Kidney stones are a disease of civilization and therefore a tribute to wealth and abundance: overeating, being overweight (obese), alcohol and too much animal protein contribute to this sometimes extremely painful disease. Kidney stones (nephroliths: Greek nephros = kidney, líthos = stone) are crystalline deposits in the kidney.
Most often they are calcium oxalate (70-80%). This is followed by uric acid stones (15-20%), magnesium phosphate stones (10%) and very rarely cystine stones (1%) .The size varies from the size of a pinhead to stones that fill the entire renal pelvis.
Typically, these crystals or stones are removed from the body through urine. Depending on their size and shape, they can also become stuck in the organs and channels of the urinary system and cause pain and medical complications.
Formation of calculi, causes and factors of their occurrence
There are many theories that try to explain the appearance of kidney stones, but they do not reflect the entirety of the process. The most productive research was conducted by two biochemists Lichtwitz and Teid. According to their theory, Kidney stones form when urine can no longer dissolve the calcium salts of uric acid because their concentration is too high. The salts form crystals that become stones. The more the urine is diluted, the lower the risk of kidney stones.
When the composition of urine is disturbed, the ratio of protein crystals and foreign particles (bacteria, fibrin, pus, etc.) rises, destroying the colloidal layer of salt particles, and they begin to stick together. Thus, the core of the future nodule is formed.
This theory explains the appearance of every stone, with the exception of cystine, which is formed by metabolizing amino acids of the same name and increasing its initial concentration in urine.
In fact, the factors for the occurrence of calculi are very high, and not always the cause is in the urinary tract. Therefore, stones are formed if:
Unfortunately, kidney stones do not cause an inflammatory process for the time being, and urine analysis does not indicate their presence. In rare cases, there is back pain during physical exertion and especially when changing the position of the body.
Concretions are found when there is a complication of the course of the disease. This happens when the stone moves from the kidney to the ureter. It injures the thin mucous membrane, causing blood in the urine and additional bacterial infection.
The patient undergoes ultrasound of the kidneys and genitourinary system, while the main part of the calculi is found during urography and pyelography.
The worst condition of urinary tract injury is renal colic. This happens when the ureter becomes clogged with a stone and begins to spasm severely, damaging the mucous membrane rich in nerve endings. A person feels incredible, with nothing, incomparable pain, which stops only when taking narcotic analgesics.
A person cannot find a place for himself in pain. An indirect factor in the onset of renal colic can be prolonged walking, physical activity (lifting weights), riding with shaking, etc.
There are three treatment options for the disease:
In ureteroscopy, the doctor uses an endoscope, a thin tube with a camera that he can push through the urethra and bladder into the ureter. The brief procedure is performed on an outpatient or inpatient basis under anesthesia.
The best prevention of kidney stones treatment is to drink at least 1,5 liters per day. Water, fruit or herbal teas are especially suitable.
In addition, urinary tract infections need to be treated promptly. The same applies to metabolic, hormonal, renal and gastrointestinal diseases, i.e. diseases that increase the risk of kidney stones.
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