Kidney stones are hard deposits that form in the kidneys, typically from minerals and salts in urine that crystallize and stick together.
- Dehydration: Lack of adequate fluid intake can lead to concentrated urine, increasing the risk of kidney stone formation.
- Diet: High intake of certain foods like salt, protein, and oxalate-rich foods can contribute to stone formation.
- Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions such as hyperparathyroidism, renal tubular acidosis, and cystinuria can increase the risk of kidney stones.
- Family History: Genetic factors can predispose individuals to kidney stone formation.
Signs and Symptoms
- Pain: Severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs, which can radiate to the lower abdomen and groin.
- Changes in Urination: Painful urination, pink, red, or brown urine, foul-smelling urine, and frequent urination.
- Nausea and Vomiting: Due to severe pain and discomfort.
- Fever and Chills: If an infection accompanies the kidney stones.
- Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL): High-energy shock waves are used to break the stones into smaller fragments that can be passed through urine.
- Ureteroscopy: A thin, flexible scope is inserted through the urethra and bladder to the ureter to remove or break up smaller stones.
- Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL): A surgical procedure where a small incision is made in the back and a nephroscope is inserted to remove larger kidney stones.
- Open Surgery: Rarely performed, it involves making an incision in the side or abdomen to access and remove large kidney stones.
Treatment options depend on factors such as the size and location of the stone, severity of symptoms, and overall health of the patient. It’s crucial to stay hydrated and follow dietary recommendations to prevent recurrence of kidney stones.