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What are kidney stones?

Kidney Stones, Renal Calculi, Nephrolithiasis or Urolithiasis are hard deposits of minerals and salts formed within kidneys due to concentrated urine allowing minerals to crystallize and stick together to form stones. These stones can affect any part of the urinary system (Kidney, Ureter & Urinary Bladder) and natural passing of these stones can be quite painful.

When to see the doctor for kidney stones?

Seek immediate medical attention and make appointment with us at 03009434930, if you experience one of the following symptoms

  • Fever and chills
  • Blood in your urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty in passing urine
  • Urinating in small amounts
  • A persistent need to urinate
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • Urinating more often than usual
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Pain so severe that you can’t sit still
  • Pain that radiates to the lower abdomen and groin
  • Pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity

Kidney Stone Diagnosis

If you or your doctor suspects that you have a kidney stone then you may have to undergo the following diagnostic tests

  • Blood test for hypercalcemia (High Calcium Level)
  • Blood test for uricemia (High Uric Acid Level)
  • Spot urine examination for white blood cells indicating a urinary tract infection
  • Spot urine examination for red blood cells indicating Haematuria (Blood in urine) due to passage of stone particles
  • Spot urine examination for urinary stone-forming crystals
  • Ultrasound is a quick and easy method to rule out kidney stones
  • Simple abdominal x. rays to show kidney stones in the urinary tract
  • Computerized Tomography (CT) Scans are necessary to rule out small kidney stones which are not visible on x. rays
  • Chemical Analysis of passed stones.  Lab analysis will reveal the chemical composition of your kidney stones. Your doctor will use this information to determine the cause of kidney stones and will suggest a dietary plan to prevent further kidney stones

Types of kidney stones

  1. Calcium Oxalate 
  2. Calcium Phosphate
  3. Struvite Stones
  4. Uric Acid Stones
  5. Cystine Stones
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Symptoms of kidney stones

  1. Fever
  2. Nausea
  3. Vomiting
  4. Urine infection
  5. Feeling sweaty
  6. Blood in your urine
  7. Pain in the abdomen or groin 
  8. Referred pain in testicles
  9. Severe pain that comes and goes
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Symptoms of Kidney Stone pain

Treatment of stones

Treatment for kidney stones depends upon the type and the cause of stone

  1. Treatment for small stones having minimum symptoms
  2. Treatment for large stones having maximum symptoms

Treatment of small stones (less than 5 mm)

  • Drink enough water (1- 3 litres daily) to flush out small kidney/renal stone
  • Drink less water (1liters daily) to flush out small ureteric stone in order to avoid back pressure (Hydronephrosis) leading to severe pain.
  • Try to keep your urine clear or nearly clear
  • For mild pain, your doctor will suggest some pain relievers such as ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, diclofenac potassium
  • Your doctor may suggest alpha-blocker medicines (Tamsulosin) which will relax the muscles of the ureter and will facilitate the passage of this small stone quickly and less painfully

Treatment of large stones (more than 5 mm)

  1. Using sound waves (Lithotripsy) to break up stones
  2. Open Surgery to remove very large stones in the kidney (pyelolithotomy)
  3. Using a scope/camera (Uretero-Reno-Scope-URS) to remove stones
  4. Parathyroid gland surgery for calcium phosphate stones formed by overactive parathyroid glands

Using sound waves (lithotripsy) to break up stones

  • For certain kidney stones depending on size and their location, your doctor may suggest a procedure called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL)
  • ESWL uses sound waves to create strong vibrations/shock waves that break the stones into tiny pieces that can be passed in your urine naturally. The procedure lasts about 45 to 60 minutes and can cause bearable mild pain or discomfort
  • ESWL can cause blood in the urine (Haematuria), bruising on the back or abdomen and discomfort as the stone fragments pass through the urinary tract

Using a scope/camera to remove stones

  • To remove a smaller stone in your ureter or kidney, your doctor may pass a thin tube called ureteroscope equipped with a camera through your urethra and bladder to your ureter.
  • Once the stone is located, special tools can snare the stone or break it into pieces that will pass in your urine.
  • Your doctor may then place a small tube (stent or DJ stent) in the ureter to relieve swelling and promote healing.
  • You may need general or local anaesthesia during this procedure.

PCNL Surgery to remove very large stones in the kidney

  1. Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL)
  2. PCNL (Key Hole Surgery) involves surgical removal of a kidney stone using small telescopes and instruments inserted through a small incision in your back.
  3. You will be hospitalized for two to three days and will receive general anaesthesia during the surgery. Your doctor may recommend this surgery if ESWL is unsuccessful.
  4. In case large staghorn renal stones your  doctor may suggest Open kidney surgery (Pylolithotomy)
Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL)
PCNL Treatment (Percutaneous Nephrolithatomy)

Parathyroid gland surgery for calcium phosphate stones

  • Some calcium phosphate stones are caused by overactive parathyroid glands
  • Parathyroid glands are located behind your thyroid gland, just below your laryngeal prominence or Adam’s apple. When these glands produce too much parathyroid hormone in hyperparathyroidism disease, your calcium levels can become too high and can lead to the formation of kidney stones due to overactive parathyroid glands
  • In this case your doctor may suggest Parathyroid gland surgery for these calcium phosphate stones formed by overactive parathyroid glands

Advice for Kidney Stone Patients

  • Drink more water daily
  • Eat more calcium-rich foods
  • Avoid excessive vitamin c supplement
  • Eat less sodium (Salt)
  • Eat fewer oxalate-rich foods
  • Eat less animal protein (Meat)

Stay hydrated (Drink more water)

Stay Hydrated, Drink More Water Daily

Eat more calcium-rich foods

The most common type of kidney stone is the calcium oxalate stone, leading many people to believe they should avoid eating calcium. The opposite is true. Low-calcium diets may increase your kidney stone risk and your risk of osteoporosis.

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Avoid Excessive vitamin C supplements

Calcium supplements, however, may increase your risk of stones. Taking calcium supplements with a meal may help reduce that risk.

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Avoid Excessive Vit. C Intake

Eat less sodium

     Foods notorious for being high in sodium include:

  • Processed foods, such as chips and crackers
  • Canned soups
  • Canned vegetables
  • Foods that contain monosodium glutamate (MSG-Chinese salt)
  • Foods that contain sodium bicarbonate (Baking soda)
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Eat fewer oxalate-rich foods

     Foods high in oxalates are:

  • Spinach
  • Chocolate
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Coffee
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat bran
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Eat less animal protein

  • You should try to limit or avoid:
  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Fish
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Eat Reasonable Amount of Animal Protein

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