If you are keen to find out what is a kidney stone, you have come to the right place. Kidney stones can be troublesome and can be part of any person’s body, and there is not just only one type, but four! In this article, I am giving you the answer to this question and the possible treatments for painful kidney stones… Stay tuned!
What is a Kidney Stone?
Kidney stones are a solid concretion that particles in the urine form in the kidney. They can be as small as a grain of sand or as big as a gold ball and are usually yellow or brown.
Small kidney stones can usually be eliminated with urine without even causing pain; however, large kidney stones can get stuck in the body, blocking the flow of urine and causing pain. Now that you have found out what is a kidney stone let’s move on to the types.
Types of Kidney Stones
The stones in the kidney can be as small as a grain of sand or as large – sometimes larger – than that of a pearl. They can remain in the kidneys or travel through the ureters (the tubes that go from the kidneys to the bladder) and out of your body with the urine.
When the stone moves through the ureters and out of the urethra with urine, it is called passing a kidney stone. A stone can also get trapped in your urinary tract and can block urine from passing. When a stone passes into the kidney or you have a large stone blocking the flow of urine, it can be excruciating.
As I earlier mentioned, there are four types of kidneys, and each of them forms differently in our body. Here is how:
- Calcium stones (calcium stones) are the most common type of kidney stones. They are usually calcium and oxalate (a natural chemical found in most foods) but are sometimes made of calcium and phosphate.
- Stones of uric acid form when the urine is often too acidic. Uric acid can form stones on its own or with calcium.
- Struvite stones can happen when you have certain types of urinary tract infections in which the bacteria make ammonia that builds up in the urine. Struvite stones consist of magnesium, ammonium, and phosphate.
- Cystine stones appear because of a chemical that the body naturally produces, called cystine. Cystine stones are scarce and occur in people who have a genetic disorder that causes cystine to escape from the kidneys in the urine.
Who Can Have Kidney Stones
Anyone can have kidney stones, but some people are more likely to have them than others. Before my body started producing strong pain, I never knew what is a kidney stone and how painful it can be, but most of all, I did not realize that it is a common health issue that a lot of people experience
Here are the most common reasons why kidney stones appear and who can have them:
- If you have had kidney stones previously in your life, it is likely to reappear again
- Lack of water in your body can cause kidney stones
- Eating a diet high in protein, sodium or sugar
- Being overweight or obese
- If you have had any gastric bypass surgery or any intestinal surgery
- If you have a specific condition that causes the urine to contain high levels of cystine oxalate, uric acid, or calcium
- Pills like diuretics or calcium-based antacids can also cause kidney stones
Now that you know what is a kidney stone and how they form, it’s time to stop being afraid and get to know the treatments for taking kidneys out!
Kidney Stones Treatment
The treatment for kidney stones depends on the size of the stone, what is a kidney stone made of, and whether it is blocking the urinary tract. To answer these questions and find out the right treatment for you, your doctor can ask you to do a urinalysis, blood test, x-ray or a CT scan.
The CT scan sometimes uses a contrast medium. If you have ever had a problem with contrast dye, be sure to tell your doctor about it before getting the CT scan. If the test results show that your stone is small, your doctor may direct you to take pain medication and drink plenty of fluid to help push the stone through your urinary tract. If your stone is large, or if it is blocking the urinary tract, additional treatment may be necessary.
- One treatment option is shock wave lithotripsy. This treatment uses shock wave to break the stones into small pieces. After the procedure, the little pieces of the stone will pass through your urinary tract and out of your body with urine. This treatment usually lasts between 45 minutes and an hour and can be done under general anesthesia, which means that you will be asleep and you will not feel pain.
- Another treatment option is ureteroscopy. This treatment is also done under general anesthesia. The doctor uses a long instrument in the shape of a tube to find and remove the stone or to find and break the stone into small pieces. If the stone is small, the doctor may be able to eliminate it. If it is large, it needs breaking into pieces. In this case, a laser is used to break the stone into pieces that are small enough to pass through your urinary tract.
- Rarely, a surgery called percutaneous nephrolithotomy is needed to remove a stone in the kidneys. During operation, a tube will be inserted directly into the kidney to remove the stone. You will have to stay in the hospital for two or three days to recover from this treatment.
To Sum Up:
In this article, you have all the possible information about what is a kidney stone, how can be treated and which are the most common procedures. Never forget that kidney stones form if your body lacks water, so increase your daily amount to 8-12 glasses of water. Also, be sure to limit the intake of eggs and meat in case you already have stones in your kidney.