Kidney stones are small stones made up of mineral salts and acids found in the kidneys. Generally, these stones dissolve in the urine. However, if the urine is highly concentrated, the minerals can crystallize forming a stone. The largest stones are found in renal calyxes, i.e. the “tubes” that carry urine from the kidney to the ureter. They usually occur in adults, but they can also be found in young people 20 years of age or younger, due to inadequate feeding, says the urologist in Noida.
Kidney stones mainly affect men with a sedentary lifestyle or those who work in places where the temperature is very high.
People who carry out manual labor: workers and peasants are the least affected.
Types of kidney stones
Struvite stones: these are the most common stones in women. They usually originate from an infection in the female urinary tract, says the urologist in Ghaziabad.
There are several anatomical abnormalities that promote urinary stasis and increase the risk of stone formation.
The proliferation of organisms (Proteus, Klebsiella, Serratia and Mycoplasma) that separate ammonia from urea cause alkaline urine.
This is the most conducive environment for the formation of struvite stones.
These stones can cause discomfort by increasing their size.
If the struvite stones are found throughout the renal cavity are called coraliformes.
Cystine stones: The main cause of the formation of these stones is a genetic disease known as cystinuria.
Cystinuria is characterized by an excess of urine of:
In this disease, the amino acid cystine present in the kidneys leaks into the urine, crystallizes and causes the formation of stones, explains the urologist in Greater Noida.
People with a family history of cystinuria are predisposed to develop kidney stones.
Calcium stones: these are the most common stones. Two types of stones belong to this category:
- Calcium oxalate stones (black or light yellow)
- Calcium phosphate stones
The former are produced by the concentration of oxalate (a substance present in several foods) and by the presence of high calcium levels.
Seconds originate from a urine that is too alkaline (pH above 7.5) and rich in calcium.
Stones of uric acid: uric acid is derived from the metabolism of purines, which are substances found in foods such as fish, meat, mushrooms, anchovies, crustaceans, among others.
A very high level of uric acid in the body can cause these stones to form.
Causes of kidney stones
Women are less likely than men to develop kidney stones due to physiology.
Women have a higher percentage of citrates in their urine, which partially prevents the formation of kidney stones.
The male hormone testosterone increases uric acid and oxalate levels in the body, which also increases the likelihood of developing kidney stones.
In addition, men are more likely than women to develop this disease because they consume a large amount of animal proteins (e.g. red meat), plus men’s muscle mass is greater and as well as appetite.
Men also expel more waste from the body, as the body filters more urine through the kidneys, which produce more waste.
Therefore, excess waste in the body is likely to cause the formation of stones, explains the best urologist in Noida.
In women, some of the main causes of kidney stones include:
Urinary tract infection (ICU): Women are more likely than men to develop urinary tract infections and have an increased risk of developing struvite stones.
These stones originate from bacteria in a urinary tract infection and waste that contains an excess of protein components, introduced into the body through food.
In this case the pH is alkaline.
Pregnancy: Pregnancy causes many changes in a woman’s body.
During this phase increases the amount of calcium in the body.
The dimensions of the uterus are larger, which reduces the bladder’s ability to store urine. Therefore, pregnant women urinate more often.
During pregnancy, kidney circulation and urine leakage into the glomeruli of the kidney increases. All of these factors can lead to the formation of kidney stones, especially calcium phosphate (74% of cases).
However, in very few pregnancies (1 in 1500) this disease develops.
Obesity and dietary habits: Women (or men) who are obese have a greater predisposition to develop kidney stones compared to people with a healthy body weight.
Food habits play an essential role in determining body weight.
Consumption of foods high in sodium, animal proteins, vitamin D and sugars can cause kidney stones, says the best urologist in Greater Noida.
Dehydration: Lack of fluids makes urine more concentrated and increases the watering of crystallization and formation of kidney stones.
People who don’t drink an adequate amount of water or other healthy liquids and those who drink wine, beer, and spirits can develop these stones.
Alcohol causes dehydration, as it increases the need to urinate.
Some people are more prone than others to dehydration. For example, people living in warm, humid geographic areas should drink more fluids than normal.
In addition, people engaged in intense activities should recover the fluids they have lost through sweating.
Most cases of urinary tract stones occur during summer.
Some diseases: there are several diseases that develop along with kidney stones, such as:
- Cystinuria: presence of the amino acid cystine in the urine.
- Hypercalciuria: excessive presence of calcium in the urine.
- Hyperoxaluria: excessive presence of oxalate in the urine.
- Hyperparathyroidism: excessive secretion of the hormone from the parathyroid glands present in the neck that releases calcium into the blood.
- Renal tubular acidosis: excessive presence of uric acid in the blood caused by the inability of the kidneys to remove it through the urine.
- Hyperuricosuria: excessive presence of uric acid in the urine.
- Other diseases such as gout, kidney cystic diseases or chronic diarrhea, among others, can lead to the formation of stones.
A family history of kidney stones increases your risk of developing kidney stones. Relapses of stones can occur, so prevention is essential, says the best urologist in Ghaziabad.
Certain specific medications may favor the formation of stones: some diuretics, calcium antacids, protease inhibitor Crixivan, used for the treatment of HIV, and Topamax, an antiepileptic medicine.
Anatomical abnormalities that increase the risk of stone formation:
- Obstruction of the ureteropelvic junction
- Hydronephrosis of the pélvis and renal calyxes
- Calicial diverticulum (dilation of renal calyxes)
- Horseshoe kidney
- Ureterocele (dilation of the final part of the ureter)
- Vesicoureteral reflux
- Ureteral etenosis (narrowing)
Symptoms of kidney stones
- Blood in the urine
- Pain in the right or left side and pain in the lower belly
- Need to urinate frequently
- Ardor lal urinate
Renal colic is characterized by:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain that originates in the side and then radiates to the abdomen, groin and genitals
Not all cases of kidney stones are accompanied by symptoms.
When the dimensions of the stones are very small, there are usually no symptoms and the small stone is expelled through urine.
In case of larger stones, symptoms can be obvious and cause a lot of discomfort.
Kidney stones do not cause foreboding symptoms.
Common symptoms that indicate kidney stones include:
Sudden and constant pain: the presence of kidney stones can cause severe pain on the right or left side, back pain, pain in the groin or genitals (pain of the testicles or vagina).
The stones may be blocked in one of the two narrowest areas of the ureter:
- The point at which the ureter passes through the iliac artery
- Ureterovesical junction point (between ureter and bladder)
Obstruction in the iliac artery due to the stones causes pain that radiates to the groin or lower belly.
If the stone obstructs the ureterovesical junction, this causes pain that radiates to the scrotum, or to the vaginal lips in women, to the inner thighs or to the urethra. In this case, the patient feels the need to urinate frequently, because the stone irritates the bladder.
Sometimes people may experience pain similar to colic, known as colic, because the ureter’s muscle walls contract to expel the small stone into the bladder.
The pain usually does not decrease when the patient changes position, but in some cases may decrease when placed in the fetal position.
In this way, the iliopsoas muscle relaxes and the pressure on the genitofemoral nerve decreases.
This nerve reaches the genital organs, for this reason the pain caused by kidney stones can also be perceived in the testicles of the man and in the larger lips of women.
Presence of blood in the urine (hematuria): There may be traces of blood in the urine.
Sometimes they can be detected with the naked eye, but other times they are required and lab exams.
Blood in the urine is an indicator that damage has occurred in the ureter wall inside the kidney.
Painful and frequent urination: This symptom develops when the small stone is in the ureter near the bladder.
Urinary tract infection may be accompanied by painful urination.
Pain accompanied by fever and chills: if the patient develops a fever with pain, he or she should go to the doctor to prescribe the most appropriate medicines for this situation (usually antibiotics).
A urine test may be needed to detect the presence of white blood cells, in which case the patient is likely to have an infection.
Pain accompanied by vomiting and nausea: in case of nausea and vomiting along with stomach pain, side pain or back pain, this may be a serious situation.
In these cases, you should see your urologist in Delhi right away.
Other symptoms may occur, such as heavy sweating, weakness, changes in urine color (red, red or dark), bad urine odor, inability to urinate, among others.
Causes of renal colic
The stone clog blocks the ureter causing increased pressure in the renal pems (area where urine is deposited after being filtered).
In this situation, the body’s reaction involves secreting prostaglandins (lipid-based substances that resemble hormones that do not enter blood flow) into the kidney.
- Increased ureteral peristalsis
- Local swelling and swelling
- Increased diuresis, due to dilation of arterioles
Complications of kidney stones
- Hydronephrosis (urine buildup in the kidneys)
- Ureterohidronefrosis (accumulation of urine in the kidney and ureter)
- Urinary stasis and urinary tract infection