Function of kidneys
What AreKidney Stones?
They are crystalline and hard materials that are formed in the kidney itself or a urinary tract. The medical term is known as nephrolithiasis. If your stones are in the ureters, it is known as ureterolithiasis. And ifkidney stonesare located in the urinary tract, they are referred to as urolithiasis.
What Are Kidneys?
Kidneys are organs in a shape of a bean. Their size can be compared with the size of your fist. They are situated below the rib cage in the middle of your back on each side of your spine. Kidneys are cinsidered to be trash collectors, as they process much blood and sift waste products with extra water. These sifted elements become urine and flow to youк bladder through ureters, and your bladder stores and accumulates urine and sends signals to your brain when it is time to go to the bathroom.
Facts AboutKidney Stones
- the major factor of stone formation is dehydration
- people who take certain medications or with particular medical conditions are at risk
- hereditary and dietary factors are also responsible for stone formation
What CausesKidney Stones?
Stones form due to excess of stone forming substances decrease of urine volume. Also they can be a result of urinary tract infection, as well as other medical conditions like:
- hypercalciuria (when urine contains much calcium)
- gout (much uric acid in blood)
- inflammatory boweldisease
- dietary factors
- other conditions ordiseases(e.g. hyperparathyroidism, hyperoxaluria, cystinuria, high blood pressure and diabetes)
More than half ofkidney stonesformed by adults are calciumoxalate. Due to some recent research after taking dietaryoxalate, only 15% of it is found in the urine of those who form calciumoxalatestones, that's why it is widely
believed that diet can't prevent stone formation. However, those foods, that were thought to form stones due to theiroxalatecontent appear to have preventive effects. For these reasons healthcare professionals recommend to restrict dietary oxalates that will prevent calciumoxalatestone formation.
What Are Sym
ptoms and Signs OfKidney Stones?
There are cases whenkidney stonesdon't cause any symptoms. Usually the first sign of thediseaseis sudden pain in the side and back area of the kidney. Sometimes there is nausea and vomiting, and afterwards pain spreads to the groin.
How CanKidney Stonesbe Diagnosed?
Physical examination proved not to be helpful except for finding flank tenderness. Silent stones (which don't cause any symptoms) are usually found on x-rays. If the stones are too small, they can pass out unnoticed. However,kidney stonesare often found on x-rays of those patients, who complained about sudden pain or blood in the urine. Those images will give information on how big and where they are to the doctor. Sometimes, you can go through a CT (computerized tomography) or IVP (intravenous pyelogram). Treatment is determined according to the results.
How DoKidney StonesLook Like?
There are four major types of stones:
- calcium. This is the most common stone found. Calcium that isn't used by muscles or bones goes to the kidneys.
- struvite. They might form after a urinary system infection.
- uric acid. They form when person's urine contains excess acid.
- cystine. These are rare, as the element of cystine tends to build blocks which make up nerves, muscles and other parts. Thisdiseaseusually runs in families.
When Should I Go To The Hospital?
Sometimeskidney stonesgo out unnoticed, but don't forget they they tend to grow and be really painful.
You should call a doctor or go to the hospital if you have got:
- blood in the urine
- sharp pain in kidney area
- burning feeling when urinating
- urine with bad smell or look