Kidney Stones

May 17, 2018 Source: Internal - Gleb Danylov

The kidneys are one of the hardest working organs in the body filtering 180 liters of blood a day. From the blood, approximately 2 liters of urine are produced. The urine carries all the liquid waste from the blood and also maintains a stable balance of salts and other minerals in your blood. That is why it is recommended to drink at least 2 liters of water a day to accommodate for the volume lost when urinating.

What are Kidney Stones?

When your body does not receive enough water, the urine becomes concentrated and the soluble waste becomes forming stones in your urinary tract. Usually kidney stones are composed of crystal- forming substances such as calcium, oxalate, and uric acid. Furthermore, your urine can lack substances that prevent the mineralization of these substances forming an environment that is prone to kidney stone formation.

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Kidney stones can get lodged in the kidney or in the tube carrying urine from the kidney to the bladder, the ureter. Common symptoms of kidney stones include severe pain accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fever and chills. Furthermore, you may find blood in your urine or have a difficult time urinating.

Risks

Around one in 20 people develop kidney stones in their lifetime and may need an operation to have them removed. However there are factors that can increase your chances of developing kidney stones. If you have a family history of kidney stones, you are more likely to develop them as well. Furthermore, not drinking enough water and eating high sodium diets promotes calcium formation in the kidneys and significantly increases your chance of getting kidney stones.

Treatment

Most people can pass kidney stones out of their system by just drinking more water. This process can be painful and the use of pain relieves is advised. However, if your body cannot excrete the kidney stones naturally, your doctor may give you medication to help pass the stones. However, if the kidney stones get too large, a surgical procedure called ureteroscopy can be used to break up the stones into smaller pieces that can be secreted.