Kidney Stones: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment
Kidney is the organ that filters the blood and formulates urine as a waste. Occasionally, salt and some other minerals solidify together to form kidney stones. The medical terminology for the same is Nephrolithiasis. The site for the stone formation is either in the kidney itself or in the urinary tract. The size of the stones may vary from sugar crystals to tennis balls.
Kidney stones usually do not cause any trouble and go unnoticed, if it is very minute in size and passes through the urine. According to the studies by the ILS Hospitals, approximately one in every 20 individuals, at some stage in life, develop kidney stones. It comes to notice only when it moves to the ureters causing hindrance to the urine flow and onset pain and discomfort while passing urine. Most of the stones will eventually pass from ureter to bladder with time.
Recognizing kidney stones can be quite tricky because abdominal pain can relate to several other factors as well, such as ectopic pregnancy or appendicitis. Also painful urination indicates possible urinary tract infection or any STD.
What are the symptoms?
When the stones descends to the urinary tract, it may either pass with urine, without any trouble or may initiate several symptoms such as:
- Sharp pain in the belly, back or groin
- Presence of blood in urine
- Frequent urination, usually accompanied by pain
- Nausea and vomiting
What are the causes?
Though anyone can develop kidney stones, some people with medical conditions like gout or taking certain medication are more prone to have it as compared to others. ILS Hospitals recommend that dehydration is one of the prime factors for the same. Moreover, diet and family history plays an important role in it as well. Urinary tract infection is another reason for the same, the stones develop because of infections. Certain metabolic abnormalities also increase the chances of having the stones.
Diagnosis and Treatment
A majority of people diagnosed with kidney stones falls in the age range of 20 to 49. A prior occurrence of kidney stone elevates the risk of having it again in future. The diagnosis of stones is mostly done by ultrasound. Additionally, intravenous pyelography and CT scan can be recommended depending on the severity.
Pain killers are usually given to deal with the pain. Occasionally, some medication is given to ease the flow of urine, so that small stones can pass without hindrance. If oral medication does not yield desired results, the surgical technique, lithotripsy is done.