There are many people who have undergone painful traumatization at the hands of this little problem. Taking a daily bodily function and turning it into a nightmare is not something that people want to experience.
That problem is of course kidney stones.
Kidney stones are a reasonably common condition that occurs when hard deposits form together within the kidney. These small stones then need to be flushed out through a system that was never meant to handle them. Kidney stones can be minor (but still very painful) problems, but they can also become serious issues that require treatments.
What Causes Kidney Stones?
There are unfortunately different causes for kidney stones. One of the reasons is that there are different types of stones which can form in the kidney. All of these substances are crystalline to join together. Typically, kidney stones may form when there is far too much of one of those substances in the body.
Another reason for kidney stones may be a lack of the substances which prevent the formation of kidney stones. Even if the body is regulating its levels of uric acid, calcium and oxalate, it may not be able to break them down and dispose of them regularly.
There are many risk factors that may convince a person that they could be developing kidney stones. The following risk factors elevate a person’s chance of kidney stones:
- Obesity - Typically, people who are obese have been shown to get kidney stones more often.
- Genetics/History - Typically, if one member of a family gets kidney stones, it’s more likely that other members of that family will also get it. In addition to that, if a person gets kidney stones once, they are at an increased risk of getting it again.
- Diet - High sodium diets can often increase the risk of kidney stones. People who eat too much protein and too much sugar can also struggle with kidney stones.
- Dehydration - A lot of people don’t drink enough water each day. In addition, people who are living in very hot climates may be in a state of minor dehydration.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones
There are many different symptoms which a person experiences when they have kidney stones. Kidney stone symptoms are unsurprisingly mostly related to urination. Some of the symptoms to look out for are:
- Pain During Urination - Obvious pain during urination is a sign that kidney stones are nearby.
- Constant Need to Urinate - Kidney stones can cause people to feel like they always need to urinate.
- Increased Amount of Urination - Some people with kidney stones will find they need to make more trips to the restroom.
- Severe Pain - The pain of a kidney stone as it travels through a body is high. It typically occurs in a person’s side and back, but below the ribs.
- Discolored Urine - Urine for people with kidney stones may be pink, red or brown. The difference usually depends on the type of stone that a person is suffering from.
- Nausea - Many people with kidney stones may feel consistent nausea which develops into vomiting.
Treatment of Kidney Stones
Once kidney stones are diagnosed (typically through blood and urine testing), then it’s time for treatment. There are some very simple treatments as well as some more difficult ones. Often, the most basic treatments are drinking a lot of water and taking some pain relievers. That will help pass the stones while ensuring the pain isn’t too strong.
For more serious cases, the stones may need to be broken up while still in the kidney. These larger stones can be broken up through sound waves. It’s not a comfortable procedure and has some side effects, so it’s best left for serious cases. There is also some surgical procedures which can be used to remove the stones if they pose a danger passing normally.