3 Important Things to Know About Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are quite common, affecting about ten percent of the Americans. Those who have directly or indirectly been affected by kidney stones understand that this ailment can be extremely painful when one begins to pass. Below are the three important things you need to know about the kidney stones.
What are Kidney Stones?
The kidney stone is a solid, crystalline mineral that forms within the urinary tract or kidney and is often created from the chemicals found in urine. A kidney stone starts to develop when there is a lot of waste in a small amount of liquid. The stone attracts other materials or elements to create a larger stone. Typically, kidney stones leave the human body by passing out in a stream of urine. These stones can be as large as pearls, similar in size as grains of sand, or as large as golf balls. The blockage of urine flow by a stone or stones often results in extreme pain. Apart from that, a stone may disintegrate and travel along the urine tract and out of the body without necessarily causing pain or too much discomfort.
What are the Symptoms?
While some kidney stones do not produce any symptoms – these are “silent” stones – there are signs that could indicate the presence of stones in the kidney or urine tract. Patients with kidney stones usually report a sudden onset of cramping and excruciating pain on the side and low back, abdomen, or groin region. In this case, changes in body position don’t offer any relief. The back, abdominal, or groin pain typically wanes in severity. Sometimes, this pain can be so extreme that it is accompanied by nausea and even vomiting. Many people have described this pain as the worst they have ever experienced, even worse than the pain of broken bone or childbirth. Apart from that, kidney stones may also cause bloody urine. With the existence of infection, along with the stones in the urinary tract, one may experience chills and fever. In other cases, symptoms such as urinary urgency, difficulty urinating, testicular pain, or penile pain may manifest due to the existence of stones in the kidney.
How is Kidney Stones Treated
Kidney stones treatment and remedy often depend on the size of the stones and what contains their formation. You may need to start with some painkillers while taking a lot of fluids. If your urinary tract is blocked due to a large kidney stone, the urologist can break the stone into smaller pieces using the shock wave lithotripsy or remove the stone as a whole. With lithotripsy, shock waves from your body are targeted at the stone, disintegrating it. Another treatment procedure is ureteroscopy which involves the insertion of a scope into the urethra to locate and break the stone using laser energy. The urologist may also use percutaneous nephrolithotomy which involves entering the kidney from the back using a small incision. You can find more information about treatment and remedy at KidneyStones.com.
The above are the three most essential pointers about kidney stones you need to know about. Be proactive and speak to your physician about whether or not you may be at risk for kidney stones. Also, remember to take plenty of water, and your kidneys will definitely thank you!