What are Kidney Stones? Important Facts about Kidney Stones

The major excretory organs are the kidneys. Without them, waste products of metabolism would amass in the body and could cause toxication or poisoning due to acidic and toxic wastes. Diseases in the genito-urinary tract could be prevented if people are aware of basic facts concerning the kidneys and the organs involved in the excretion of the body’s waste products of metabolism. Kidney stones are composed of crystals such as calcium oxalate and uric acid stones. These urine sediments, when not properly excreted would build up and form kidney stones. The stones’ sizes vary from sand grains to golf balls, depending on whether the condition was left untreated or not. The smaller stones can be excreted during micturition or could crystallize and increase in size to clog the ureter and urine pathways.

The passage of these stones may cause scarring, bleeding or pain due to the movement of the stones though the urinary tract. At times, there are cases when there is complete obstruction of the pathway that only surgery could remedy. kidney stone can come from various sources, from the food that we eat to the lack of water in our body. Uric acid is readily excreted in its sodium urate soluble form. When the pH (acidity and alkalinity) of the urine is altered, uric acid accumulates in the kidneys and form urinary calculi resulting to urolithiasis, and in the joints as gout. Rich sources of uric acid are legumes, sardines, salted foods, cabbage and visceral organs. Alcohol also inhibits the excretion of uric acid from the body because it increases the acidity of urine.

On the other hand calcium oxalates could also readily form into stones when the person does not observe proper hydration. Too much acidity enhances also the formation of kidney stones. The acidity of the urine can be diluted to become more alkaline by drinking more than 8 glasses of water every day. You can drink fruit juices to provide proper hydration and to help prevent calculi or kidney stone formation. This could also be the reason why there are more kidney diseases in warmer regions. Urinary tract conditions like glomerulonephritis, Crohn’s disease, renal tubular acidosis and similar conditions could lead to the formation of urinary calculi. People belonging to the same family who have had previous kidney stones would have a higher probability of developing the condition as well.

When the normal acidic pH of urine is altered, this could also cause the retention of crystals, which could eventually become kidney stones. Bishop, a noted author, stated in his Clinical Chemistry book that when the pH changes the uric acid is not converted to sodium urate, its soluble form, leading to its accumulation in the kidneys. The crystals would eventually attract more crystals to form stones. Kidney stones symptoms could vary from pain in the groin area, to the lower back.

Dysuria or painful urination also characterizes kidney stones just like nausea and vomiting. Kidney stones can be detected using a simple urine analysis or urinalysis done in the laboratory. The doctor may also request for other diagnostic tests like Intravenous Pyelogram (IVP), ultrasound. The treatment of kidney stones can range from a simple water therapy to a surgical procedure depending on the extent of the condition. Bigger stones which could not be dissolved and excreted would require a surgical intervention to remove the stone. You can prevent the formation of kidney stones by drinking large amounts of water and liquids and hydrating yourself properly. Do not drink carbonated drinks like colas because they do not contribute well in the excretion of crystals from the body. As the clich goes, “Prevention is better than cure.”

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