Q. What are Kidney stones?
A. Kidney stones are made of salts and minerals in the urine that stick together to form small "pebbles." They can be as small as grains of sand or as large as golf balls. They may stay in your kidneys or travel out of your body through the urinary tract. The urinary tract is the system that makes urine and carries it out of your body. It includes your bladder and kidneys and the tubes that connect them (ureters).
When a stone travels through a ureter, it may cause no pain. Or it may cause great pain and other symptoms.
What causes kidney stones?
Kidney stones form when the normal balance of water, salts, minerals, and other things found in urine changes. This can happen if you do not get enough fluids (dehydration) or if you eat foods high in oxalate, such as dark green vegetables.
Kidney stones may also be an inherited disease. If other people in your family have had them, you may have them too.
What are the symptoms?
Kidney stones often cause no pain while they are in the kidneys, but they can cause sudden, severe pain as they travel from the kidneys to the bladder.
Call a doctor right away if you think you have kidney stones. Watch for severe pain in your side, belly, or groin or for urine that looks pink or red. You may also feel sick to your stomach (nausea) and may vomit.
How are kidney stones diagnosed?
You may first find out that you have kidney stones when you see your doctor or go to an emergency room with pain in your belly or side. Your doctor will ask you questions about your pain and lifestyle. He or she will examine you and may do imaging tests such as X-rays to look at your kidneys and urinary tract.
You may need more tests if you have more than one stone or have a family history of stones. To find out the type of stones you have, your doctor may order a blood test and ask you to collect your urine for 24 hours. This can help your doctor find out if you are likely to have more stones in the future.
Kidney stones may not cause any pain. If this is the case, you may learn you have them when your doctor finds them during a test for another disease.
How are they treated?
For most stones, your doctor will suggest drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day to help flush them out. You may also need to take pain medicine. You can do this at home.
If a stone is too large to pass on its own, or if it gets stuck in the urinary tract, you may need treatment. This happens in only 1 or 2 out of 10 people with kidney stones.1
The most common medical treatment is extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL). This uses sound waves to break a kidney stone into small pieces. The bits can pass out of your body in your urine. Other times, a doctor will need to remove the stone or place a small metal tube in the ureter to keep it open while stones pass.
Will I have kidney stones again?
Once you have had kidney stones, you are likely to have more. You can help prevent them by drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. You may have to eat less of certain foods, such as dark green vegetables, chocolates, and nuts. Your doctor may also give you medicine that helps prevent stones from forming.Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical. Please consult your physician !
Wishing You Great Health!
Glen Edward Mitchell
Any questions? Ask Glen!