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Kidney Stones Photo
What is a kidney stone?
A kidney stone is a hard object that is made from chemicals in the urine. Urine has various wastes dissolved in it.
What causes kidney stones to form?
Possible causes include drinking too little water, exercise (too much or too little), obesity, weight loss surgery or eating food with too much salt or sugar. Infections and family history might be important in some people. Eating too much fructose correlates with increasing risk of developing a kidney stone. Fructose can be found in table sugar and high fructose corn syrup. In some individuals, fructose can be metabolized into oxalate.
What are the symptoms of a kidney stone?
The symptoms could be one or more of the following:
severe pain on either side of your lower back
vague pain or stomach ache that doesn’t go away
blood in the urine
nausea or vomiting
fever and chills
urine that smells bad or looks cloudy
How are kidney stones treated?
You may be asked to drink a lot of water. Doctors try to let the stone pass without surgery. But if it is too large, if it blocks the flow of urine, or if there is a sign of infection, it is removed with surgery.
Shock-wave lithotripsy is a noninvasive procedure that uses high-energy sound waves to blast the stones into fragments that are then more easily passed out in the urine. In ureteroscopy, an endoscope is inserted through the ureter to retrieve or obliterate the stone. Rarely, for very large or complicated stones, doctors will use percutaneous nephrolithotomy/nephrolithotripsy.
What Can I do To Help Prevent A Recurrence Of A Kidney Stone?
About half of all people who have a kidney stone develop another one within 10 years. Sometimes stones can be prevented from forming.
If you have had one stone, you are less likely to have a recurrence if you drink plenty of water throughout the day. By keeping urine diluted you reduce the chance of chemical build up. You should aim to drink between two and three litres a day (unless your doctor advises otherwise). If you live or work in a hot environment, you should drink even more.