Kidney and urinary stones are solid build-ups of hard crystals made of minerals, proteins and salts found in urine, that get deposited in the kidneys or urinary tract. Very often, the stones are formed when the urine becomes concentrated and causes the minerals to stick together and crystalise. Passing the kidney stones out can be quite painful, however the stones usually do not cause any permanent damage if recognised and treated early.
Kidney stones are created when your urine has high levels of certain minerals like calcium, oxalate and uric acid. If this concentration of minerals is not diluted by the urine in your body then stones can form.
Kidney stone causes are diet, diarrhoea, obesity, certain medical conditions and a family history of kidney stones.
Kidney stones can affect any part of your urinary tract from your kidneys to your bladder.
The risk factors for getting kidney and urinary stones are:
Signs & Symptoms:
Symptoms depend on the severity of your condition:
At Medcare, your urologist will first obtain your complete medical history and examine you. Then blood testing and urine culture to determine the amount of minerals in your urine may be recommended.
This is followed by tests like X-rays, dual energy computerised tomography (CT) scans of your kidneys and urinary tract. The stone expelled by you during urination will be analysed.
Other testing options include an ultrasound, and intravenous urography, intravenous pyelogram or CT urogram. The results of these tests will help your specialist decide the correct line of treatment.
To discuss the best kidney stones treatment options for you, schedule a consultation with a specialist at the Medcare Urology Department.
Depending on your condition, pain medication and a lot of water intake may be required to pass a kidney stone. However, surgery may be required if the stones get stuck in the urinary tract.
A: If you suffer from kidney stones, drink at least 64 ounces of water each day. Reduce salt in your food by reducing intake of processed food loaded with preservatives. Reduce your consumption of eggs, spinach, beetroot, chocolate and nuts, as well as aerated drinks. Make sure you are getting plenty of fibre in your diet. Avoid carbonated drinks. Too much salt or sodium, oxalates, calcium and Vitamin C supplements are not good for you.
A: It is thought that certain medications may be responsible for kidney stones. Those who take diuretics or antacids have a higher calcium concentration in their urine and may get stones.
A: The recurrence of kidney stones varies from person to person but the chances are there. People who have had kidney stones once have a 75% probability of suffering again in the next 20 years. However, with the right diet, and drinking plenty of water, you can prevent a recurrence.