Understanding Kidney Stones: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments Options

Kidney stones are a common health problem. Approximately 1 in 10 people will experience a kidney stone at some point in their lifetime. This common urological condition can result in considerable discomfort and complications if not addressed promptly. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and available treatment options, you can effectively manage and prevent complications associated with kidney stones.

What are kidney stones?

Kidney stones, also known as renal calculi, nephrolithiasis, or urolithiasis, consist of chemicals found in urine. These are clusters of minerals. While initially small, kidney stones have the potential to grow in size, posing a significant health concern. Most of the stones pass out through urine. Some of them are painful.

Types of kidney stones 

Kidney stones can vary in size and color. The type of crystal comprising a stone determines its classification. Primarily, there are four types.

1. Calcium Stones 

Calcium stones are the most common type. They form when calcium and oxalate combine in the urine to form calcium oxalate. Calcium oxalate appears in various colors, but it is often yellow or brown.

2. Uric Acid Stone 

These stones mainly occur in people who consume a high amount of purine, such as meat, fish, and shellfish or drink less water. These types of stones are most common in men.

3. Struvite Stone 

Struvite stones are rare. Some urinary tract infections cause them and are common in women. If untreated, it becomes a serious health problem.

4. Cystine Stones

Cystine stones are very rare and are caused by a hereditary genetic disorder.

How common is kidney stone? 

Now, kidney stones are most common due to changes in lifestyle and diet. Depending on factors such as gender, age, geographical location, and genetic predisposition. Men are more likely to form kidney stones than women, and the risk increases with age. Overall, kidney stones remain a significant health concern worldwide.

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Kidney stones show various symptoms depending on location and size. Sometimes, you even know that you have a kidney stone. Small stones will pass through the urine without much symptoms. While a large kidney stone is trapped in your ureter, it will block urine and cause many other problems. The most common symptoms are

  • Painful urination
  • Blood in Urine
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Severe pain in the lower abdomen
  • Frequent urination

Causes of Kidney Stone

Several factors may increase the chance of getting kidney stones. Some of them are:

  • Dietary factors:

What you eat is very important. A high level of calcium in your blood can increase the chances of forming calcium stones. However, it doesn’t always depend on your calcium intake. Too much salt and sugar and high animal protein diets can also cause calcium stones.

  • Medical conditions:

Some medical conditions increase the chance of kidney stones.

  • Obesity:

If you are obese, you double the chance of having stones

Other conditions like lack of water, medication, family history, and gut problems will also cause kidney stones.

How can I prevent Kidney stones? 

Yes, of course, you can prevent stones. Make some adjustments in your lifestyle and diet.

Drink enough water to maintain urine volume and prevent crystal formation. Usually, eight to twelve glasses of water per day. If you have any medical condition or disease, please consult a doctor.

Consume vegetables, fruits, and other essential nutrients as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Additionally, reduce your salt and sugar intake. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and healthy weight. Also, limit food high in oxalates.

What is the treatment for kidney stones?

Kidney stone treatments depend on the size and type of the stone. If your kidney stone is small, the doctor suggests drinking plenty of water to help pass it out with urine. If your kidney stone blocks urine flow or is large, it may need to be removed by surgery.

At the wellness one-day surgery center, our urology clinic treats all urological conditions, including urinary tract infections, kidney infections, inflammation, and kidney stones. For managing kidney stones, treatment options include:

Lithotripsy: This procedure utilizes shock waves to break the stone into pieces. After this treatment, the small pieces of stone passed through the urine.

Ureteroscopy: In this procedure, the doctor inserts a tube-like tool into the ureter to break down the stone. Then the tiny stone pieces are then expelled through urine.

Surgery: Some rare cases need surgery. The stone should be surgically removed from the back.

Understanding the various causes, being aware of symptoms, and knowing available treatment options are very useful. Symptoms such as intense pain, changes in urine color, and nausea are indicative of kidney stones. Consulting a health care center for personalized guidance is essential for those experiencing such symptoms. Our consultant urologist Dr.Emadeldin Elsobky, provides a comprehensive treatments plan tailored to each patient’s needs. Book your appointment now.