Kidney stones - scientifically known as Renal Calculi and medically termed as Nephrolithiasis or Urolithiasis (depending on its location)
It is a condition characterized by the presence of hard mineral and salt crystals in one or both kidneys. The causes range from genetics and diet to medications and metabolic diseases.
Kidney stones vary in size as well as shape. The smaller ones may pass on their own while passing urine with little or no pain, but those that are larger may get obstructed, leading to severe pain and bleeding.
On experiencing any symptoms, one must seek care from a doctor or urologist to avoid any further complications.
Kidney stones can be made up of different types of crystals depending upon their composition. Identifying it helps determine the course of treatment and prevents its reoccurrence. The various types are:
The causes of kidney stones are multifactorial. It forms due to an excess amount of the minerals and salts in the urine that crystallize and stick together, becoming more in composition than the fluid in the urine can dilute.
Factors that increase the risk of developing kidney stones include:
Dehydration: This is the most important cause of kidney stones. This is the case especially for those who drink less than 1 liter of water per day, live in tropical climates, and sweat a lot.
Other factors that increase the risk of Kidney stones:
Medical conditions that could lead to kidney stones:
A patient with kidney stones may be asymptomatic unless the stones move through the urinary tract, with the most common symptom being- severe abdominal pain (known as renal colic) associated with nausea and vomiting.
Gastrointestinal symptoms include
Urinary signs and symptoms of kidney stones:
Complications that arise from leaving kidney stones untreated are:
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