What is Kidney Stone – Types, Pain Area, Symptoms, Labs In India
Kidney stones — also known as renal calculi, nephrolithiasis, or lithiasis – are hard and crystalline deposits of salts and minerals that tend to form inside your kidneys.
The cases of kidney stones are quite common, and it has been found that one in every twenty people develop renal calculi in his or her lifetime.
Our kidneys eliminate fluid and toxic materials from our blood in the form of urine. At times, when the volume of these toxic substances gets more than the body fluid, the former clumps together to form deposits and these deposits are known as kidney stones.
Although the formation of kidney stones starts in the kidneys, these can develop across the urinary canal including – kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra.
Living with kidney stones can be uncomfortable and painful because kidney stones pain is quite tormenting. However, if diagnosed early, this condition is not life-threatening. Depending on the kidney stone size and your health conditions, your doctor will decide whether you need surgery or medication, and certain lifestyle changes would be enough. However, when the kidney stones block your urinary tract and lead to infections and other complications, surgery becomes a crucial resort. We, at SRL Diagnostics, bring to you a state-of-the-art lab facility to let you live a healthy life.
What are the symptoms & Pain Area of kidney stones?
While in some cases, renal calculi might not present any symptoms (this condition is better known as silent stones), some of the common kidney stone pain symptoms and kidney stone pain area include the following –
- Sudden cramping pain in the sides of the lower abdomen, lower back, entire abdomen, or groin.
- There is no relief from pain even when you try changing body positions, the pain just waxes and wanes.
- Sometimes, the pain can become very severe and lead to nausea and vomiting.
- Frequent urination, difficulty or pain while urinating, and penile or testicular pain are some of the most common symptoms of kidney stones.
- The urine might appear to be cloudy and the colour might range from red to pink to brown.
- There may be episodes of fever and chills when you have stones in your kidneys.
- In the worst-case scenario, the patients might suffer from hematuria (a condition where there is a presence of blood in the urine. It can be either visible or invisible through the naked eye).
What are the causes & types of kidney stones?
Although there is no definite cause behind the formation of kidney stones, some people are at an increased risk of developing kidney stones, and several factors contribute to the same. Let’s take a look at those factors –
- Renal calculi develop when the volume of urine decreases and the percentage of stone-forming minerals, and salts increase in the urine. The most-reported kidney stones are crystals of calcium in combination with phosphate or oxalate.
Besides calcium, there are various types of kidney stones and that includes the following –
– Calcium stones
– Uric acid stones
– Struvite stones (magnesium ammonium phosphate)
– Cystine stones
- Dehydration is another main reason behind nephrolithiasis. So, people who don’t drink enough water or other fluids, people who sweat too much, or perform strenuous exercises without sufficient fluid replacement are at risk of acquiring renal stones. The reason – obstruction to urine flow can lead to the formation of stones. Therefore, you should drink plenty of water to make sure that all the toxic wastes get flushed out of your body with your urine. Citrus drinks like orange juice and lemonade are supposed to block the formation of stones.
- Apart from fluid intake, your diet also plays an important role in this context. So, when oxalate combines with calcium and forms crystalline deposits, stones are likely to form. The same oxalate is found in many healthy vegetables and food items such as spinach, bran cereal, rhubarb, etc. So, your doctor may ask you not to have certain food items if you have been diagnosed with kidney stones before or if you are at risk of developing the same. Other dietary factors include – high salt intake, high animal protein intake, high sugar consumption, etc.
- Infections in the urinary canal can also lead to kidney stones. Stones formed due to infections are known as infection calculi.
What are the treatments for kidney stones?
The treatments for kidney stones vary from one person to another and are designed according to the type of renal calculi a person is suffering from. Some of the most common kidney stone treatment include the following –
– Narcotic medications for relieving pain
– Antibiotics for treating infections and inflammations
– Sodium citrate and sodium bicarbonate to decrease the acidity of urine
Lithotripsy or extracorporeal shock wave is a procedure that utilizes sound waves to break down large stones into smaller ones so that they can pass out with the urine.
When the stones in the kidney cause blockage and infect your kidneys or when the calculi become too large to pass out through urine, or when it becomes hard to tolerate the pain, doctors perform tunnel surgery. In this surgery, your doctor will remove the calculi by making a small cut in your back.
Preventive treatments & Test Cost In India
In some cases, the chances of recurrent renal calculi are high. In such scenarios, medical practitioners recommend preventive measures.
A doctor may rule out kidney stones by prescribing you some lab tests.