A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in a kidney when substances that are normally based in the urine become highly concentrated.
Kidney stones are one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract. Passing a kidney stone is really a painful experience that few people would ever forget, and even though they are more common in men, it is important for everybody to be aware of what kidney stones are, how you can prevent them, the signs of symptoms, and the treatment with this condition. Several risk factors (things that place you at risk) for kidney stones make it much more likely that you will get them. Some of these stuff you can control, and others you can’t.
What Is A Kidney Stone?
A kidney stone is a solid piece of material that forms in a kidney when substances that are normally based in the urine become highly concentrated. A stone may remain in the kidney or travel on the urinary tract. Kidney stones vary in size. A small stone may spread its own, causing little or no pain. A bigger stone may get stuck along the urinary tract and may block the flow of urine, causing severe pain or bleeding.
Kidney stones are one of the most common disorders of the urinary tract. Each year in the United States, people make greater than a million visits to health care providers and most 300,000 people go to emergency rooms for kidney stone problems.
Symptoms Associated With Kidney Stones
When a kidney stone starts to pass, symptoms typically occur suddenly and unexpectedly. Sharp, stabbing pain usually develops in your side or back, typically right at the end part of the ribcage. Sometimes, the pain will travel downward in to the genital area. Stones that have nearly passed in to the bladder may be associated with an intense urge to urinate.
Stone pain typically comes and goes. After an initial period of severe pain, you may feel better for some hours before developing another attack. Many patients will need medication to help with stone pain.
Vomiting and nausea are also very common and are often grounds for hospital admission during stone attacks. You could also see blood in your urine. This can be unsettling to a lot of patients, but is generally not life-threatening.
Probably the most concerning symptom during a stone attack is fever, indicating that you may have an infection in addition to a kidney stone. This can be a potentially life-threatening combination and requires immediate evaluation and treatment.
Who Gets Kidney Stones?
You can now get a kidney stone, but some people are more likely to get one. Men may take a hit more often than women, and kidney stones tend to be more common in non-Hispanic white people than in non-Hispanic black people and Mexican Americans. Overweight and obese people may get a kidney stone than people of normal weight.
The prevalence of kidney stones rises dramatically as men enter their 40s and keeps rising into their 70s. For women, the prevalence of kidney stones peaks within their 50s. Once a person gets greater than one stone, other stones are likely to develop.
Family Or Personal History
If a person in your family has kidney stones, you’re more likely to develop stones, too. And when you’ve already had one or even more kidney stones, you’re at increased chance of developing another.
Eating a diet that’s high in protein, sodium and sugar may increase your chance of some types of kidney stones. This is especially true having a high-sodium diet. Too much sodium in your diet increases the amount of calcium your kidneys must filter and significantly increases your chance of kidney stones.
Digestive Diseases And Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery, inflammatory bowel disease or chronic diarrhea can cause alterations in the digestive process that affect your absorption of calcium and water, increasing the amount of stone-forming substances in your urine.
Other Medical Conditions
Diseases and conditions that could increase your risk of kidney stones include renal tubular acidosis, cystinuria, hyperparathyroidism, certain medications and some urinary tract infections.