Kidney Stone Diseases
What is a kidney stone?
Stone is a hard, solid mass that can occur in the gallbladder, bladder and kidneys. The causes of this type of stones are different and are treated in different ways. This brochure addresses kidney and ureteral stones.
The stones that develop in the kidneys can stay there or move to the urethra.
Kidney stones are formed by crystallization of mineral or acid salts in your urine. Most stones leave your body when you urinate. However, in some cases you may need treatment to remove the stone.
What causes kidney stones?
All women and all men, may have stones throughout their lives. Stone may form if your body has an imbalance in the form of producing urine. This may be related to the amount of fluid you drink and the presence of substances that trigger stone formation in your urine.
People often relate to pain in the kidney and ureteral stones. However, the symptoms vary depending on the features such as height, shape, and location of the urethra, and may vary between completely painless and severely painful.
Severe Pain (Renal Colic)
If the stone prevents normal urine flow from the ureters, you will suffer from severe pain known as renal colic. Waist and flank (the lower part of the ribs from both sides of your body to the hip) is a sharp pain felt in your area. You may also feel pain in your groin or thigh area. Men may also feel pain in their ovaries.
Other symptoms accompanying the renal colic:
- Blood in urine (pink in urine)
- Feeling pain when urinating
Renal colic is an emergency and you should consult the nearest hospital for pain relief.
No Relief Pain or No Symptom
Stones can also cause recurrent, restless pain in your area. This type of pain may be a symptom of other diseases, so you will need to take some medical tests to determine whether you have a kidney or ureter stone. Some stones do not cause any discomfort. They are called asymptomatic and are usually small. Unspecified stones are usually detected during X-ray film or similar imaging procedures for other diseases.
Your doctor will conduct a series of tests to understand what is causing the symptoms. This is called diagnostics. First of all, your doctor or nurse learns your medical history and examines you. It then takes images of your body and performs other tests if necessary.
Your doctor should view your internal organs to locate your stone. For this, you need to have high frequency sound ultrasound (also known as ultrasound) when creating images. In addition to ultrasonography, you may also need x-ray film of the urinary tract.
Another common diagnostic method is CT scan (computed tomography). With this scan, the size, shape and thickness of your stone can be clearly seen.
Stone Analysis and Other Tests
In the case of renal colic, urine and blood tests are performed to determine if you have infection or kidney failure. If your baby is expected to be discharged into urine, your doctor may recommend that your urine be filtered to collect your stone.
Your doctor has to analyze what type of transport you have. This information is important because it will help you make the most appropriate choice for the treatment to be applied and the precautions to be taken.
Not all stones require treatment. You may need treatment if your stone causes discomfort and is not excreted naturally in urine. Your doctor may also recommend treatment if you already have existing medical conditions.
If you have a kidney or ureter stone that does not cause any discomfort, it can usually be monitored for a certain period of time. Your doctor will give you a schedule of regular checks to make sure your condition is not getting worse.
Your doctor may prescribe medicines that will facilitate this period if it is possible to dispose of it in your urine. This is called conservative treatment.
Conservative Stone Therapy
Most kidney or ureteral stones are excreted from your body with urine. However, it may take time to dispose of the stone according to its size and location. You may experience renal colic when the stone moves.
Keep in mind:
- The closer the stone is to the bladder, the more chance of throwing stones
- The larger the stone, the less chance of throwing stones
Active Stone Treatment
Renal or ureteral stones should be treated if they cause symptoms. There are 3 common ways of removing stones: shockwaves (SWL), ureteroscopy (URS) and percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PNL). Which active treatment is best for you depends on many factors. The most important factor is the symptoms caused by the stone. Your doctor may recommend different treatment options based on the presence of your stone in the kidney or ureter.
Stone Break with Shock Waves (SWL)
SWL is made with a machine that breaks stones from outside the body. Focused shock waves (high-energy sound waves with short signals) are transferred from the skin to the stone to break the stone. The stone absorbs the energy of the shock waves and thus divides it into small pieces. The stone particles are then excreted in the urine within the following days or weeks.
URS is a type of treatment with a small diameter endoscope. URS is common and the level of success is high and the risk of complications is low.
URS is often performed under general anesthesia. While you are under anesthesia, your doctor enters the bladder from the urethra with an endoscope without making any incisions to your body. Stone can be pulled out by using a special basket or if the stone is too big, it can be divided into pieces with laser beams and then pulled out.
Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PNL)
PNL is a surgery in which large stones are removed directly from your kidney. The advantage is that even large stones can be removed in one operation.
PNL is performed under general anesthesia.
Preventing Stone Formation
Some patients with kidneys or ureteral stones may produce more stones in the future. Once your stone has been dropped or removed, your doctor will determine if the risk of recurrence is high. You will need to analyze your stone for this. Your doctor will also evaluate the results of your blood and urine tests before treatment.
If your risk of recurrence is low, general life changes will suffice to reduce the risk of another stone formation.
Here are some suggestions for adults:
1- Consume More Fluid
- Consume 2.5 to 3 liters of fluid per day
- Distribute your fluid intake equally during the day
- Choose neutral pH drinks such as water or milk
- Observe your urine amount. Must be 2-2.5 liters per day
- Observe the color of your urine. Because it should be light.
- If you live in a hot climate or are exercising intensively, take more fluids. It will help you to balance your fluid loss.
2- Adapt your diet
Depending on your personal situation, your doctor may offer advice on adapting your diet. It is important to discuss this with your doctor.
- Apply a balanced and diversified diet.
- Eat plenty of vegetables, fibrous food and fruit (especially citrus fruits).
- Try to eat more foods containing low oxalate such as eggs, lentils, white rice, peeled apples, grapes, cauliflower and pumpkin.
- Make sure your diet contains enough calcium (approximately 1,000 milligrams per day). But be careful about calcium support products
- Get advice from your doctor or nurse.
- Reduce the amount of salt in your diet (should not exceed 3-5 grams per day)
- Do not take animal protein that is abundant especially in young flesh. Instead, take vegetable protein found in avocado, cauliflower and pea.
- Maintain your healthy body weight (Your Body Mass Index should be between 18-25kg / m2).
3- Healthy habits
It is always a good idea to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
- Try to exercise 2 or 3 times a week
If you have a high risk of stone, your doctor will perform metabolic evaluation. This assessment includes a series of blood and urine tests that determine what additional treatment you may need. Depending on the results of the tests you can get medication. Drug treatment usually does not have any side effects or causes very little side effects. It also helps you take into account your lifestyle changes. Your doctor will discuss your personal situation and treatment options with you.