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KIDNEY STONES- CAUSES,TREATMENT AND PREVENTIONS

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TYPES OF KIDNEY STONES, CAUSES, PREVENTIONS AND TREATMENT

Introduction:

Kidney stones can develop in various forms due to different factors. Understanding the types of kidney stones and taking preventive measures can help avoid the painful consequences associated with this condition. 

Types of kidney stones:

This article provides an overview of the five main types of kidney stones and offers suggestions for prevention.

1. Calcium Oxalate Stone: One common type of kidney stone is the calcium oxalate stone. When calcium and oxalate in our diet combine, they can crystallize and form stones in the kidneys. Foods high in oxalate, such as chocolate, certain fruits, vegetables, and nuts, contribute to the formation of these stones.

2. Calcium Phosphate Stone: People with renal tubular acidosis deficiency, who have difficulty excreting excess acid waste from their kidneys, are prone to calcium phosphate stones.

3. Struvite Stone: Struvite stones result from bacterial infections in the urinary tract. These stones form when specific bacteria infect the urinary tract and produce ammonia. Over time, ammonia combines with phosphate and magnesium in the kidneys, resulting in the formation of stones. 

4. Uric Acid Stone: Uric acid is a natural substance found in our bodies and is typically present in urine. However, individuals with excess acidity in their urine may experience difficulty in dissolving uric acid. As a result, uric acid crystals can accumulate in the urinary tract and gradually develop into stones. Factors such as obesity, high meat consumption, elevated blood sugar, and increased uric acid levels in the blood contribute to the formation of uric acid stones.

5. Cystine Stone: Cystine is essential for protein production in the body’s cells. Normally, the body reabsorbs cystine through urine to maintain its balance. However, individuals with a genetic disorder may experience difficulties in reabsorbing cystine, leading to its leakage into the urine. Over time, cystine can crystallize and form stones.

Among these types, calcium oxalate stones are the most common for many people. These stones gradually accumulate and grow in size, eventually leaving the kidney and passing through the ureter into the bladder. While the normal excretion of calcium and oxalate is a regular process, larger stones may get stuck in the ureter due to their size and sharp edges. This can cause significant pain and discomfort. Symptoms of kidney stones may include brownish or reddish urine, abnormal urine odor, and sharp stabbing pain in the lateral side of the back. If these symptoms are present, it is important to consult a doctor immediately.

Treatments:

When diagnosing kidney stones, doctors typically recommend blood and urine tests. If stones are suspected, further examinations such as CT scans and ultrasound scans are performed to confirm their presence and measure their size. Treatment options vary depending on the size of the stones. Medications may be prescribed to dissolve smaller stones, while larger stones may require interventions such as ultrasound, ureteroscopy, or surgery.

Ultrasound Method: In cases where the stone size exceeds 5 mm, conventional methods for stone removal may not be effective. Instead, doctors employ ultrasound to target the specific area where the stone is located. The ultrasound waves break down the stone into smaller fragments, allowing them to be easily passed out of the body through urine.

Ureteroscopy: Ureteroscopy involves the use of a specialized tube containing a camera and pouch, which is inserted through the urinary tract to locate and remove stones. If the stone is of a larger size, laser light is applied to fragment it into smaller pieces, which are then extracted through the pouch.

Prevention:

Prevention is crucial in managing kidney stone formation. 

1. Stay Hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps dissolve stone-forming substances and facilitates their elimination through urine. It is generally advised to consume 2 to 3 liters of water per day. However, individuals engaged in heavy physical activities may need to increase their water intake to compensate for higher fluid loss.

2. Avoid high oxalate foods: Some vegetables, fruits, nuts (such as ground nuts, almonds, pistachios), chocolate, dates, sugar beet, and potatoes are high in oxalate content. People with kidney stones should avoid or limit their consumption of these foods, while others can consume them in moderation. If you do eat high-oxalate foods, drinking more water can help reduce the risk.

3. Foods that promote urine production: Certain foods like radishes and banana stem can stimulate urine production, potentially helping to dissolve and expel small kidney stones.

4. Foods rich in citric acid: Orange, pineapple, and lemon are good sources of citric acid. These foods can help prevent the formation of calcium phosphate kidney stones. Including them in your diet can be beneficial.

5. Limit salt intake: Excessive salt consumption can interfere with the reabsorption of calcium in the body, leading to increased calcium excretion and the formation of kidney stones. Therefore, it is advisable to consume less salt to reduce the risk of stone formation.

Don’t avoid calcium: Contrary to popular belief, avoiding calcium is not recommended for kidney stone prevention. Calcium is essential for various bodily functions, including bone health. Calcium deficiency may cause many other problems in our body.

Conclusion:

Overall, following a balanced diet, staying well-hydrated, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of kidney stone formation. If you experience symptoms associated with kidney stones or suspect you may have them, it’s important to consult a doctor promptly. Timely identification and intervention play a crucial role in averting complications and effectively controlling the condition

 

 

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