Kidney stones also referred to as Nephrolithiasis are solid deposits made of crystals of minerals and salts that form in the urinary tract. Usually, kidney stones originate from the kidneys and are among the most painful medical conditions in the world today.
Kidneys are responsible for filtering waste products from the blood, they form urine. Occasionally, salts combine with other minerals in the urine to form small kidney stone whose size may vary from a sugar crystal to a Ping-Pong ball. Research suggests that one in every 20 people experience kidney stones at a certain point in life. In this article, we will discuss the various types of kidney stones and treatment.
Types of Kidney Stones and Treatment
Kidney stones can form anywhere in the urinary tract which mainly consist of the kidneys, bladder, urethra, and the ureters. Kidneys stones vary depending on the cause and are made up of different crystals. The various types of the kidney stones consist of
1. Calcium Stones
They are the most common types of kidney stones. They are made up of calcium oxalate and in other cases they can consist of maleate or calcium phosphate. Eating foods that are high in oxalates can increase the chances of developing this condition. Examples of foods that are high in oxalates include potato chips, chocolate, beets, rhubarb, and other foods that are high levels of Vitamin D. Drink enough water and eat fewer oxalate-rich foods.
2. Struvite Stones
Struvite stones are more common if one has Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). In some cases these stones are large and often cause urinary obstruction. It’s important that you treat any underlying infection to prevent the development of this type of kidney stone. It’s more common in women.
3. Uric Acid Stones
This type of kidney stones develop in case the urine is too acidic and it’s more common in men. You are more likely to develop uric acid stones if you don’t drink enough water, you sweat a lot, you have gout or if you undergo chemotherapy. Eating high-protein diet can increase the chances of developing the uric acid stones.
4. Cysteine Stones
They are very rare and occur in both men and women. You are likely to develop cysteine stones if you have cystinuria the genetic disorder. You can inherit the possibility of developing cysteine stones from either parent who has the same kind of the genetic disorder. Also, there is a higher chance of developing this condition again if you had it before.
Treatment For Kidney Stones
The treatment for kidney stones will depend on the size and the type of the stone. You can consult your doctor to help you determine the right treatment for your condition. A urine test, x-ray, blood test or a CT scan can be used for diagnosis. Most kidney stones are often small and can be passed out in urine or simply treated at home. Here are some of the most common treatments options for kidney stones.
Some Common Kidney Stone Home Remedies Include
- Water- Staying hydrated is the best and the easiest way to prevent and reduce the effects of kidney stones. Drinking enough water will aid in the passage of kidney stones, flushing out toxins, also prevent the formation of new stones. Medical experts recommend drinking 12 glasses of water on daily basis.
- Lemon Juice- Lemons have numerous benefits in the body. For instance, as far as kidney stones are concerned, lemons contain citrate which is responsible for the breakdown of calcium deposits and also inhibits the growth of kidney stones. Squeeze fresh lemon juice in warm water and drink in the morning on an empty stomach and another glass before dinner.
- Basil- They contain acetic acid that is effective for reducing pain and for the breakdown of kidney stones. Basil juice also lowers the uric acid levels which reduce the chances of developing future stones. Use fresh basil leaves to drink several cups per day. However, you should not use it for more than 6 weeks at a time as it can result in low blood pressure, low blood sugar, or increased bleeding.
- Extra-virgin Olive Oil- Olive oil can be used to lubricate the urinary tack for easier passage of the kidney stones. Drinking a 5-oz glass of olive oil in the morning and later in the afternoon can help reduce pain and any discomfort related to kidney stones.
- Proper Diet- Proper diet can help treat or reduce the chances of developing kidney stones. Kidney stones diet should consist of fruits, minerals, vitamins, and vegetables rich in fiber.
Other home remedies include apple cider vinegar, Uva Ursi, Dandelion root, and celery juice.
- The Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy- it’s the most common procedure for treating kidney stones, especially in the United States. It uses high-energy shock waves capable to break a kidney stone into small pieces which can move out of the urinary tract more easily. It takes about 1 hour and doesn’t involve the use of surgical cuts. Some of the side effects of this procedure include bleeding, pain, or bruising.
- Medications- Prescription medications can be used to ensure an easy passage of a kidney stone. For instance, drugs such as alpha-blockers help to relax the walls of the ureter. This widens the passage for the stones to move more easily.
- Ureteroscopy- It’s used to treat kidney stones in the ureters and the kidneys. A thin and flexible tube is passed through the urinary tract to the stone. The doctor will then break up the stone and use a small basket to remove the small stones.
- Surgery- Another common way that doctors use to get rid of kidney stones is surgery. The doctor makes a small cut in the back in order to get access to the kidney and the ureters so as to remove the stone. The procedure, however, may require you to stay in bed for several days.
Also, home remedies for kidney stones during pregnancy should be used with caution to avoid causing any side effects to the unborn child.
Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Stones Include
- Blood in urine
- Frequent need to urinate
- Severe pain in the groin
If you are worried that you have a kidney stone condition you can talk to your doctor in order to understand more about various types of kidney stones and treatment.
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