Kidney stones disease or nephrolithiasis is a condition when hard materials are formed in the kidney. The lumps of hard mass develop when crystals detach from urine inside the urinary tract. Some stones can be as small as a grain of sand but some can grow as large as a pearl or even a golf ball.
The stones in the kidneys can be caused by food or other underlying health problems. The stones are typically found anywhere along the urinary tract especially in the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. If left untreated, kidney stones can cause complications.
Kidney Stones Causes
Kidney stones are common among people who fail to drink enough water every day. Another factor is the kidney deficiency of material that serves to prevent crystal deposits from clumping to form stones. Based on the ingredients, this disease can be divided into four main types. They are calcium stone, uric acid stones, ammonia stone (struvite), and cystine stone.
- Calcium Stone. It is caused by high levels of calcium in the urine.
- Uric Acid Stones. This rock is formed due to the high uric acid levels in the urine caused by high purine foods.
- Struvite Stone. It is caused by a long-lasting urinary tract infection.
- Cysteine Stone. This stone is formed due to too much amino acid cysteine that issued by the kidney.
Apart from the crystal-forming substances mentioned above, there are others several risk factors.
- Chronic low-grade dehydration
- Drinking fluoridated water
- High-sugar diet
- Excessive soda consumption
- Not eating enough calcium-rich foods
- Lack of exercise
- Using certain medications
Kidney Stones Symptoms
Early symptoms will not occur until the stones move within your kidney or pass into the ureter. The most common symptoms of kidney stones are persistent pain in the side of the abdomen, lower back, waist, groin, or even testes in men. The other symptoms are:
- Severe pain in the side and back and below the ribs spreading to the lower abdomen and groin
- Pain while urinating
- Pink, red, brown or cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- Restless and difficult to rest
You should consult a physician if these severe signs appear:
- Severe pain that prevents the patient from sitting still
- Pain accompanied by nausea and vomiting or fever and chills
- Presence of blood in the urine
- Difficulty in passing urine
Kidney Stones Treatment
The treatment of this disease depends on the size of the stone. If still small, kidney stones can still be out through the urinary tract without surgery.
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Physicians would recommend taking medications that have the side effect to help dissolve and eliminate the stones from the body.
- Pain relievers
- Opioids, particular morphine
- Citric acid and sodium citrate
- Calcium channel blockers
Treating kidney stones with surgery will be applied if the stone is large or 0.6 cm or more. The procedures for treating large stones by surgery are:
- Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL). It is a procedure of destruction of the stones by using a high frequency of sound waves.
- Ureteroscopy. It is using a device called ureteroscope which is inserted into the ureter through the urethra and bladder.
- Open surgery. It is done by making an incision on the surface of the skin on the back.
- Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL). It is a procedure of destruction of kidney stones.
Natural Home Remedies
- Water. This flushes out small stones from your system.
- Baking Soda. Add baking soda to a 10-ounce glass of lukewarm water, stir well and drink two to three times a day to treat the stones.
- Red Clover. This wild plant is known as a diuretic that helps with kidney waste removal.
- Phyllanthus niruri or Chanca Piedra. This herb disrupts kidney stone formation by preventing crystals from sticking together and changing their structure and composition.
- Hydrangea root and Marshmallow root. These are natural diuretics that assists in treating urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and bladder infections.
- Juniper berries. It boosts kidney function.
- Lemon juice, olive oil, and raw apple cider vinegar. Drink this mixture once every hour until symptoms improve.