Kidney stones are defined as a widespread disorder (8% of the population) characterized by the formation of kidney stones. These are agglomerates of mineral salts formed in the urinary tract and, more precisely, in the kidneys. Kidney stones are composed of different substances such as oxalates, uric acid, calcium, phosphates, cholesterol, etc. These elements are mainly contained in the urine in excessive quantities, and for this reason. They tend to settle in the kidneys creating solid aggregates. Not only that, a sedentary lifestyle and the lack of attention to a healthy and balanced diet, in addition to the genetic predisposition, facilitate the onset of this clinical condition. This article gives you full-on information about symptoms of kidney stones.
In some cases, kidney stones are associated with a different disorder (but also some similarities) called Fenella. In common, there is certainly the presence of agglomerates in the kidney. However, in this second case, the stones appear in small grains comparable to sand (crystals). These microscopic bodies can be more easily eliminated from the body. Conversely, kidney stones have a larger size (and variable depending on the case) and, therefore, can be difficult to eliminate.
Another analogy between kidney stones and gravel is the presence of the so-called renal colic. These pains of considerable intensity involve the area of the urinary tract and kidneys in an important way. Finally, even in this case, a healthy lifestyle and a correct and balanced diet can effectively prevent. The onset of this disorder (when genetic factors do not dictate it).
symptoms of kidney stones
What are the Symptoms of Kidney Stones?
The kidney stone must obstruct urine passage (we speak in this case of ” renal colic “). The obstruction can occur within the kidney or, more easily. The excretory organ and the ureter (a small channel connecting the kidney to the bladder) are in the passage. Fortunately, not all stones are moving and obstructing, so those with a stone may not necessarily expect colic. However, some people do not experience any kidney stones symptoms. Most patients with this type of stone complain of some warning ailments. Such as burning and frequent urge to urinate.
Some colic is very painful, while in other cases, the pain is mild and subtle. This depends not so much on the stone’s size as on the kidney’s anatomical formation. The threshold of sensitivity to pain and many other factors can accentuate or reduce kidney stones’ painful symptoms.
Generally, renal colic still causes intense and sudden pain that appears on the side. Usually on one side only, forcing the patient to bend over and insistently ask for help from bystanders. This pain may go on and on and decrease in intensity for a moment, and then rapidly worsen. Subsequently, the pain tends to radiate anteriorly and go down towards the groin; sometimes, colic is associated with testicular pain in men or labia majora in women.
When the stone moves down the ureter and approaching the bladder, further symptoms may appear. Such as frequent urination and strangers; all these signs may be associated with other disorders such as nausea, vomiting, and the presence of cloudy urine. Sometimes with blood and bad smell At other times, there is a total inability to pass urine. The presence of fever usually suggests a urinary tract infection.
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As mentioned above, the most common symptoms. That can arise are renal colic or severe pain involving the urinary tract and lower back of the kidneys. Importantly, not all cases of stones manifest colic. In fact, this symptom has a close correlation with the size of the agglomerates. The larger the stone’s size (and therefore the difficulty in expelling it), the pain will be intense. This is because the pebble or pebbles created in the kidneys create an obstruction. That causes pain in the affected person.
However, kidney stones can cause different symptoms. Such as difficulty in urination and associated pain, urge to urinate frequently, vomiting, nausea, and fever. Not all people with kidney stones experience symptoms of kidney stones. When the agglomerates’ size allows the physiological expulsion of the same. The disorder develops and ceases in a totally asymptomatic way without causing damage or pain.
The doctor uses the first to identify any traces of blood in the urine not visible. At the same time, ultrasound is useful for understanding where the stones are located and their size. If these analyzes are not sufficient, it will be necessary to resort to CT.
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How Are Kidney Stones Formed?
The formation of kidney stones is favored by high concentrations of poorly soluble substances in the urine. For example, such as calcium salts of uric acid and/or slowing down the urinary flow. In the latter case, these substances remain longer in the urinary tract. So they have plenty of time to precipitate and aggregate. Suppose an insoluble compound is more concentrated than the norm. It can give rise to an oversaturation of the urine, so it risks precipitating and forming crystals. These crystals, merging in the kidney calyxes, end up giving life to real pebbles.
Even the changes in urinary pH may promote the formation of kidney stones. Depending on the case, kidney stones can be as small as grains of sand or even as large as golf balls. The stones can also have smooth outlines or appear as masses with an irregular and jagged surface. It is not uncommon to find multiple stones in one kidney.
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Composition and Classification of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones can be made up of various urinary components, single or in combination with each other. In particular, kidney stones can have calcic, mixed, uric, infectious, or cystine origin. …The most common circumstance involves the formation of kidney stones of a calcic nature; their training, therefore, derives from the aggregation of calcium oxalate and phosphate of calcium. However, too much uric acid can also generate very annoying kidney stones. This disease causes a defect in the transport of some amino acids, including cysteine, in the kidney and intestine. The excess of urinary substances just seen can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. And the lack of other substances. Such as citric acid, which, under normal conditions, effectively counteract the precipitation and crystallization of salts, binding them to themselves to form soluble complexes.
Finally, calculations deriving from urinary tract infections deserve a separate chapter. Some bacteria, in fact, produce protein substances that facilitate the precipitation of salts in the urine. For example, magnesium ammonium phosphate stones. Such as those belonging to the genus Proteus.
All this information on the composition of the kidney stone is important to set the therapeutic protocol most suited to the individual case: the treatment of kidney stones can reduce the urinary salts’ concentration and increase the substances that inhibit them. The precipitation.
Treatment of kidney stones
Following the necessary analysis, the doctor establishes the most appropriate treatment for each patient.
In general, when you suffer from kidney stones, depending on the severity. And the progress of the disorder, different therapies can be followed. For milder cases in which there is no colic (or occur mildly) or when the stones’ size is rather small. We proceed with a pharmacological treatment that allows the dissolution and elimination of the agglomerate. Also, in cases where painful colic occurs, painkillers will be associated. This will allow you to expel the foreign bodies present in the kidneys without straining the urinary tract.
In general, this type of therapy consists of:
- taking painkillers (if the painful sensation occurs);
- taking diuretic drugs;
- fluid intake;
- healthy and balanced diet;
If the kidney stones manifest themselves in an excruciating and invasive form, the operation is carried out. This option is reserved for severe colic people due to large agglomerates that the body cannot naturally expel. It should be noted that there are different operations for the elimination of kidney stones.
The most used technique is certainly the crushing of stones using shock waves. For the most severe cases, the doctor will prefer percutaneous lithotripsy. Finally, a further less invasive and more effective technique has been studied for some years. These will pulverize (instead of breaking into smaller sections). The stone, which, in the form of a powder, will be eliminated through the natural expulsion of urine. Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks, and keep the body hydrated.
Diet and effective remedies
Kidney stones can occur due to a genetic predisposition or an unhealthy lifestyle. Analyzing the second case, to prevent or relieve the symptoms of kidney stones related to kidney stones. Such as colic or pain in the urinary tract, it is essential to change your diet. In particular, it will be necessary to eliminate from one’s diet all fried foods rich in fats. Such as butter or oil, sweets, chocolate, particularly salty or spicy foods, meat. And some types of fish, alcohol, carbonated and sugary drinks.
It is essential to remove from your diet all foods that are difficult to digest. Such as coffee, tea, and fruit juices. As they are rich in calcium oxalate (especially those that contain a high percentage of sugar). But also meat, rich in the amino acid methionine. It is also advisable to avoid spinach, beets, potatoes, soy and nuts, foods rich in oxalate, kiwis, and strawberries.
Conversely, the first useful advice to prevent (and in some cases relieve the discomfort associated with the presence of kidney stones) is the intake of plenty of water. This will facilitate the expulsion of stones and waste. Secondly, to prevent and treat the presence of kidney stones. Integrate fruit and vegetables in large quantities in one’s diet. To prefer whole foods rich in fiber, celery, carrots, artichoke, parsley, nettle, and fennel.
To relieve the painful symptoms of kidney stones and discomfort associated with the presence of kidney stones. The following natural remedies are recommended:
- diuretic plants ;
- birch ;
- dandelion ;
- weeds ;
- spiny restharrow;
What to eat
- Follow a balanced diet ;
- follow a low-protein diet (low in protein);
- Legumes: excellent protein alternative to meat – better if well soaked and peeled;
- Consume lots of fruit and vegetables, as they are rich in antioxidants (vitamin C and E). Take fruit rich in vitamin C. Ascorbic acid, taken in the right quantity, is a useful food remedy to prevent the formation of kidney stones;
- Food alkalizing urinary: citrate of potassium and magnesium citrate (effective remedies for the prevention of recurrence of renal calculi);
- Whole foods and fiber ;
- Onion, celery, artichoke, nettle, and parsley ;
- In general, the diet to prevent kidney stones and colic must be adapted to the type of stones to which the patient is subject.
- The adoption of some dietary remedies may therefore be appropriate in some cases and contraindicated in others.
- To clarify your ideas, we recommend reading the article: diet and kidney stones.
- Consult your doctor.
What NOT to Eat
- Avoid consuming foods that are difficult to digest, such as dips, fries, and foods rich in fat ;
- Coffee, tea, fruit juices, and other beverages rich in oxalates or oxalic acid (avoiding these products is a useful food remedy to prevent the formation of calcium oxalate stones );
- Salty foods ;
- Meat (limit consumption) and foods rich in the amino acid methionine ;
- Sweets (limit consumption);
- Foods high in oxalates or oxalic acid: kiwi, rhubarb, beets, spinach, potato cakes, nuts, tea, chocolate, and soy ;
- Foods are rich in purines ( seafood, anchovies, sardines, liver, kidney, game ).
- Fruit dried nuts and strawberries.
Cures and Natural Remedies
Nature can also improve painful symptoms of kidney stones in patients with kidney stones:
- Plants rich in mucopolysaccharides, with known colloidal properties, keep mineral salts in solution in the urine.
- Diuretic plants can facilitate the expulsion of kidney stones:
- Birch ( Betula alba L. ) → diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties ;
- Spiny restharrow ( Ononis spinosa ) → diuretic and spasmolytic properties on the smooth muscles of the urinary tract;
- Goldenrod ( Solidago virgaurea ) → diuretic, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties of the urinary tract;
- Dandelion ( Taraxacum officinale ) → diuretic, anti-inflammatory properties (to be taken if possible with medical advice);
- Gramigna ( Triticum repens ) → valid natural remedy against inflammation of the urinary tract (e.g., cystitis ) and stones.
How to prevent the onset of kidney stones?
Those who are aware that they are genetically predisposed to developing kidney stones or have suffered. From them in the past should visit their doctor regularly for periodic checkups. And pay particular attention to their lifestyle, diet. The quantity of water taken daily, the sport practiced, and possibly eliminating smoking and limiting alcohol consumption. In general, there are a few simple rules to keep in mind to prevent kidney stones.
First, it isIt is advisable to avoid rich meals by preferring small portions (healthy foods). It is also necessary to maintain an active and dynamic lifestyle, avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, and regularly practicing sports. Thirty minutes of walking a day may be enough. Among doctors’ advice is often to take two liters of water a day together with diuretic herbal teas. That can also prevent the onset of kidney stones and accumulations.
It is also advisable to engage in a sporting activity constantly to keep the body healthy. And promote the natural elimination of waste by the body., preventing the accumulations responsible for kidney stones from forming. Specialists often remind their patients that stress and a poor number of hours of sleep. And a diet rich in fatty, sugary, and alcoholic foods facilitates the appearance of kidney stones.
Finally, correct and constant intimate hygiene allows reducing the chances of urinary tract infections. Even the latter, in many cases, can be the cause of kidney stones.