Kidney stones (renal lithiasis, nephrolithiasis) are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys. Kidney stones have many causes and can affect any part of your urinary tract from your kidneys to your bladder. Often, stones form when the urine becomes concentrated, allowing minerals to crystallize and stick together.
Passing kidney stones can be quite painful, but the stones usually cause no permanent damage if they’re recognized in a timely fashion. Depending on your situation, you may need nothing more than to take pain medication and drink lots of water to pass a kidney stone. In other instances for example, if stones become lodged in the urinary tract, are associated with a urinary infection or cause complications surgery may be needed. Your doctor may recommend preventive treatment to reduce your risk of recurrent kidney stones if you’re at increased risk of developing them again.
A kidney stone may not cause symptoms until it moves around within your kidney or passes into your ureter — the tube connecting the kidney and bladder. At that point, you may experience these signs and symptoms:
Pain caused by a kidney stone may change — for instance, shifting to a different location or increasing in intensity — as the stone moves through your urinary tract.
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience:
Kidney stones often have no definite, single cause, although several factors may increase your risk.
Kidney stones form when your urine contains more crystal-forming substances — such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid — than the fluid in your urine can dilute. At the same time, your urine may lack substances that prevent crystals from sticking together, creating an ideal environment for kidney stones to form.
Knowing the type of kidney stone helps determine the cause and may give clues on how to reduce your risk of getting more kidney stones. If possible, try to save your kidney stone if you pass one so that you can bring it to your doctor for analysis.
Types of kidney stones include:
Dietary factors, high doses of vitamin D, intestinal bypass surgery and several metabolic disorders can increase the concentration of calcium or oxalate in urine.
Calcium stones may also occur in the form of calcium phosphate. This type of stone is more common in metabolic conditions, such as renal tubular acidosis. It may also be associated with certain migraine headaches or with taking certain seizure medications, such as topiramate (Topamax).
Factors that increase your risk of developing kidney stones include:
Treatment for kidney stones varies, depending on the type of stone and the cause.
Small stones with minimal symptoms
Most small kidney stones won’t require invasive treatment. You may be able to pass a small stone by:
Large stones and those that cause symptoms
At crest Natural Health Centre, with the many natural remedies we have at our disposal, we can competently treat large stones without surgery.