The kidneys, which are the most important organs of the excretory system, have many important functions, especially the removal of waste generated as a result of metabolism in the body. For this reason, the slightest problem in the kidneys greatly affects the functioning of the whole body. Kidney stone disease, which is one of the kidney diseases and is frequently encountered; While it is less common in Asia and the Far East in the world, it is a common problem in India, the Middle East and our country. It is very important to diagnose and treat this disease, which can lead to kidney loss if left untreated. What are kidney stones? What are the symptoms of kidney stones? Causes of kidney stones, Types of kidney stones, Kidney stone diagnosis, Kidney stone treatment methods ...
What are kidney stones?
The hard structures formed by the combination of some minerals in the kidney canals due to unknown reasons are called kidney stones. This disease, which is 3 times more common in men than in women, often tends to recur, even if it is eliminated with treatment once it occurs. Although it can be seen at any age, it is more common in individuals in their 30s. If kidney stones are not treated, they cause obstruction of the kidney ducts and this causes an increase in pressure in the kidney and causes deterioration in the functions of the organ with severe pain. Therefore, individuals with kidney stones should be treated even if they do not have pain.
What are the symptoms of kidney stones?
The most common symptoms of kidney stone disease are:
- Severe chest, abdominal and back pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blood in the urine
Causes of kidney stones
Although the cause of kidney stone formation is not known exactly, there are some factors that increase the risk of disease formation. Individuals with a family history of kidney stone disease are highly likely to get this disease. Incorrect eating habits can also increase the risk of kidney stone formation. Apart from these, factors that increase the risk of kidney stone formation are:
- Recurrent urinary tract infections
- Previous kidney stone problem
- Insufficient physical activity
- Congenital kidney anomalies
- Any other disease in the kidneys
- Chronic bowel problems
Types of kidney stones
Kidney stones are divided into the following types according to the minerals that make up the stone:
- Calcium stones: They are stones formed by various compounds of calcium such as calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate. Approximately 75% of all kidney stone cases are composed of calcium stones.
- Uric acid stones: It is a type of kidney stone usually seen in individuals fed a high protein diet.
- Cystine stones: Although it is a rare type of kidney stone, it is usually caused by metabolic disorders.
- Citruvite (infection) stones: This type of stone, which is usually caused by urinary tract infections, can cause serious kidney damage in a short time due to its rapid growth.
Kidney stone diagnosis
Various laboratory tests as well as medical imaging techniques are used in the diagnosis of kidney stones. Some of these diagnostic tests are:
- Computed tomography (CT)
- Urine analysis
Kidney stone treatment methods
Kidney stone The treatment process varies according to factors such as the size and type of the stone. Some methods used in the treatment are also used in the treatment of gallstones. Some stones can be dissolved with some medications without surgery. In addition to the drug treatments that can be applied in line with the physician's recommendation, especially for small stones, the excretion of the stones through the urinary tract can be achieved with abundant water consumption. For larger stones, open surgery was previously applied. However, this method, which requires a difficult healing process with the advancement of technology and medicine and increases the possibility of recurrence of the disease, has been replaced by more innovative applications. Stone breaking treatment with shock waves called ESWL (Extracorporeal Schock Wave Lithotripsy) can be applied for stones that do not melt and whose size is below a certain level. In addition, with the help of Retrograde Intrarenal Surgery, also known as RIRS treatment from the urinary tract, stone breaking or removal procedures can be performed with ureteroscopy. In some cases, nephrolithotomy operation, also known as closed kidney stone surgery, where the stone is directly removed from the kidney, is preferred. Which of these treatment methods will be preferred should be determined after a detailed examination by the urologist.
As well as the treatment of the disease, it is also important to know and apply the prevention methods from kidney stones in order to prevent new stone formation in the post-treatment process. The type of stone that occurs in the individual should be known and the foods that increase the risk of this stone formation should not be included in the patient's diet plan. In addition, plenty of water consumption should be paid attention to preventing stone formation in the kidney. If you also have kidney stones, you can prevent more serious problems that may be caused by the disease by applying to a healthcare institution and initiating your treatment process without waiting for the occurrence of severe pain.