KIDNEY STONES Overview
WHAT ARE KIDNEY/ RENAL STONES?
Kidney stones are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside the kidneys. Stones in kidney are formed when there is less urine volume or more stone forming substance in urine or if both conditions are present. the stones usually originate in the kidneys but may be formed anywhere in the urinary tract (kidneys, ureters, bladder, urethra).
When urine becomes concentrated, there is stagnation of the flow. When there is stagnation, it’s easy for the minerals to stick together and crystalize to form stones.
After being formed in the kidneys the stone may pass lower through the ureter to the bladder for expulsion along with the urine which is a painful process except the stone is a microlith and is smaller in size.
- Dehydration may be a major risk factor in stone formation.
- Medical conditions like gout, parathyroid dysfunction can also be associated with stone formation.
- Excess supplements can also cause stone formation.
- Age between 20-40 years.
- Production of less than a liter of urine in 24 hours.
- Obese people.
- High protein and salt in diet.
TYPES OF KIDNEY STONES:
CALCIUM STONES: calcium stones are most common. Calcium can bind with oxalate, phosphate, maleate to form stones. Calcium oxalate stones are most common.
URIC ACID STONES: these stones are usually seen in people with gout. Acidic urine is the most suitable environment of such stones to form. Diet rich in purine increases the acidity of the urine. These stones are more common in men.
STRUVITE STONES: these stones are usually formed in women with recurrent urinary tract infection and the stone could be large enough to cause obstruction to urine flow.
CYSTINE STONES: these stones are rare and are formed of cystine which is a naturally occurring acid in the body but leaks from the kidneys into the urine.