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Kidney Stone treatment

Kidney Stones Treatment Hospital, Symptoms and Diagnosis in India

Urinary / Kidney Stone

Kidney Stones Overview :


Kidney stones are aggregation of chemical substances dissolved in urine. When the concentration level of these substances reaches a particular point, they crystallize into a permanent form and form stones.

The most common type of stone contains calcium in combination with either oxalate or phosphate.

Kidney stones vary in size; sometimes, these are too small to be felt or noticed in the urinary tract. Otherwise, these can as large as a golf ball.

When the stone obstructs the urine flow, the ureter dilates and stretches causing muscle spasms giving rise to immense gripping pain (renal colic); felt in flank, lower abdomen, groin or leg of affected side.

Around 5% of the world population goes through kidney stone treatment in their lifetime.

It is not a serious condition if detected early as there are numerous natural kidney stone removal remedies suggested by the doctors and physicians. But if it is diagnosed late, the affected has to go through kidney stone operation.

Kidney Stones Types :

It’s not necessary for all the kidney stones to be made up of the same types of crystals.

Given below are the four primary types of kidney stones.

  • Calcium : Calcium stones are the most prominent types of kidney stones. These are generally made up of calcium oxalate. However, on some occasions, calcium phosphate and maleate are also present. It is advised to eat foods with less oxalate content to minimize the threat of these types of stones.

    Foods with greater oxalate content include all types of chips or fries, spinach, chocolates, etc. Spinach and beets too contain oxalate in large amounts. Interestingly, though certain kidney stones are made up of calcium, having adequate calcium in the diet helps in the prevention of stone formation. Infact, cutting on sodium in your diet helps in the prevention of calcium stones.
     
  • Uric Acid : Uric Acid kidney stones are predominantly found in men, in comparison to women. People with gout issues and those undergoing some kind of chemotherapy also are more prone to these kidney stones. People having severely acidic urine have more tendency of formation of these stones. It is advised thus to avoid foods with high Purine content, which is known for making urine acidic. Purines are mostly found within animal proteins.
     
  • Struvite : This kind of kidney stone is comparatively found more among women than the men. To be specific, women with issues of urinary tract infections hold higher threats of forming such stones. Struvite stones are comparatively larger and often lead to urinary blockage. The patient finds it painful and difficult to pass urine. These occur due to kidney infections. Proper treatment of these infections can thus prevent the formation of Struvite stones.
     
  • Cystine : These are among the least found kidney stones and are equally common among both men and women. To be specific, men or women with a genetic disorder called Cystinuria are more prone to these types of stones. Biologically, Cystine is a kind of acid that is generally found within the body, which gets leaked into the urine through kidneys.

Kidney Stones Causes :

The primary reason behind kidney stone is the lesser content of water in the body. In short, people who drink less water on a daily basis have major threats of getting kidney stones. It is thus recommended that you should drink at least 2-3 liters of water in a day.
  • When the body lacks an adequate amount of water that is required for the dilution of uric acid, the urine gets acidic.
  • When urine gets excessively acidic, it leads to the formation of kidney stones.
Apart from this, the factors like infections within the urinary tract, issues like Crohn’s disease, Dent’s disease also lead to the formation of kidney stones. Kidney stones occurring due to factors like renal tubular acidosis are also pretty common.

Kidney Stones Signs and Symptoms :

In general, kidney stones show no symptoms until they moveinto the Ureter. Once these stones enter the Ureter, the following symptoms are usually seen.
  • Sharp pain in the groin region and side areas
  • Signs of blood while passing  urine (hematuria)
  • Frequent nausea and vomiting
  • Pus observed in urine
  • Passing less amount of urine
  • Burning and itching sensation when  passing urine
  • The frequent feeling of urination
  • Sometimes, the occurrence of fever/chills


Diseases that can cause kidney stones :

A kidney stone can be a result of certain diseases like Crohn’s disease, renal tubular acidosis, Dent’s disease, etc. People undergoing chemotherapy also have possibilities of suffering from kidney stones.


A word about Kidney stone pain :

During the formation stage, Kidney stones often don’t cause any pain. However, as these get into crystalline structure, they start giving pain. It also causes excruciating pain while it gets travels down the body on its own.

Kidney Stones Diagnosis and Testing :

If your doctor observes the symptoms related to kidney stones problems, he/she may advise you a few diagnostic tests and procedures such as following:
  • Blood Tests : These tests inform about the presences of too much calcium or uric acid in your blood. It helps doctors to check the health of your kidney.
  • Urine Testing : Doctor may advise you to have two urine collections for two consecutive days to assess the amount of stone forming minerals present in your urine. 
  • Imaging : Imaging tests may include simple abdominal X-rays, high speed, dual energy computerized tomography (CT), and ultrasound to reveal the presence of kidney stones in your urinary tract. One advanced test is intravenous urography where a dye is injected into an arm vein and x-rays or CT images are taken as dye travels through kidney and bladder. 
  • Analyzing passed Kidney Stones : You will pass urine through a strainer so kidney stones passing  through urine can be collected and analyzed in a lab.

Kidney Stones Treatment :


Kidney Stone Treatment without Surgery

After diagnosing the condition of kidney stones, doctors advise proper treatment. Infact, most kidney stones may not require invasive treatment; these can be treated without surgery. Small stones can pass through urine by:

  • Drinking Enough Water / Fluid: The key to flush stones through urine is to drink at least 2-3 liters water.
  • Medications: Doctors may prescribe certain pain relievers to ease the pain and other medications to break and dissolve stones. Antibiotics are advised to counter infections.


Retrograde Intrarenal Surgery (RIRS)

The advent of flexible ureteroscopes has allowed intraureteral and renal lithotripsy regardless of the size and location of stone. Ureterorenoscopy using flexible ureteroscope is called Retrograde Intrarenal Surgery (RIRS). It can be easily used for stones anywhere in the tract. It is especially suited for patients where ESWL cannot be performed (bleeding disorders; obesity) or has failed. With these flexible scopes, virtually any area of the upper collecting system can be visualized by the surgeon. 

Its advantages include no incision on the body, short hospital stay & early recovery. The procedure is expensive as the equipment is costly, even doctors need special training to perform it. It is a major leap in endourology in managing urolithiasis and other pathologies in kidney.

This minimally invasive urology procedure is generally used for cases that are otherwise difficult to treat, such as :

  • Failed attempts at treatment
  • Kidney stones too large for treatment by lithotripsy
  • Strictures in the kidney
  • Tumours in the kidney
  • Kidney stones among children
  • Bleeding disorders in the kidneys
  • Grossly obese patients
     

Kidney Stone : Ureterorenoscopic (URS) Lithotripsy with Holmium Laser Treatment

In those instances when the stone is stuck within the bladder or Ureter, doctors use a device called Ureteroscope for its removal. It is a non-invasive method as there is no incision required. It’s a small wire with a snapper integrated, which is inserted within the Urethra and moved within the bladder. A laser fiber is used to transmit the Holmium energy that breaks up the kidney stone and the surgeon removes a few broken pieces through urethra using a small basket. Smaller pieces pass through urination.  Sometimes, doctors insert a tube known as a stent between urethra and kidney to make it easy to pass kidney stones and improve healing.
 

Kidney Stone: Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL)

Lithotripsy can be understood as the extracorporeal shock waves (electromagnetic), which are the sound waves, mostly used for breaking down the bigger size stones, making these smoothly pass into the bladder. It’s a complex process and often requires anesthesia. The person may feel strain around abdomen region and back. There may be chances of bleeding around the kidney regions as well.
 

Kidney Stone : Percutaneous Nephrostolithotomy (PCNL)

This method involves the removal of a stone through a tiny incision in the concerned person’s back. These methods are recommended when:

  • The stone leads to hindrance causing infection or damages within the kidney.
  • When the stone is too big to pass smoothly

A person suffers from extreme pain.
 

Read :  Kidney Stone During Pregnancy – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Certain Home Remedies for Treating Kidney Stone :

The most important advice to avoid kidney stone is to stay hydrated. One should drink at least 2-3 liters of water every day to avoid these stones.
  • Drink more water - At the preliminary stage, it can get dissolved through certain medications as well. Extremely small sized kidneys get naturally removed through urine if you drink more water.
  • Avoid Oxalate - rich foods–Do not eat oxalate-rich foods such as certain fruits and vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and even chocolate and tea.
  • Lemon Juice - Lemon juice can be effective if the stone is formed due to Citrate issues. You can add lemon juice to your water as many times as you want. Citrate in lemon prevents the formation of kidney stones and can even help dissolve small stones.
  • Basil Juice - Basil juice can also be effective in the treatment of these issues. Basil juice contains acetic acid that helps break and dissolve kidney stones.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar - It contains acetic acid that helps to dissolve kidney stones. Mix a teaspoon this product in a glass of water and drink throughout the day.
  • Pomegranate Juice - It is a rich source of antioxidants and is good for overall health of kidneys as it flushes out kidney stones and other toxins from your body.
However, it is recommended that you should consult the experts if the problem is getting severe as home remedies may not work in those times.

Kidney Stones Risk factors :

The biggest threat of having kidney stone is for those people who drink less water. It is mostly found among people in between the age group of 25 to 55. Men are affected 3 times more than women; children may also be affected. Climate, temperature and humidity are important factors that contribute to urinary / kidney stones.
 
Men are often more prone to kidney stones as compared to women. Heredity also plays as a risk factor if someone in the family had such an issue.

Apart from this, other mild risk factors include things such as:
  • Obesity, eating foods with higher protein content regularly eating foods with higher calories excessive salt intake, etc. 
  • People who have gone through Gastric bypass surgery, chemotherapies, with hyper parathyroid symptoms, etc. also hold risks of kidney stones.
  • People who take medicines like antacids with higher calcium content can have such problems.
  • Another health issue that can increase the chances of getting kidney stones is problems in bowel movements, or specifically, the inflammatory bowel diseases.
     

Read : 8 Ways To Reduce Risk Of Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones Prevention :

Formation of kidney stones can be prevented with proper diet, plenty of water and the right medication.

Here are the ways to lower the chance of having kidney stones. 
  • Stay hydrated
  • Cut on  foods having calcium oxalate such as grapefruit, cranberry juice, spinach, potatoes, soybean etc
  • Limit salt intake
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Avoid alcohol 
  • Cut on  caffeine intakes such as foods like chocolate, teas, certain sodas, and energy drinks 
  • Avoid sugary drinks
  • Get the right amount of dietary calcium such as foods like some cereals, orange juice, tofu, soy sauce etc. 
  • Increase the intake of foods having  citric acidic such as lemon juice, orange juice, lemonade, melon, mango juice
  • Control  the consumption of high-acid foods
  • Taking supplements and vitamins
  • Taking different natural vitamins can help prevent the formation of kidney stones
     

 Read : Suffering from a Kidney Stone? Take Steps Immediately

Kidney Stone Patients Diet :

People suffering from kidney stone issues are recommended to drink water instead of soft drinks, ginger ale, soda, general juices for improving the fluid level within the body. As said above, citrate juices are highly recommended if the stone is formed due to low citrate level.
 
These people are advised to minimize the intake of salt in foods. Meat, fish or any kind of animal protein should be avoided. Patients having these problem stones should avoid food rich in Oxalate content.
 
Still, you eat such food having oxalates, make sure to get some source of calcium too as oxalates bind with calcium during digestion and prevent it from reaching kidneys.
 
Oxalate-rich foods may include chocolates, tea, beets, spinach, nuts, and sweet potatoes among some more. 
 

A healthy kidney stone diet includes: 

  • Drinking at least 10-12 glasses of water
  • Limit salt intake, high added sugars, and products containing high fructose corn syrup
  • Cut on animal protein such as red meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood
  • Drink citrus juices
  • Eat calcium-rich food 
  • Avoid food rich in oxalates and phosphates
     

      Read here : Drinking Less Water During Winters Can Cause Kidney Stones

Kidney Stone Patients FAQ to Ask Doctor :

 

How can kidney stones be a problem?

Kidney stone, first of all, can cause unbearable pain. It needs to be treated as soon as possible. Delaying treatments may lead to kidney failure or may even be a cause of cancer.


What are the first signs of kidney stones?

Among the most common signs of  having kidney stones include excruciating pain in the groin and its sides, passing less amount of urine than usual, burning sensation while passing urine, nausea, vomiting, the presence of pus  and blood in urine.


What is the main cause of kidney stone?

Among the most common causes is less fluid intake. Having acidic urine, certain diseases, heredity and eating certain foods in excess can also cause stones. However, the main cause of accumulation of those components that form stone is drinking less amount of water on a daily basis. 


Are Kidney Stones serious?

Yes, kidney stones are serious as if untreated; they can lead to further problems of urinary tract infections and kidney damage. The growth of bacteria can lead to blockage and infection. Also, the presence of kidney stones for long can build up pressure on the kidneys and hamper their functioning.


Can I die from a kidney stone?

Kidney stones, on rare occasions, can lead to death; especially if its diagnosis is delayed and then not getting treatment on time, there is a risk of kidney infection. It can lead to a condition called sepsis that is life-threatening and required rapid treatment. 


What is the prevention of kidney stone?

First of all, one should drink 10-12 glasses of water daily.  Avoiding excess salt, animal protein, fried foods, alcohol, etc. can prevent the formation of kidney stone.


What is the risk factor of kidney stone?

Heredity, gender, certain types of diseases, diet, and lifestyle, to a certain extent are counted among risk factors. 


Why Kidney Stones are Considered Dangerous?

Kidney stones, especially large stones, if remain untreated for a long time can lead to permanent damage to the kidney and may result in kidney loss. 


What is the diet of kidney patients?

To keep the formation of kidney stones in check, it is important to eat foods that calcium-rich drink citrus juices and most important drink lots of water. Avoid excess salts, added sugars, oxalates rich foods, and excess animal protein is highly recommended for kidney stone patients.


When to see a doctor for kidney stones?

If you are observing symptoms of kidney stones, and are not able to pass the stone through urine, you should visit the doctor. If you have the following symptoms, immediately see a doctor. 
  • Severe pain
  • Blood in urine
  • A strong urge to urinate
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • A burning sensation while urinating
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Fever/Chills


How do doctors remove my kidney stone at RG Hospital?

RG Stone hospital is a well-known healthcare facility for kidney stone treatment, having a team of experts. The first step is to diagnosis that involves a series of blood tests, Urinalysis, KFT, ultrasound, abdominal X-ray etc.
 
After diagnosing the disease, analyzing the stage of the disease and risk factors associated, the specialists here advise the right treatment.

If the problem is caught early and doctors do not find it alarming, they can prescribe ways, so stone passes down easily, naturally. Another effective method that does not involve invasive surgery is performing laser treatment of the kidney stone.

If the problem is more critical, doctors can advise different modes of treatment depending upon the condition of the patient and stone.
 

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