Kidney stones can develop in anybody, but some people may have a higher risk of them due to certain diseases and conditions.
How Do You Get Kidney Stones? Most Commonly because…
According to studies and past records, kidney stones are more common among men than among women; in the US, incidence rates are at 12% and 7% respectively. They are also found to be most common between 20 and 49 years of age.
In the case of recurring stones, the first stone develops during a person’s 20′s or 30′s. Unfortunately, once a person develops a kidney stone, the chances of getting further stones increase.
Every year, the number of people who seek medical help for kidney stones reach 20 million.
Kidney stones and the crystalline minerals that they are made up of are caused by two major reasons which are the most common answer to how do you get kidney stones.
Kidney stones may occur when urine volume decreases due to lack of water intake
One of the most common causes of kidney stones is when a person does not drink enough water. This causes certain substances to build up in high concentrations in your urine.
When the urine passes through the kidney, some of these substances get left and eventually accumulate. To avoid the development of kidney stones, drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water daily to keep the urine light or clear.
You can get kidney stones when urine volume decreases due to dehydration
People who suffer from prolonged dehydration face an increased risk of forming kidney stones. A lot of people suffer from dehydration without knowing it especially when the weather is very hot, and even more so if the person is prone to heavy sweating, while fluid intake is inadequate.
When the urinary tract is infected
Urinary tract infection can increase a person’s risk of developing kidney stones. Usually, stones that develop due to UTI (Urinary tract infection) are struvite stones.
When a patient is taking certain medications they can become more prone to kidney stones
Some medications may raise the risk of developing kidney stones. These medications include diuretics, antacids that contain calcium, and protease inhibitors (used in the treatment of HIV infection). This means that persons who are suffering from conditions that require them to take these medications regularly should take extra steps to guard against kidney stones, and that includes drinking a lot of fluids.
When urine contains an excess of certain substances
There are some conditions that cause the amount of certain substances to increase in the urine. There are a lot of these conditions; here are some examples:
1. A person who is overweight may have greater amounts of calcium in the urine, and this can cause calcium minerals to accumulate and eventually develop into kidney stones.
2. A person who experiences some metabolic abnormalities that alter the natural composition of a person’s urine will be at a greater risk of kidney stones.
3. Gout can increase the amount of uric acid in the blood and urine. This can cause uric acid stones to form.
4. Hyperparathyroidism is another condition associated with an increased kidney stone risk. This is a disorder that affects the parathyroid glands, causing them to enlarge and secrete more hormone than the body needs. This causes an increase in the calcium levels in the blood, which can cause calcium stones to form.
When a patient is genetically predisposed to kidney stones
Kidney stones are also considered hereditary, mainly because some genetic conditions can make the risk of kidney stones greater. Here are some examples:
1. Hypercalcuria is a genetic condition that causes heightened levels of calcium in the urine. This condition makes the patient absorb too much calcium from food then excrete it into the urine. This condition usually causes calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate stones.
2. Cystinuria is an inherited metabolic disorder that blocks the absorption of cystine, an amino acid, and causing the cystine to accumulate in urine. This condition may cause cystine stones.
The Cause and the Proper Treatment for Kidney Stones
Identifying the cause of kidney stones is sometimes necessary to determine the most appropriate treatment to be used.
Aside from treating for the stone, the patient may also receive treatment for the condition that caused the kidney stone to form in the first place; this is to prevent the recurrence of the kidney stones. For example, those who suffer from gout, hyperparathyroidism, hypercalcuria, and other conditions that negatively affect the balance of urine composition should be given medications that can make the urine more alkaline and less acidic.
These medications include phosphate solutions and sodium bicarbonate/sodium citrate. With the help of these medications, further kidney stones can be prevented.
How to get rid of kidney stones
How do you get rid of kidney stones? If you have kidney stones you may be at the stage where you would do almost anything to get rid of them. Fortunately most kidney stones pass naturally and without a Doctors help, but some people aren’t as lucky as that and may need kidney stones treatment such as shock waves or tunnel surgery to break down or surgically remove kidney stones.
You may be able to break up and pass your kidney stones naturally just by drinking more water and undertaking more exercise. A good course of action is to drink at least two – three liters of water a day, preferably at least three liters. The more water you have in your system the more it will help you to pass your kidney stones less painfully than a lesser amount of water. Remember to not overdo your intake of water as too much water can be dangerous.
Exercise is always good for health, and depending on the size of your kidney stones, exercise, especially cardiovascular exercise will help your body naturally break up the stones.
Kidney stones can also be removed surgically through the different procedures listed below.
One way of getting rid of kidney stones surgically is a procedure called Ureteroscopy. It isn’t a pleasant sounding word and it is by no means a pleasant procedure but it does do the job, and patients treated this way will be under a general anesthetic.
During the procedure a thin, telescopic like device called a Ureteroscope is inserted into the patients genitals and passed through ones urethra and bladder. When the kidney stone or stones have been located they might be removed by the Urologist using the Ureteroscope by way of a small basket which is called basket extraction, or by breaking up the stones with a laser.
Open Surgery/Tunnel Surgery
Again this procedure to get rid of kidney stones will be performed under a general anesthetic.
In this procedure a small cut/incision is made in the patients back. A small tunnel is then made through the skin into the ureter or kidney where the stones are which will then be removed using a nephroscope or break the stones up using shock-waves or a laser.
Although it isn’t a long procedure, the after care could mean the patient having to stay in hospital for several weeks after. Because of this, this procedure is now becoming quite uncommon.
Non surgical treatments of kidney stones
Although this procedure doesn’t involve surgery it does involve a medical procedure that may not be suitable for everybody.
EWSL – Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy
This kidney stones treatment involves basically firing highly targeted shock waves at your kidney stones. Ultrasound will be used to determine the exact position of each kidney stone. A lithotripter sensor is placed on your skin and then fires shock waves to the targeted stone which then breaks or crushes them up into minute particles that could resemble grains of sand thus making it a lot easier to pass them through your urine.
It isn’t a long procedure, generally around an hour long and although you may experience some pain or discomfort during it you shouldn’t need to stay in hospital after it has been completed. This procedure isn’t recommended for everyone and may take more than one treatment to get rid of your kidney stones completely as usually one kidney is treated at a time.