Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are pebble-like masses which form in the kidneys and also in the tube leading from each kidney down to the bladder which is where the urine collects prior to being passed out of the body.

Symptoms can commence with the abrupt onset of extreme loin pain and it can move down towards the groin and in the male into the testicles. In the female it can extend to the ovaries in the deep pelvis on either side of the lower abdomen.

The pain can vary from dull ache to an excruciating pain which will just not let up. The pain is due to movement of the stone. If there is no movement the first symptom may be bleeding without pain, or perhaps with a dull ache.

With the acute attack, you may have nausea, vomiting and distension of the abdomen. If infection develops, then you have chills and a high temperature with a desire to pass small amounts of urine frequently.

Your doctor should be called in for a severe attack . manyu litres of water should be drunk to help fill the kidneys and assist in passing the stone down the ureter and into the bladder.

Relief of pain may be followed by the passing of the stone in the urine. On passing urine, you may notice a little hesitation in the flow which could be an indication that the stone has passed. If you pass urine into a container you may even be able to identify the stone as it is passed.

Your doctor can arrange for necessary investigations should symptoms still persist and the stone or stones not passed. These investigations can include x-ray, ultrasound and CT scanning.

Stones can be surgically removed in a variety of ways and the latest non-surgical treatment can consist of the use of shock waves to disintegrate suitable stones.

The cause of kidney stones is :-

Excessive excretion in the urine of substances likely to be the cause of stone formation. These substances include oxalate which is found in tomatoes, rhubarb, spinach and even chocolate. Other substances such as calcium from a high intake if vitamin D and milk products, uric acid which can be associated with a high intake of liver, anchovies, meat extracts, shellfish, lobster, crab and prawns.

Urinary infection as clumps of bacteria and small clots from infection may cause the nucleus of a stone.

Deformities of the kidneys which may cause obstruction to the flow of urine

and can produce stones.

The formation of kidney stones can be a life-long problem.

Daily fluid intake is important and should be sufficient to pass 2 to 3 litres of urine daily in order to prevent the formation of stones.

Dietary restrictions donít seem to be the answer although an excessive intake of a particular substance already mentioned associated with a failure to drink enough fluid might be proved to be the cause of repeated attacks.

- Anaemia - Anaesthetics and Anaesthesia
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- Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy - Chronic Bronchitis
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- Diarrhoea - Earache
- Footcare - Gallstones
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- The Overactive Thyroid Gland - The Underactive Thyroid Gland
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- Tonsillitis and Complications

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