Don’t believe it? Do you have acute abdominal pain? Do you feel mild difficulty in passing urine? Do you have frequent nausea or vomiting?

You might have a kidney stone.

Kidney stones

Kidneys’ filter impurities from the blood, and then pass it out if the body as urine. The impurities mainly are mineral crystals and acids salts. They sometimes settle, clump together and harden, forming hard stone like lumps. The impurities come together easily to form stones, when there is less water in the body. These stones block the passage of urine in the kidneys, bladder, the tubes connecting them (ureters) or the urethra. The body tries to flush out the stones. Still, it is difficult and the stone may move around before blocking something. Some small stones flush out with urine. However, the larger ones’ do cause lot of pain. There can be different types of stones, depending on which mineral sedimentation there is.

12 percent of Indians can have kidney stones. It primarily affects people in the age group of 30 to 60 years. Men are more likely to suffer from kidney stones than women.

Kidney stones need to be treated quickly as they can cause excruciating pain, especially in the lower abdomen and back. There might be blood in the urine and a burning sensation while passing urine.

How to treat it?

For the smaller stones, just drinking a lot of water can flush the stone out. Testing of the stone takes place, to determine the cause of its formation or if it will reoccur. For the larger stones, the patient will have to follow medical treatment, along with drinking plenty of water. Doctors can recommend special diets to follow, along with medications. The medicines help break the stone, to allow easy flushing out.

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) is one way to remove kidney stones, wherein shock waves break the stone into smaller pieces. Finally, at the last stage, keyhole surgery might be performed, including Ureteroscopy where a tube is inserted into the ureters to figure out where the stone is and what size. Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) is another method where the stone is surgically removed using a tube through a small incision.

Kidney stones can be rather unpleasant to deal with. Prevention is better than cure, so it is better to drink around 2 – 3 liters of water a day. Keeping the body hydrated and following a healthy diet can keep the fear of kidney stones far away.

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