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Kidney stones

Kidney stones

I started experiencing pains and difficulty during urination recently. After some tests, it has been confirmed that I have kidney stones. Please enlighten me and the public about this problem.

Ruziya X.

In this period of COVID-19, certainly telemedicine plays a key role in providing useful health tips and guidance to our teeming populace.

Kidney stone can be defined as a solid piece of material that forms in the kidney out of substances in the urine. A stone may stay in the kidney or break loose and travel down the urinary tract. A small stone may pass all the way out of the body without causing too much pain. A larger stone may get stuck in the ureter, bladder or urethra and cause great pain.

Symptoms?

  1. 1. Extreme pain in the back or side that will not go away
  2. 2. Blood in urine
  3. 3. Fever and chills
  4. 4. Vomiting
  5. 5. Urine that smells bad or looks cloudy
  6. 6. Burning feeling when urinating

Four major types of kidney stones

  1. 1. Calcium kidney stone is by far the most common type experienced by patients. Around eight per cent of kidney stones can be categorised as calcium-type stones, and of those, most are calcium oxalate stones. These stones are relatively quite small and can usually be passed out of the body without the need for surgery. There are a few main causes of calcium oxalate stones. Some instances are the result of a systemic disease such as bowel disease. However, most are caused by heredity, diet and living habits. Calcium phosphate stones are similar to calcium oxalate stones, but instead of the calcium combining with oxalic acid, it combines with phosphoric acid.
  2. 2. Uric acid stones are formed when the urine is too acidic. Small crystals can pass through as gravel-like substances, but since uric acid crystals can form and grow rapidly, there is the possibility that they can become very large and cause serious problems. Risk factors for this type of kidney stone includes obesity, diabetes, gout and kidney disease.
  3. 3. Struvite stones are made up of magnesium, ammonium and phosphate which are created in the body by certain types of bacteria, the presence of which affect the chemical balance in the urine. These types of stones, also known as infection stones, are more common in women as they are more prone to urinary tract infections.
  4. 4. Cystine kidney stones are the least common and they are relegated to those who are born with a kidney disorder called cystinuria. Its sufferers have kidneys that function well for the most part, but they let abnormal amounts of several amino acids into the urine. Most of these amino acids are harmless, but one is not; known as cystine, it can create crystals and stones.

Treatment options

  1. 1. Shock waves: This is the use of a machine that sends shock waves directly to the kidney stone which break a large stone and passes out in the urine.
  2. 2. Tunnel surgery: This is small cut in the patient’s back thereby making a narrow tunnel through the skin to the stone inside the kidney. With a special instrument that goes through the tunnel, stone is found and remove. The name for this method is percutaneous nephrolithotomy.
  3. 3. Ureteroscope: Ureteroscope looks like a long wire. It is inserted into the patient’s urethra, then to the bladder and into the ureter where the stone is located. The ureteroscope has a camera that views the stone. A cage is used to catch the stone and pull it out or destroy it with a device inserted through the ureteroscope.

Preventive options 

  1. 1. Drinking a lot of water when eating and between meals. It helps to flush away substances that form stones.
  2. 2. Take fruit juices and limit intake of coffee, tea and cola.
  3. 3. Cut down on some foods such as meat.
  4. 4. Exercise regularly; but not a strenuous one.

 

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