Kidney stones are one of the most painful and common disorders of the urinary tract. Kidney stones are small, solid crystals that develop when salts or minerals in urine become solid inside the kidneys or uterus. The solid masses may be too small as a grain of sand or as large as a lemon. Tiny crystals leave the body while urinating without any pain or harm. However, they can build up inside the kidney. These large kidney stones when move out of the kidney and progress through the tubes that carry urine from kidney to bladder may cause severe pain. While passing if it gets stuck to ureter; it will cause infections that will lead to permanent kidney damage. They may be smooth, staghorn or jagged to make the situation even worst or better.
A kidney stone usually remains symptomless until it moves into the ureter. When symptoms of kidney stones become apparent, they commonly include:
- severe pain in the groin and/or side.
- blood in urine.
- vomiting and nausea.
- white blood cells or pus in the urine.
- reduced amount of urine excreted.
- burning sensation during urination.
- persistent urge to urinate.
The leading cause of kidney stones is a lack of water in the body.
Stones are more commonly found in individuals who drink less than the recommended eight to ten glasses of water a day.
When there is not enough water to dilute the uric acid, a component of urine, the urine becomes more acidic.
An excessively acidic environment in urine can lead to the formation of kidney stones.
Medical conditions such as Crohn’s disease, urinary tract infections, renal tubular acidosis, hyperparathyroidism, medullary sponge kidney, and Dent’s disease increase the risk of kidney stones.
Treating kidney stones is primarily focused on symptom management. Passing a stone can be very painful.
If a person has a history of kidney stones, home treatment may be suitable. Individuals who have never passed a kidney stone should speak with a doctor.
If hospital treatment is needed, an individual may be rehydrated via an intravenous (IV) tube, and anti-inflammatory medication may also be administered.
Narcotics are often used in an effort to make the pain of passing the stone tolerable. Antiemetic medication can be used in people experiencing nausea and vomiting.
In some cases, a urologist can perform a shock wave therapy called lithotripsy. This is a treatment that breaks the kidney stone into smaller pieces and allow it to pass.
People with large stones located in regions that do not allow for lithotripsy may receive surgical procedures, such as removal of stone via an incision on back or pcnl or by inserting a thin tube into the urethra.