Urolithiasis is one of the most common problems in urology. Symptoms of kidney stones in the early stages, as a rule, do not appear; their presence can only be determined with the help of special diagnostics. How to prevent the formation of stones and what to do with existing ones – read our article.
WHERE DO KIDNEY STONES COME FROM?
With an increased salt content in the urine, the crystallization process begins and the gradual formation of solid deposits. This happens, first of all, due to an unbalanced diet. What foods contribute to the formation of kidney stones? The leaders are caffeinated drinks, artificial sweeteners, foods with a high content of salt, protein and calcium, red meat rich in uric acid and the main sources of oxalic acid and oxalates (parsley, rhubarb, celery, cocoa, spinach, sorrel and peanuts). These and not only products, with uncontrolled use, affect the composition of urine and contribute to the formation of calculi. However, there are other non-diet related causes of kidney stones:
- Hereditary predisposition.
- Defects in the development of the genitourinary organs.
- Infections of the genitourinary system.
- Insufficient or excessive fluid intake.
- Diseases of the thyroid gland.
- Overweight and physical inactivity.
- Metabolic disorders and gastrointestinal diseases.
- Stagnation of urine (in bedridden patients).
All of these factors can increase your risk of getting stones and sand in your kidneys. How to get them out, we’ll talk further, but for now let’s figure out what signs may indicate possible problems.
SYMPTOMS OF UROLITHIASIS
The process of calculus formation can last for weeks or even months. At the same time, a person may not even notice that there are problems in the body. Explicit symptoms appear when the stone becomes large and / or begins to move inside the kidney and enters the ureter. This process is accompanied by:
- Dull pain in the lumbar region, which increases with physical exertion (a common picture with large formations).
- Acute, unbearable pain radiating to the hips, lower abdomen, groin (this is how small calculi that enter the ureter often manifest themselves).
- Difficulty urinating, cramps, frequent urge to go to the toilet, yellow sediment and blood in the urine.
- Bloating, less often nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure.
KIDNEY STONES – WHAT TO DO?
Urolithiasis at any stage requires accurate diagnosis and professional treatment. Ignoring the problem and delaying a visit to the doctor can lead to a number of complications. Chronic cystitis, renal colic, acute and chronic inflammation of the kidneys (pyelonephritis), renal failure – this is what kidney stones can turn into. What to do? Do not self-medicate, but seek medical help! The urologist will conduct an examination and prescribe the necessary examinations. It can be:
- General analysis of blood and urine, urine analysis according to Nechiporenko.
- Ultrasound and / or MRI of the genitourinary organs.
- Urography (X-ray examination of the kidneys).
The Daily Medical clinic offers to undergo a comprehensive examination of the kidneys, followed by the selection of treatment. The slightest suspicious symptoms are a reason to make an appointment right now!
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HOW TO TREAT KIDNEY STONES
What to do if a kidney stone is confirmed during the examination? Treatment is prescribed depending on the size of the calculus, its location, and the severity of symptoms.
- Medication. It is successfully used in the initial stages of the disease, when the formations are small and have not yet entered the urinary tract. The patient is prescribed medications that help dissolve minerals, and a therapeutic diet. Typically, the doctor makes every effort to find a way to get rid of kidney stones without surgery. But drug therapy does not always give positive results.
- Surgical removal. There are three main types of surgery. The most traumatic is ureterolithotomy, removal of the formation through an incision in the abdomen or lower back. Recovery after surgery takes about a month. A more gentle method is laparoscopic lithotomy, removing the calculus using a laparoscope through a small incision in the abdominal wall. The patient can return to work within a week. Finally, the most modern and atraumatic way to remove a stone from the bladder is contact laser lithotripsy. The laser is inserted into the body (without incisions, through the bladder) to crush the stone into small pieces, and then remove them with an endoscope. The recovery period with this type of intervention lasts less than a week.
Measures to prevent the formation of stones are especially important for those who have already suffered from urolithiasis at least once, and for those who are prone to this ailment (for example, there is a high salt content in urine). The main methods of prevention include:
- Diet for kidney stones. Specific recommendations and the composition of the diet depend on what types of salts the patient’s body is inclined to form.
- Adequate fluid intake. Dehydration contributes to stagnation and increased density of urine, and, as a result, the formation of crystals.
- Dynamic control (periodically take tests, undergo ultrasound, etc.)
A course of medicines or herbal remedies aimed at prevention. Take only as directed and under medical supervision!