Kidney stones, also medically known as kidney stone disease, nephrolithiasis, and urolithiasis, happens when a solid piece of material gets lodged in the urinary tract, usually in the kidney, ureters, and bladder. While a small stone may pass without symptoms and discomfort, some stones grow to over five millimeters or 0.2 inch; this can cause blockage to the urinary tract, which then leads to severe pain in the abdomen or the lower back, along with painful urination or presence of blood in the urine.
According to Patient Info, renal stones or calciuli are formed when the urine is hypersaturated with salts and minerals, which include calcium oxalate, uric acid, struvite (ammonium magnesium phosphate), and cystine. As per the publication, 60 to 80 percent of the stones contain calcium and they vary in size, as some may be as large as gravel while others may be as big as staghorn. These stones may remain in the location where they are produced, or descend to the urinary tract; this part of the pathophysiology of the disorder leads to the symptoms.
In the United States, as per United States Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health, the overall incidence of kidney stone disease rose in 1971 to 1978. Then in 200, data from 18 o 64-year old employees who were covered by two large insurance carriers reflected an incident of 1,116 per 100,000 in the year 2000. The said figure is considerably higher than those from the previous periods.
Meanwhile in Japan, it was learned that the incidence of the disorder doubled more than a 40-year time period for both genders. As per the publication, the rise in figures peaked in the last one to two decades, with rates among men sharply higher since the 1990s and rates among women gradually increased since the 1980s.
Signs and Symptoms
The presence of kidney stones in the urinary tract lead to a number of symptoms. According to Medicine Net, these include abdominal pain, presence of blood in the urine, dehydration, gout, hyperparathyroidism, nausea, vomitine, and kidney infection. The person may also develop fever secondary to infection, as well s urinary retention due to the failure of urine passage through the urinary tract.
While medical treatment and management for kidney stones are available, it is best to prevent its occurrence.
According to Patient Info, hydration is one of the best ways to prevent kidney stones. Since the stones develop due to oversaturation of salt and minerals, increasing fluid intake helps prevent this from happening. As per the publication, increasing the persons
Salt intake reduction is another way to prevent formation of kidney stones. Salt is an ingredient in the stone formation, along with a mineral. Thus, cutting salt from the diet limit reduces the chances of forming stones in the urinary tract.
One way to prevent kidney stone disease is the decrease in oxalate and calcium intake. Just like salt, both are minerals that are responsible for the formation of stones in the urinary tract. Reducing them in the diet also lowers the possibilities of stone formation in the urinary tract.
The presence of kidney stones is not as severe as cancer, but it places high amounts of discomfort to the person. As a result, performance of activities of daily living may be interfered. Thus, it is vital to seek medical treatment and care if the person experiences one or more of the aforementioned signs and symptoms. Moreover, prevention is better than cure, so it is best to do actions that will prevent stone formation in the urinary tract.