Urine holds multiple dissolved minerals and salts. When the urine is high in these minerals and salt, kidney stones form. Kidney stones are initially small but large and can even fill the hollow structure inside the kidney. Some stones remain in the kidneys and do not cause problems. Urine stones can travel into the bladder through the ureter, which connects the kidney with the bladder. When the stone reaches the bladder, it excretes in the urine. When a stone stays in the ureter, it blocks the flow of urine from its kidneys, causing pain.
Generally, the kidneys remove waste products from the blood and make urine (pee). If there are too many waste products in the blood and the body doesn't produce enough urine, crystals will begin to form in the kidneys. These crystals attract other waste products and chemicals to form solids (kidney stones). Solids (kidney stones) grow larger if they are not excreted from the urine.
The kidney stones can be as diminutive as a grain of sand or as enormous as a golf ball.
Anyone can get kidney stones, but some people get kidney stones more often than others. Men can develop kidney stones more often than women. Kidney stones are more common in non-Hispanic whites than in people of other ethnicities. You are also more likely to develop kidney stones if:
If you have a tiny kidney stone, it can urinate out of the body (called passing a kidney stone). You may not know that you had no symptoms and had kidney stones.
Large kidney stones can clog the urinary tract and prevent urine from passing through. Some of the symptoms you may notice are:
You may experience severe pain when passing through kidney stones or when large kidney stones obstruct the flow of urine.
To determine the size and type of kidney stones, your doctor may do the following tests:
A CBC test (blood test) to examine if your blood has too much calcium or uric acid. For this test, your doctor may ask you to collect urine for two days. Imaging tests such as ultrasound, CT scans, and x-rays showing kidney stones in the urinary tract.
If kidney stones occur frequently, doctors may ask you to urinate through a strainer to catch the passing stones. Doctors then look at what they are made of to determine the cause of kidney stones and how to prevent them.
Treatment of kidney stones depends on:
If the kidney stone is small, your doctor may take painkillers and advice you to drink the liquid and push the stone into the urinary tract and urine (pinning).
A word from the team —
If the risk of kidney stone recurrence is high, your doctor may recommend preventative treatment to reduce the risk of recurrence.
If you need cardiovascular assistance, you can contact Corrielus Cardiology.