Kidney stones are scientifically termed as renal calculi. These calculi are accumulation of minerals specially calcium oxalate, on the inner lining of the kidneys. These renal calculi are nothing but some supersaturated solutions of minerals that crystallize in the kidney itself. It is believed that these stones are formed and removed from our body unknowingly unless their size increases so much that it obstructs the ureters so that symptoms develop.
How Are Kidney Stones Formed
The kidney stones are formed due to insufficient intake of water. Kidneys are the organ for filtration in our body and urine is the waste product that is to be passed out. When the compounds cannot be diluted due to less amount of water, crystallization of salts begins. These crystals are known as renal stones.
Inhibitors of kidney stone formation: normal urine contains chelating agents such as citrate which prevent aggregation of calcium containing crystals, hence reduce stone forming process. It can be concluded that fall in level of such chelating agents below a minimum level increases stone formation. Dietary intake of magnesium & citrate can prevent calculi formation.
Composition of renal stones:
These stones vary in composition. They can be made of uric acid, struvite, CYSTINE, others –
- Uric acid Stones: these are usually found in people with increased uric acid in blood Eg.-gout, people under chemotherapy etc.
- Calcium Stones: these stones are most common. Stone can be made of Calcium Oxalate, Calcium Phosphate or calcium maleate. Vitamin c and spinach contain Oxalate and hence patients with renal stones are asked to avoid them.
- Cysteine Stones-They are very rare.
- Struvite stones.
- Xanthine stones.
Signs and symptoms
- Pain-There is typical radiating pain, starts at renal angle and radiates to thighs. In males pain goes from back to groin. This pain is known as Renal colic.
- Blood in urine Whenever the stone gets stuck in the urinary tract, it erodes the canal & thus causes bleeding. This blood passes out with urine.
- Foul Smelling Urine
Diagnosis of kidney stones:
Clinically, the typical sharp, spasmodic pain, beginning in the back and going to thighs referred as renal colic is the most important primary sign of kidney stone. It may be accompanied by nausea or vomiting. The kidney stones can be diagnosed by various other modalities listed below
X-Rays – an x-ray of KUB (kidney, ureters, and bladder) region of abdomen usually shows the shadow of stones on the x ray film.
Ultrasound of Abdomen (USG) –This is the common imaging study which diagnoses even the radiopaque stones that are not seen in X-rays Studies.
CT scan: All stones are detected in a CTScan except very fine calculi made of very fine drug residues like Indinavir.
Intravenous Pyelogram – (IVP) - It is a dye study, a dye is injected followed by multiple X-rays of KUB Region. It shows the position of uroliths in the ureters, bladder or urethra.
Retrograde Pyelogram: the study technique is similar to IVP except the dye being injected a AT THE JUNCTION OF URETER & BLADDER.
In patients with recurrent renal stones following investigations are required:
- Serum calcium, measured fasting on three occasions to exclude hyperparathyroidism
- Serum uric acid
- Urinary urate, calcium and phosphate in a 24 hour collection. The urine should also be screened for cysteine.
- Analysis of any stone passed
Management of renal stones:
Dietary Management of kidney stones-fluid intake should be increased
Salt forming chemicals don’t crystalize when dilute hence drink more water &
Calcium & oxalate restriction-Foods rich in calcium & oxalate are to be avoided. All green leafy vegetables, fish, milk & milk products, oil seeds like coconut water are to be avoided.
Avoid Vitamin & mineral supplements
Avoid fruits and vegetables with hard seeds like tomato, brinjal, ladies finger and guava.In case of Uric stone; avoid purine rich food and decrease animal protein.
Homeopathy treatment of renal calculus:
Homeopathy has achieved abundant success in cases of renal calculi.it needs no praises. Some of the famous medicines are nux vomica, ocimum, lycopodium etc
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