kidney stones

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Overview

Kidney stones are small, hard deposits that can form in a part of the kidney called the renal pelvis. Those that enter a ureter are sometimes referred to as ureteral stones. The ureters are the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.

Many of these stones are so small that they are able to travel to the bladder in just a few days or weeks without any treatment, and then exit the body in your urine. If smaller stones are causing problems, it's often enough to take painkillers, drink plenty of fluids, move enough and simply wait for the kidney stones to pass through. Muscle-relaxing medications can be used to help pass medium-sized stones.

Larger stones may get stuck as they exit the renal pelvis or take longer to move through the ureter, causing severe pain and other symptoms. Then they usually need to be broken up by sound waves or removed through a minor surgical procedure. The most suitable treatment will depend on the size, type and position of the stones in the kidney or the urinary tract.

It's common to have kidney stones multiple times. Finding the cause is a necessary part of preventing that from happening.


Symptoms

severe pain on either side of your lower back.

more vague pain or stomach ache that doesn't go away.

blood in the urine.

nausea or vomiting.

fever and chills.

urine that smells bad or looks cloudy.

Causes

Kidney stones (also called renal calculi, nephrolithiasis or urolithiasis) are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys. Diet, excess body weight, some medical conditions, and certain supplements and medications are among the many causes of kidney

Possible causes include drinking too little water, exercise (too much or too little), obesity, weight loss surgery, or eating food with too much salt or sugar. Infections and family history might be important in some people. Eating too much fructose correlates with increasing risk of developing a kidney stone.


Risk factors

Family or personal history. ...

Dehydration. ...

Certain diets. ...

Obesity. ...

Digestive diseases and surgery. ...

Other medical conditions such as renal tubular acidosis, cystinuria, hyperparathyroidism and repeated urinary tract infections also can increase your risk of kidney stones.

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Complications

sepsis, an infection that spreads through the blood, causing symptoms throughout the whole body. a blocked ureter caused by stone fragments (the ureter is the tube that attaches the kidney to the bladder) an injury to the ureter.

Severe infections including septicaemia (blood poisoning) which can be life-threatening.

Renal scarring and damage to the kidneys, resulting in permanent renal failure.

Loss of function of a kidney resulting in the need for removal of the kidney (nephrectomy).

Prevention

Kidney stones are hard mineral deposits that form inside your kidneys. They cause excruciating pain when they pass through your urinary tract.

Up to 12 percent of Americans are affected by kidney stones. And once you’ve had one kidney stone, you’re 50 percent more likely to get another within the next 10 years.

There’s no one sure way to prevent kidney stones, especially if you have a family history of the condition. A combination of diet and lifestyle changes, as well as some medications, may help reduce your risk.