What are kidney stones?
Kidney stones are composed of salts and minerals found in the urine. When these components stick together, they form small pebbles which are called kidney stones. The size of these stones may vary – they can be as small as sand grains or as large as cherry tomatoes. They can also either stay in your body or travel out through your urinary tract. And when the stones travel through the tract, it may either cause unbearable pain or none at all.
Causes of kidney stones
Kidney stones are usually formed when there is an imbalance among the minerals in your body – water, salt and other things found in urine. One of the most common reasons for having kidney stones is lack of water intake. Always make sure that you drink at least 8 to 9 glasses of water every day. This will make your urine light yellow or clear in color. Others acquire kidney stones because of an existing medical condition like gout. It may also be genetic. So if you have a family history of kidney stones, there’s a high risk that you may have them as well.
Symptoms of kidney stones
As mentioned above, having kidney stones may be painless while they are in the kidneys. However, they can also cause severe pain as they start to travel through the urinary tract. Consult your doctor immediately when you suspect that you have kidney stones to get proper treatment. Some signs to watch out for are pain in your side, belly or groin. Your urine will also look pink or red. You may feel nauseous or sick to your stomach.
Treatment for kidney stones
For most situations, doctors would recommend that you take extra care of yourself at home – like drinking more water, eating a healthy diet and getting enough rest. Your doctor may prescribe some medicine for the pain and advise you to keep hydrated. Doctors may also give you medicine to aid in the passing of the stone.
However, if the size of the kidney stones that you have is too large to pass through smoothly then you may need to get more intense treatment. Out of 10 kidney stones situations, 1 or 2 need more than home treatment. The most common treatment that doctors recommend is extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy. The process will include shock waves to break down the kidney stones into tiny pieces.