureteroscopy. In this, the laser is used to break the stone into smaller ones, and then it is removed into fragments.
Some Ways to pass the Kidney Stone:
- Hydration: Keeping yourself hydrated is the best thing one can do to pass the kidney stone. According to an analysis, people who urinate about 2 to 2.5 litres of urine have 50 % have chances to suffer kidney stone. For this, one has to drink at least 2 litres of water.
- Citrus food: Studies shows that consuming half a cup of lemon water or juice of 2 lemons daily may reduce the risk of kidney stones. Go for citrus foods.
- Avoid sodium: A high sodium diet can trigger the formation of kid ey stones. Try to avoid it.
- Cut the intake of animal protein
- Increase the intake of fluids including juices and lemonade.
- ACV: Apple cider vinegar can be consumed in many ways to get rid of Kidney stones. You can try these home remedies but don’t forget that always dilute the ACV and rinse your mouth thoroughly after consumption is a MUST.
- Add 1 to 2 tsp of ACV in a glass of water and drink it. Can add 1 tsp honey to taste.
- In about 1 – 2 tbsp. Of ACV, add 2 ounces of lemon juice and olive oil each. Have thus concoction followed by a glass of water, is a must.
- Take a glass of lukewarm water, add 2 tbsp. Of ACV and ½ tsp. Of baking soda in it. Drink it.
- Basil: Drink basil tea or can consume Basil juice.
- Celery: Just blend one or few celery stalks with water and drink it.
- Pomegranate juice
- Kidney bean broth: Simply strain out the water from the boiled kidney beans and drink few glasses of it in a day.
- Try to consume salt and sugar as little as possible.
- Drink at least 2 – 3 litres of water daily.
- Avoid acid boosting food
- Increase calcium intake with low-fat dairy food
- Avoid processed food
- Eat whole grains
- Avoid nuts.
- Avoid refined carbs
- Maintain healthy body weight.
- Consume plants based protein like quinoa, lentils etc.
- Avoid animal-based protein
- Eat plenty of water, juices, fruits and vegetables
- Avoid vitamin C supplements
Although there are some medications and non-surgical treatments Which can help you, we recommend you to ask a specialist about it and not to go with Google. These remedies and tips can help you but if you are suffering from kidney stones for more than 6 weeks then you MUST visit a specialist doctor immediately.
Fact: In India only, there is about 1 million cases of kidney stone are recorded per year.