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Do You Know What A Kidney Stone Is

Posted Feb 16 2009 11:08pm

Do you know what a kidney stone is? These are minerals are salts that are found in your urine and when it hardens, it becomes a stone. Most of the time, these are very small that it does not cause any harm but if they get bigger or it builds up, then there is a problem.

Kidney stones do not just stay in the kidney. It can move to other parts of the body. When that happens, you will feel certain symptoms. You could feel pain coming from your back or pelvis, experience spasms, notice bloody, cloudy or smelly urine, feel sick, urinate frequently and have fevers and chills.

It is hard to tell if you have kidney stones because these symptoms also happen when you have UTI or urinary tract infection. Your doctor can only tell which is which after conducting some tests.

The different tests available include blood test, urine analysis, x-rays, ultrasound and non-contrast helical computerized tomography. If initial reports and the results confirm that you have kidney stones, then the proper treatment is administered.

Doctors don’t know yet what causes kidney stones. Some believe it is caused by our lifestyle, due to certain medication, post surgery or therapy and in rare cases, a genetic disorder. This happens more often to men that women between the 20 to 40 age group.

If you are diagnosed with a kidney stone, you should know that treatment varies from one patient to the next because this depends on the kind of stone found in your kidney.

There are 4 types of kidney stones namely calcium uric acid, strutvite and cystine. The first 2 are the most common and if the size is less than 4 mm in diameter, you can expel it out of your system by drinking water and some medication.

Should the kidney stone be larger than 8 mm in diameter, this is the only time that surgery may be required.

The doctor may perform one of these procedures which include extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy, ureteroscopic stone removal and percutaneous nephrolithotomy. Each procedure is designed to shrink the kidney stone and if one treatment does not work, only then will they try something else. Surgery which has been practiced for so many years is now the last option.

Now that you know what kidney stones, is there a way to stop this from happening? Yes there is and the most effective way is through prevention. You do this by drinking 3 liters of water or 6 to 8 glasses a day, make some changes in your diet like eat and drink products that contain calcium and exercise regularly.

Kidney stones can happen to anyone regardless of age or gender but guys, you should be more careful because you are at greater risk of getting it. If you feel some pain, go and pay your doctor a visit. Don’t wait until it gets worse.

If it is a false alarm, then that is good. But if you do have kidney stones, cooperate with the doctor and follow his or her directions. You should also ask if the kidney stones have caused any permanent damage and what are the risks of the procedure if it requires medical intervention. Kidney stones do happen but don’t worry because it is after all, treatable.

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