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Prevent Kidney Stones with Healthy Habits

Prevent Kidney Stones Kidney stone is extremely difficult to detect in its early stages. However, if allowed to grow bigger in size, kidney stones can block your urine flow and can be extremely painful. Lack of proper hydration has been identified as one of the primary reasons for causing kidney stones. That is why India, a sub-tropical country with hot and humid summers can become a favourable breeding ground for kidney stones.

People doing outdoor work with greater exposure to heat are more vulnerable to this disease. Other factors also contribute to the risks of developing kidney stones. Dr. Tirthankar Dutta, Consultant General Medicine – (MD, MBBS) shared with Future Healthcare his insights about diverse aspects of this chronic medical condition and possible ways of avoiding it.

What are kidney stones?

Kidney stones, also scientifically known as renal calculi or nephrolith, are solid masses of crystals which can be translucent and transparent in nature that primarily originate in kidney other than urinary bladder.

What are the different types of kidney stones?

Not all kidney stones are made up of the same crystals. The different types of kidney stones include:

  • Calcium – generally formed in the kidney and one of the most common types of kidney stones
  • Uric acid – more common in men than in women and occurs mostly in people with gout
  • Struvite – mostly found in women with urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Cystine – are very rare stones that both in men and women who have the genetic disorder Cystinuria

What are the triggers for kidney stones?

The greatest risk factor for kidney stones is making less than one liter of urine per day. This is why kidney stones are common in premature infants who have kidney problems. However, kidney stones are most likely to occur in people between the ages of 20 and 50.

Other risk factors include:

  • Dehydration
  • Tropical Climate
  • Hot and humid weather
  • High protein, salt and sugar diet
  • Hyper-parathyroid condition
  • Gastric by-pass surgery
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases that increase calcium absorption
  • Medications such as Diuretics, Anti-seizure drugs, and calcium-based Antacids

What are the symptoms and signs of a kidney stone?

  • Severe pain (Renal Colic) at the loin and groin area
  • One may have on the one side of the back or abdomen
  • Blood in urine (red, pink, or brown urine)
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Discolored or foul-smelling urine
  • Fever with chills
  • Frequent urination
  • Urinating small amounts of urine

Can you suggest some investigation procedures for diagnosing Kidney Stones?

  • X- Ray – abdomen with KUB (kidney, ureter, bladder)
  • One may have on the one side of the back or abdomen
  • USG – whole abdomen with KUB
  • Urine Test
  • Blood tests for calcium, phosphorus, uric acid, and electrolytes including BUN

What are the common types of treatments recommended for Kidney Stones?

Some of the common treatment recommendations for Kidney Stones include:

  • Laproscopy
  • Extracorporeal shock wave
  • Laser Lithotripsy & Ureteroscopy

What are the complications triggered by Kidney Stones?

Kidney stone can recur and several recurrences can damage the kidney. Bigger kidney stones lead to urinary obstruction which triggers the risk of kidney infection and subsequent damage.

Dr. Tirthankar Dutta (MD, MBBS)
Consultant General Medicine

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