causes of kidney stones

What Are The Causes Of Kidney Stones

It is very important to understand the causes of kidney stones. Kidney stones are hard deposits of salts and minerals. Usually, they are formed within the walls of the kidney. Also, kidney stones can be referred to as renal calculi. Again, another name for it is nephrolithiasis. It can as well be called urolithiasis.

Some of the causes of kidney stones can include:

  • Excess body weight
  • Certain medical conditions
  • Some supplements
  • Certain medications
  • Diet

Still on this, kidney stones affect the urinary tract. Usually, it could affect any part of it. This can be anywhere from the bladder to the kidney. Often, when the urine becomes too concentrated stones begin to form. This gives room for minerals to begin to crystallize. Eventually, the crystallized minerals become sticky and stay together.

Usually, one suffering from kidney stones would experience lots of pain. However, if the condition is diagnosed early enough it would not cause any permanent damage.

Sometimes, you may just have to take some medication and drink lots of water to treat kidney stones. Still, this would depend on your condition. All the same, in some instances surgery could be required to remove kidney stones. These can include:

  • If it comes with complications
  • If it is associated with a urinary tract infection

Usually, the doctor would recommend preventive treatments for kidney stones. However, this will be in the case that you run a high-risk of developing the condition again.

Symptoms Of Kidney Stones

Initially, no symptoms of kidney stones may be noticed. The symptoms may only be noticed when kidney stones might have moved around the kidney. Again, it may be noticed if kidney stones have passed into the ureters. Ureters are the tubes that connect the kidneys and bladder.

symptoms of kidney stones

Furthermore, if the stones become lodged within these tubes it may block the flow of urine. Consequently, the kidney swells. Also, it causes spasm in the ureter. This can be very painful. When the condition gets to this point, the following symptoms of kidney stones may be experienced:

  • Severe pains below the ribs
  • Sharp pains on the back and sides
  • Burning sensation and pain in urination
  • Waves of pain
  • Pains of irregular intensity
  • Lower abdominal and groin pain

Other signs and symptoms of kidney stones may include:

  • Urine with foul smell
  • Cloudy urine
  • Brown, red or pink urine
  • Persistent urge to urinate
  • More frequent urination
  • Urinating in small quantities
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling nauseous
  • Chills and fever due to infection

One of the other symptoms of kidney stones is that the pains that come with it could change. For example, the pains could change in intensity. Again, the location of the pains could change. These symptoms of kidney stones may be experienced as the stones journey through the urinary tract.

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When To See A Doctor Over The Disease

When the symptoms of kidney stones being experienced become worrisome you should seek medical attention.

If you encounter any of the following signs, you should see a doctor. Thus:

  • Severe pains that make it impossible to sit at a place or sit comfortably
  • Presence of blood in the urine
  • Difficulty in urinating
  • Fever and chills that come with pain
  • Nausea and vomiting that comes with pain

Causes

Oftentimes, no single factor could be pointed out as the causes of kidney stones. There is no single cause of kidney stones. However, some factors could increase your risk of developing the condition.

Kidney stones begin to develop when some elements are present in your urine. These include elements that could form crystals. Such elements could be uric acid, oxalate and calcium. These elements can crystallize substances that are too much for the fluid in the urine to dilute.

On the other hand, the urine may not contain substances that prevent the sticking together of crystals. This creates the kind of environment that makes the forming of kidney stones possible. These are some of the factors that could be seen as the causes of kidney stones.

Types

types of kidney stones

To understand the cause of kidney stone it is necessary to identify the type it is. Also, this would be instrumental in helping you know how to reduce the risk factors. Interestingly, this could help you prevent the onset of recurrent stones in the kidney. If you pass out kidney stones in your urine you should keep them. These samples could be useful to a doctor for analysis.

The different types of kidney stones could include:

Uric Acid Stones—this is one of the types of kidney stones can be seen in people who experience conditions that make them lose fluid in excess. Such conditions can include:

  • Diabetes
  • Malabsorption or chronic diarrhoea
  • Metabolic syndrome

Furthermore, people who take diet high in protein can be affected. Again, the risk of uric acid stones can be increased as a result of some genetic factors.

Calcium Stones—among the different types of kidney stones this is the most common. Normally, it comes in the form of calcium oxalate. Oxalate can be absorbed from diet. Again, it is produced by your liver on a daily basis. Also, this substance can be found in some fruits and vegetables. Some chocolate and nuts contain oxalate in high proportions.

Some factors can increase the presence of oxalate in the urine. These factors that increase the concentration of oxalate or calcium include:

  • Some metabolic disorders
  • Factors due to diet
  • Vitamin D in high doses
  • Intestinal bypass surgery

Furthermore, calcium stones can occur as calcium phosphate. Also, this is one of the types of kidney stones. However, this type is more common in metabolic conditions. Renal tubular acidosis is one of such metabolic conditions. Again, some medications for the treatment of seizures and migraines could be linked to it. These medications can include topiramate.

Cystine Stones— this is one of the types of kidney stones. Actually, it comes as a result of cystinuria. Cystinuria is a hereditary disorder. A specific kind of amino acid is excreted in excess from the kidney due to this condition.

Struvite Stones— again this is one of the types of kidney stones. Usually, it develops as a result of urinary tract infection. Most times this type would advance without any form of warning or symptoms of kidney stones. Also, they could develop very quickly and become very large.

Risk Factors Of Kidney Stones

kidney stones

Some factors increase the risk of developing the condition. The risk factors of kidney stones could include:

Obesity:– excessive gain of weight, large body mass index and large size of the waist have all been identified as risk factors of kidney stones.

Dehydration:– not keeping to the recommended intake of water on a daily basis is one of the risk factors of kidney stones. Again, some natural conditions that lead to dehydration are risk factors. These natural conditions include dry or warm climate. Also, sweating too much very often is one of the risk factors.

Surgery And Digestive Diseases:– conditions like chronic diarrhoea or inflammatory bowel disease and gastric bypass surgery are risk factors of kidney stones. This is because these conditions can cause changes in the process of digestion. Eventually, this affects the absorption of water and calcium. This increases the presence of substances that form crystals in the urine.

Family History:– having a close relative or family member with the condition is a risk factor of kidney stones.

Personal History:– if you have had the condition one or more times before you run the risk of developing it again. In this case, it could return as recurrent kidney stones.

Some Diets:– one of the risk factors of kidney stones is eating diet that is high in sugar, sodium salt or protein. These factors could make you prone to certain types of kidney stones.

Eating diet that is high in sodium is especially harmful. The kidneys do a lot of work in filtering calcium. Taking too much salt increases the presence of calcium. Consequently, this increases the risk of kidney stones by increasing the workload of the kidney.

Other medical conditions that are risk factors of kidney stones include:

  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Cystinuria
  • Urinary tract infection that keeps repeating
  • Renal tubular acidosis

Furthermore, some medications and supplements are risk factors of kidney stones. These medications and supplements include:

  • Laxatives used excessively
  • Supplements for diet
  • Antacids on calcium
  • Vitamin C
  • Some medications for depression
  • Some medications for migraines

 

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