A kidney stone forms when there are high levels of phosphorous, calcium, and oxalate in the urine. The kidney stone, itself, is made of a solid piece of one of these substances and can stay in the kidney or travel down to the urinary tract. For certain people, kidney stones may form from certain foods.
What Causes Kidney Stones?
- Repeating urinary tract infections
- Particular foods for certain people
- Urinary track getting blocked
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Certain medications
- A family history of kidney stones
4 – Types of Kidney Stones
1 Calcium Stone
The most common type contains calcium. If the bones and muscles don’t use calcium, then it goes to the kidney. Kidneys are supposed to flush out the extra calcium with the urine, but in some cases, things can go wrong, and kidney stones can develop from the calcium build up.
2 Uric Acid Stone
This type of stone forms when there is too much acid in the stomach. Sometimes extra acid can form if you eat a lot of meat, fish, and shellfish.
3 Struvite Stone
This type of stone can form after a kidney infection.
4 Cystine Stone
These stones form genetically, from parents passing the disorder down to their children, and the disease causes cystine to leak from the kidneys into the urine.
What Do Kidney Stones Look Like?
Kidney stones can be a variety of sizes and textures. They can be small, smooth, jagged and yellow colored, or as large as a golf ball size.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
- Have blood in urine
- Experience pain when urinating
- Vomiting with fever and chills
- Urine that is cloudy and smells bad
How Are Kidney Stones Diagnosed?
Pretty commonly, after your doctor has discussed your medical history, a urine test, blood test, or imaging test will be performed to help diagnose if you have a kidney stone. Urine tests can show whether you have substances in your urine that could form a stone, or whether you have an infection.
Blood tests can show certain problems you may have that could lead to a kidney stone. And imaging tests help to find the location your kidney stone.
How To Treat Kidney Stones
Treatment typically has to do with how large the kidney stone is and a regular doctor or urologist can help manage them. For small kidney stones, usually, pain medication is all that is used to help treat them. For large stones that have caused excessive vomiting, it may be necessary for you to be hospitalized to get fluids back in your system. A urologist can use the following treatments to either break up your kidney stone or flush it out: shock wave therapy and ureteroscopy.
Shock Wave Therapy is where the urologists use a shock wave machine to send waves into the body to help break up the stone so you can pass it through your urine.
Ureteroscopy is when a urologist used a long, narrow tube-like tool (ureteroscope), with a camera on the end, to help find and removed the stone, or break it into several tiny pieces with laser energy.
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