Kidney stones are solid, hard deposits that form inside your kidneys. They are made up of substances in your urine like minerals, acids and salts. When your urine is too concentrated, together and become stones.
Kidney stones can be different shapes and sizes. They may be as small as a grain of sand or as large as your entire kidney. They can be smooth or jagged and are usually yellow or brown.
Kidney stones can something cause pain when they move around our kidneys. But pain is more common when stones pass through the tubes (ureters) that drain into your bladder.
Many stones will pass in your urine. But some stones can get stuck and block the flow of urine, or cause infection.
You may not have any symptoms if your stone is small. Larger stones or stones that are moving through your urinary tract can cause:
- Sever pain in your side and back, below your ribs
- Pain that spreads to your lower abdomen and groin area
- Pain that comes and goes, and changes in intensity
- Pink, red or brown urine
- Cloudy or bad-smelling urine
- Pain or burning when you urinate
- Persistent urge to urinate or urinating more tan usual
- Nausea, vomiting fever or chills
Always see your doctor as soon as possible if you have symptoms of kidney stones.
Certain things increase your risk of kidney stones, like having a family history of stones, having other health conditions or taking some medicines. Talk to your doctor to see what may be increasing your risk, and there’s anything you can do to change it.
Types of Stones
The type of stone you have depends on what causes it. Types include:
Calcium stones:- these are the most common and are usually made form calcium and oxalate that aren’t flushed out of your kidneys. Oxalate is a salt made in your liver and found in some foods. Calcium comes from food and is stored in your bones.
Struvite stones:- these are made from the mineral struvite. They are more common in women and related to urinary tract infections.
Uric- acid stones:- these form when you have too much uric acid your urine. Uric acid is made when your body breaks down certain foods like meat.
Cystine stones:- these are rare and form because of a condition that cases your kidneys to make too much of the amino acid cystine.
Talk to your doctor to find out what of stone you may have.
The goals of treatment are to get rid of current stones, avoid complications, and prevent future stones from forming. Your treatment plan will depend on the type of stone you have, its size and where it’s located.
If your stone is small, your doctor may recommend you try to pass it in your urine. To do this, you need to drink a lot of water- so that your urine is almost clear. Your doctor may also recommend medicine to help you pass the stone, or to ease pain.
Large or complicated stones
If your stone is too large to pass, blocking the flow of urine or causing other complications, your doctor may recommend one or more of these treatments:
Medicines:- depending on the type of stones you have, these work to help dissolve stones, make passing stones easier and less painful, or treat the infection that’s causing the stones.
If yo0u’re passing a stone at home, you may need to urinate through a strainer and collect the stone, and get a urine sample to take to your doctor. This will help your doctor figure out which type of stone you have.
Shock wave lithotripsy:- this procedure uses shock waves to break down stones so they can b passed In your urine.
Ureteroscopy :- in this procedure, your doctor passes a flexiable tube with a camera through your urethra to pull a stone out or break it down into smaller pieces you can pass in your urine.
Percutaneou Nephrolithotomy:- in this procedure, a surgeon makes a small incision in your back, and uses a camera to find the stones and remove them through a tube.
Depending on the type of stone you have, medicines can help prevent them by limiting the amount of minerals, acids and salts that create the stones. Ask your doctor if taking a preventive medicine might be right for you.
Take your medicine exactly as your doctor prescribes. And tell your doctor about other prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines or supplements you’re taking. Ask if they are safe to take together.
What you can do
Small changes in your daily life can help prevent kidney stones in the future. Try these tips:
Drink water or other fluids.
Why it’s the most important thing you can do to prevent stones. Staying hydrated helps keep your urine from becoming too concentrated and forming crystals.
How drink plenty of fluids every day. Your urine will be colorless to slightly yellow if you’re drinking enough.
Reduce sodium in your diet.
Why the more sodium you take in, the more calcium there is in your urine.
How if you get calcium stones, limit your sodium intake to less than 2300 mg a dat. One simple change: Eat fewer processed foods like deli meats and canned foods.
Limit animal protein.
Why these have purines, a substance that breaks down into uric acid in your urine.
How if you get uric acid stones, eat less than 6 ounces (about the size of two decks of cards) of meat a day. Get your protein from other sources like low- fat dairy.
Why limeade, lemonade and other fruit juices high in citrate can help prevent kidney stones from forming.
How since lemonade can be high in sugar, look for sugar-free or make your own. Alternate between water and lemon or limeade so you don’t get bored with one.
If you get calcium stones, you may think limiting calcium in your diet can help, but it doesn’t! Calcium from food (not Supplements) can actually help prevent stones. If you get calcium stones, avoid foods high in oxalate like spinach and nuts.
Tips to stay hydrated
Being dehydrated is the biggest risk factor for developing kidney stones. And even if you don’t feel thirty, your body could still need liquids. In fact, if you wait until you’re thirsty to drink, you may already be dehydrated. If you have trouble drinking enough, try these tips:
- Add fruits like berries or limes to water for flavor
- Eat foods with water already in them, like:
- Iceberg lettuce
- Drink herbal teas or flavored sparkling waters.
- Add liquid foods like smoothies or soups to your diet
- If you have trouble remembering to drink, set a schedule or an alarm on your phone.
- If you take medicine, drink a glass of water each time.
- Try to limit drinks with caffeine or added sugar.