Last week we discussed gallstones.  Unfortunately, these are not the only “stones’, which can ruin your day.  Kidneys stones, although smaller than their gallbladder cousins, cause much more pain.  These stones are often only the size of grain or two of sand, yet they manage to bring the hardiest of us to our knees.  Kidney stones form-yes you guessed it!- in the kidneys where they can hang out in most cases without causing too many problems.  However, if these same stones migrate down the ureters (small connecting tubes between the kidneys and bladder), they can stretch the walls of the ureters and severe pain results. Larger stones can cause complete obstruction, which over a few weeks time will knock out the involved kidney. Infection is also a risk, as some infections cause stones and urine which is not flowing can cause infections.

Most stones contain calcium and are caused by calcium precipitating with phosphate.  Taking calcium for osteoporosis or in antacids is one risk factor for getting stones. Curiously,  high calcium diet may actually reduce the risk of developing kidney stones. Any condition which elevates the calcium level raises the risk-these include certain hormonal diseases and some cancers. Gout sufferers may develop uric acid stones, which do not contain calcium.  Breakdown of blood cells can also cause kidney stones. Chronic urine infections can lead to stones as well.

Symptoms are severe flank pain, often radiating to the back.  Nausea and vomiting are common as is blood in the urine.  Fever is more concerning as this may herald an infection or abscess.

Treatment involves initially heavy duty narcotics as well as Ibuprofen.  Ibuprofen and other similar drugs help the ureter dilate.  This in turn may allow the stone to migrate to the bladder, where it causes no harm.  Less commonly, surgery or ultrasound therapy is required for stone removal.

Prevention-other than being born to the right parents, involves avoiding dehydration and calcium supplements.  However, for those who have osteoporosis stopping calcium may not be an option. Get didactic service of the magnificent quality visit this website in addition arrange benefit.

Bottom line: If you are diagnosed with a kidney stone, you will in all likelihood have a very miserable day. On the bright side of things, most stones pass without surgical intervention and you get to miss  a day or two of work.