Kidney stones — also known as urolithiasis, renal calculi, or nephrolithiasis — are hard collections of minerals and salts that are often formed of calcium and uric acid. These deposits form inside your kidneys and can travel to other areas of the urinary tract. Stones can vary in size. Some can be as small as a fraction of an inch, while others can become large.
Several factors are responsible for kidney stones, including diet and lifestyle, excess body weight, specific supplements, medical conditions, and medications. At times, kidney stones form when the urine becomes concentrated, allowing salts and minerals to harden and stick together.
Passing them through the urine can be very painful, but the stones usually don’t cause any significant damage if they’re detected promptly. Your doctor might prescribe you pain medications and ask you to drink lots of water to pass a kidney stone. However, if stones are stuck together in the urinary tract, you may need to undergo surgery. Your doctor may recommend preventive measures to reduce the risk of future occurrences.
Types of Kidney Stones :
Determining the type of kidney stones may help you get to its root and may provide clues on how to reduce your risk of developing it in the future. Some of the types of kidney stones include:
1. Calcium Stones: The majority of the cases are calcium stones, usually in the form of calcium oxalate. Certain food items have high quantities of oxalate, including spinach, chocolates, nuts, and some fruits. Oxalate is a substance formed by your liver or absorbed from these food items.
2. High Vitamin D doses, several metabolic disorders, diet, and internal bypass surgery can increase the risk of developing calcium stones. They also occur in the form of calcium phosphate — a stone that is commonly found in metabolic conditions like renal tubular acidosis. Besides, it may be associated with medications such as Topamax, Qudexy XR, and Trokendi XR, often used to treat migraines or seizures.
3. Cystine stones: These stones are found in people who have a hereditary disorder known as cystinuria that results in the kidneys to excrete too much of a particular type of amino acid.
4. Uric Acid Stones: These stones usually form in people who lose too much fluid due to malabsorption, those with diabetes, or on a high-protein diet or metabolic syndrome. Several genetic factors may increase your risk of developing uric acid stones.
5. Struvite Stones: These stones form because of a UTI and can overgrow. Struvite stones can often go unnoticed.
Symptoms of Kidney Stone :
Usually, kidney stones do not cause any symptoms unless it moves around the kidney, urinary tract, or passes into your uterus. In case it sticks together in the uterus, it can block the flow of urine and result in the kidney to swell, which can be very painful and requires urgent medical attention. At such point, you may experience these symptoms:
- Pain or burning sensation while urinating
- Severe pain around ribs
- Fluctuating pain
- Pain that radiates to the stomach and groin
Some of the other signs and symptoms are given below:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pink, red, or brown urine
- Fever and chills
- Cloudy and foul-smelling urine
- Frequent need to urinate
Causes Of Kidney Stone :
Kidney stones do not have a single, definite cause. In any case, several factors may increase your chances of developing kidney stones. They are formed when your urine contains crystal-forming substances such as uric acid and calcium oxide. Additionally, your urine may not consist of the substances that prevent the formation of solid crystals, creating an environment for kidney stones.
When To Seek Medical Attention :
Make an urgent appointment if you have any of the signs mentioned above. See a doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
- Blood in your urine
- Pain followed by nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty urinating
- Pain accompanied by fever
- Severe pain that becomes intolerable
Risk Factors For Kidney Stone :
Some of the factors that increase your risk of developing kidney stones include:
1. Dehydration: Not drinking enough water each day can increase your risk of kidney stones. Individuals living in tropical areas and those who sweat a lot may be at higher risk than others.
2. Obesity: People with high body mass index (BMI), weight, and large waist size have been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones.
3. Family History: If someone in your family has had kidney stones, you’re more likely at the risk of developing stones. If you already had stones in the past, you’re at increased risk.
4. Specific Diets: Eating foods containing high levels of sodium, sugar, and protein may increase your risk of kidney stone disease. This can happen, especially if you are on a high-sodium diet. Too much salt intake can increase the amount of calcium in your kidneys, thereby increasing the risk of kidney stones.
5. Surgery or Other Medical Procedures: Gastric bypass surgery, chronic diarrhea, or inflammatory bowel disease can result in significant changes in the digestive process that can affect your absorption of calcium and water, increasing the quantities of crystals in urine. On the other hand, repeated UTIs, renal tubular acidosis, hyperparathyroidism, and cystinuria can also increase your chances of developing kidney stones.
6. Supplements: Vitamin C, calcium-based antacids, dietary supplements, and several medications used to treat migraines or seizures can put you at risk of developing the condition.
Treatments For Kidney Stone :
Treatments for kidney stones are tailored as per their type. Your doctor may ask for your urine sample for evaluation. Drinking lots of water a day increases the flow of urine. People who are dehydrated or have vomiting and nausea may need fluids. Some of the other treatment options are given below:
People who are experiencing severe pain may be given narcotic medications. The presence of infection requires antibiotics treatment. Other drugs are given below:
- sodium bicarbonate to make the urine less acidic
- allopurinol (Zyloprim) to prevent uric acid stones from forming
- ibuprofen (Advil) for pain
- thiazide diuretics to prevent the formation of calcium stones
- phosphorus solutions for calcium stones
- acetaminophen (Tylenol) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) for pain
Tunnel Surgery :
You may be required to undergo surgery involving a small incision in your back. You may need this when:
- Pain cannot be reduced
- The stone has grown too large
- The stone obstructs the bladder and infects the kidneys
Your doctor may use an instrument known as a ureteroscope to remove a stone stuck in the bladder or ureter. A small tube with a camera is inserted into the urethra ad passed into the bladder. Once the doctor removes the stone, it is sent for further evaluation.
Kidney Stone Ayurvedic Medicine :
Ayurvedic medicine for kidney stones made with the richness of potent herbs such as Crataeva Rurvala, Commiphora Mukul, and Tribulus Terrestris, Vinidia® is a natural ayurvedic medicine that helps cleanse the kidneys and also stimulates it to improve their efficiency. This herbal supplement helps to treat diseases related to the kidneys, urinary tract, genitals, and bladder. Also, it is a popular medication used to treat kidney stones.
Tribulus Terrestris is known to have aphrodisiac, cooling, tonic, and diuretic properties. This potent herb is used in the treatment of kidney stones, urinary discharges, gout, kidney illnesses, painful micturition, and impotence. Moreover, it is traditionally considered to be beneficial in urogenital conditions, bladder diseases, kidney, and urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Crataeva Nurvala, on the other hand, helps prevent the formation of stones by reducing the content of oxalates in the body. This herb possesses anti-microbial, diuretic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and urinary-renal supportive properties.
Commiphora Mukul has natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It helps in regulating metabolism, which is one of the major causes of kidney diseases. Besides, it helps improve blood circulation and purifies the blood in the body.
If taken within the prescribed dosage, Vinidia® does not result in any known side-effects. The tablet can be ingested safely by patients with conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, and high blood pressure. Vinidia® is not known to cause any harm or adverse effect in any of the above cases.