Kidney stone is a commonly occurring health concern that affects 1 out of every 15 people in the world. Studies have shown that the male population is more likely to develop stones in their kidney than the females. But in all cases, these cause tremendous pain and discomfort, which calls for kidney stone removal for relief.
What are Kidney Stones?
You might want to know what these kidney stones are, actually. Kidney stones are made up of highly concentrated amounts of minerals, which are excreted by your system through urine. Crystals of calcium, oxalate, phosphorus or even uric acid and other salts may be created when they solidify in high concentrations, thereby forming stones. The chemical constituency of kidney stones determines the kind of treatment that you will need to undergo.
What are its Symptoms?
Kidney stones may develop in infants as well as elderly people. The most commonly prevailing symptom of kidney stones is excruciating pain in the lower abdomen region. There might be intense intermittent pain known as renal colic, which might lead to restlessness, haematuria, sweating, urinary urgency and even vomiting.
If there is accompanying fever, then there might be a chance of an infection on its way. Such conditions need immediate medical attention and kidney stone treatment to remove obstruction and bring relief.
Diagnosing Kidney Stones
When the symptoms are indicative of the presence of kidney stones, imaging studies are conducted to confirm the diagnosis. The tests that are commonly conducted to diagnose kidney stones are:
- Urine culture
- Ultrasound scan
- X-ray of abdomen
- CT scan
Treatment of Kidney Stones
Treating kidney stones depends on certain parameters like, the size of the stones, their location and whether they are obstructing the urinary tract or not. Whether there is any change in the normal kidney functions or presence of any other urinary infection also needs to be determined for appropriate treatment of kidney stones.
Kidney stone operation might not be needed if the size of the kidney stone is small enough. Depending on your doctor’s advice, you can also go for home treatments like:
- Using Painkillers: Non-prescription drugs like non- steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines or NSAID, can be used to relieve pain. If you experience severe pain, your doctor might also prescribe stronger medication to instant pain relief.
- Drinking sufficient fluids: If your doctor thinks that the kidney stones are small enough to pass down on their own, you may need to drink plenty of fluids. Keep drinking lots of water and other liquids for the kidney stone to pass down and out of your system.
Surgical Methods of Treatment
In certain cases, your doctor might also advise you to undergo a kidney stone surgery. The various surgical methods are:
- Laparoscopy: This is the most widely used non-invasive surgical method to treat kidney stones. Stones in kidney and ureter can be removed using this technique.
- Lithotripsy: Extracorporeal Shockwave Lithotripsy or ESWL uses shock waves to break down kidney stones into smaller pieces. Stones present in the kidney or upper ureter can be subjected to ESWL and then passed out through urine.
- Ureteroscopy: Here, an instrument is inserted into the ureter to fragment stones present in that region using laser energy. These broken down stones are then excreted out of the system.
- Cystolitholapaxy: This process involves inserting equipment into the urinary bladder to fragment the stones that are present over there.
When it comes to managing kidney stones, you must always try to prevent their formation rather than suffer the consequences. Drinking fluids in abundance is the best way to prevent the development of kidney stones.
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