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Kidney Stones-How do kidney stones form,causes,treatment.

What are Kidney Stones?


Kidney stones are small hard stones that form in the kidney because of excess compounds, usually caclium, in the blood. Kidney stones occur in about 5% of the population and are usually made of calcium. Hyperparathyroidism is the number one cause of kidney stones. Every person with a kidney stone should be tested for a problem with their parathyroid glands. Nearly half of all people with kidney stones have a parathyroid tumor in their neck that must be removed or the kidney stones will return. Learn what kidney stones are and what you should do to prevent them from coming back. Most doctors do not do the correct testing of parathyroid glands in patients with kidney stones.
What are Kidney Stones?
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How do kidney stones form?


Kidney stones form when minerals that are normally dissolved in the urine precipitate out of their dissolved state to form solid crystals. This crystal formation often occurs after meals or during periods of dehydration. Most kidney stones manifest themselves during sleep, at a time of maximal dehydration.

Dehydration is also why kidney stones occur much more commonly during hot summer days than during the winter. Anything that promotes dehydration can help bring upon a stone, including exercise, saunas, hot yoga, diarrhea, vomiting, being on bowel prep for colonoscopy, etc.

In addition to dehydration, another factor that can contribute to kidney stone formation is excessive intake of certain vitamins. The biggest culprit is Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid. When metabolized by the body, vitamin C is converted into oxalate, one of the components of calcium oxalate stones, the most common type of stone. The problem is that vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, so any excessive intake is not stored in the body but appears in the urine in the form of oxalate.

Additionally, excessive dietary protein intake, fat intake, and sodium are all associated with an increased risk for kidney stones. Having inflammatory bowel disease or previous intestinal surgery can also increase the risk for stones. Urinary infections with certain bacteria can promote stone formation. Having a parathyroid issue and high circulating calcium levels is another cause of kidney stones. Obesity is also a risk factor for kidney stones. Some stones have a genetic basis, with a tendency to affect many family members.

A kidney stone starts out as a tiny sand particle that grows as the “grain” is bathed in urine that contains minerals. These minerals are deposited and coalesce around the grain. They can grow to a very variable extent so that when they start causing symptoms they may range from being only a few millimeters in diameter to filling the entire kidney.

Causes


One of the major factors of kidney stones can be constant low urine volume. This can develop from dehydration from exercise, living in a hot place, or not drinking enough fluids. Dehydration affects your kidneys and can create a disruption in the removal of waste from the body. Severe dehydration can lead to kidney damage, so it’s vital that you drink enough with you work or exercise very hard, especially in warm and humid weather. While we’re on the topic of hydration, not all fluids are as nourishing as one may think. Water is a healthier choice than those high-calorie sugary drinks. Water assists the kidneys in removing the waste from your blood and also helps keep your blood vessels open so that blood can travel uninhibited to your kidneys, and provide those essential nutrients. It’s recommended that adults consume eight glasses of water a day to maintain proper hydration.

 As cliché as it sounds, your diet and what it consists of, can affect the chance of forming kidney stones. One of the more common causes of kidney stone formation is high levels of calcium in the urine. This may be due to how your body handles calcium. It’s not always due to how much calcium you digest. If you think you’re just going to lower the level of calcium you eat, that rarely stops stones from developing. Research shows that limiting calcium intake can be damaging to your bone health and may increase the risk of kidney stones. Talk to your doctor about your calcium intake.

Rather than lowering your dietary calcium intake, you can try to reduce your urine calcium level by decreasing the amount of sodium you take in. Too much salt isn’t a great idea across the board, but it is a contributing factor in the development of kidney stones. Reducing salt in your diet lowers urine-calcium levels, making it less likely for stones to develop.

 Other dietary factors can include a diet with too much animal protein. This can raise the acid levels in the body and in the urine. Higher acid levels make it easier for calcium oxalate and uric acid stones to form. When meat is broken down into uric acid, it raises the chance that both calcium and uric acid stones will form.

 A few other causes could be obesity, other medical conditions, certain medications, and in some cases, your family history may be the cause of kidney stones.  Your doctor can help you assess the cause of your specific kidney stone issue.
Symptoms

Individuals may experience a sharp, cramp-like pain in the side or back, which moves to the lower portion of the abdomen with time.  The movement of stone in the urinary tract can shift the pain area; when the stone tries to come out of the body, it causes sudden pain of varied intensity.

Men could experience pain in the tip of their penis. Some women have reported that the pain is worse than that they experience during childbirth. Due to the presence of blood, the urine color may change to red or dark or contain red blood cells that may not be visible to the naked eye. Other than vomiting and nausea, a strong urge to pass urine and a burning sensation during urination are the general symptoms.

What is the treatment for kidney stones?


Most people with kidney stones are able to pass them on their own within 48 hours by drinking plenty of fluids. Pain medication can ease the discomfort. The smaller the stone, the more likely it is to pass without intervention. Other factors that influence the ability to pass a stone include pregnancy, prostate size, and patient size. Stones that are 9 mm or larger usually do not pass on their own and require intervention. Stones that are 5 mm in size have a 20% chance of passing on their own while 80% of stones that are 4 mm in size have a chance of passing without treatment.

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