Factors That Increase The Risk Of Kidney Stones
Before learning how to decrease the risk of kidney stones, you need to have a bit know-how of kidney stones. The pure medical term for a kidney stone is 'renal calculus' or 'nephrolith'. A kidney stone is basically a hard stone like body which forms from the minerals and salts in the urine.
These mineral deposits have the ability to harm any of the parts that make up the urinary tract, starting from bladder continuing till the kidneys. Let’s have a quick look at some of the key features as well as the risk of kidney stones:
- It is a hard crystalline stone that forms in the kidney or urinary tract.
- At least one in every 20 people develops kidney stones at some point in their life.
- Most of the kidney stones pass from the ureter to the bladder on their own with the passage of time.
Major Factors that Increase the Risk of Kidney Stones
There are multiple things that cause the formation of renal calculus. By controlling such factors, you can significantly reduce the risk of kidney stones. The reasons that are most commonly associated with the formation of stones are:
Obesity:Obesity is the mother of several diseases. In addition, it also causes difficulty in the performance of routine life activities. In summer, it becomes unbearable for an obese person to go out in heat. Being overweight is one of the foremost reasons which cause stones to form. A recent study has revealed that more a person weighs the greater is the risk of developing kidney stones.
Sometimes, the risk of kidney stones lies in the DNA of an individual. For some people this condition runs in their family. It means they are likely to fall prey to it even after taking all the precautionary measures. They are likely to suffer from this condition at some stage in their life.
Diet directly affects the health of each and every individual. Do you know everything you eat has potential even to change your brain chemistry? Diet rich in calcium and salts can lead to the formation of stones in the blood purification plant of your body, i.e. the kidney.
People taking certain types of medicines are also at the risk of forming kidney stones. It happens as a side effect of the drugs. Some medicines have this as a known side effect. The medicine companies mention this thing in the leaflets.
Drinking enough water and taking other necessary precautions is essential, when taking those medicines. The people suffering from migraine or seizures use Opiramate (Topamax). It is one such drug which can cause kidney stones.
Supplements have become increasingly important in today’s time to keep our bodies healthy. It is also because people have to take poor diet which does not contain all the essential nutrients. However, you should not take too much of a specific nutrient say calcium or Vitamin D. They can result in formation of renal calculus.
People with certain medical conditions are also at the risk of kidney stones. For example, those who are already suffering from gout or Crohn’s disease are at a higher risk. They are more likely to develop stones in comparison with an otherwise healthy person.
Maintaining the hydration of your body is very important. We all know that 70% of our body is composed of water. If your water intake is sufficient, you can do away with half of the diseases and also feel fit and fresh.
These reasons increase the risk of kidney stones formation. Thus taking care of all the above causes is paramount, for a happy and a healthy life.
The most common symptoms which surface in patients suffering from kidney stones are as follows:
- Severe pain in the back and in the lower abdomen. Flank pain is another term for this condition.
- Hematuria is another significant symptom that foretells about kidney stones. Hematuria is a condition where the blood comes out with the urine.
- Vomiting, nausea, fever and pus in the urine are also its common symptoms.
When a patient feels or suffers from any of the above symptoms, they should immediately consult their doctor. It is mandatory to undergo test for the presence of stones. The earlier you detect the stones the easier it is to remove them.
If you do not take immediate action, the stones will increase in number and size. They may cause unbearable pain and serious health issues for the patient. Your health care provider will perform a few tests on you to know the details. The most effective tests for kidney stone diagnosis include:
- CT Scan
- Urine Tests
Once the diagnosis is complete, the next step your doctor will focus on will be the treatment. There are two main factors. They need to take them into consideration before starting the treatment. These are:
- The size of the stone.
- The place of the stone.
Small and benign kidney stones pass through urine on their own. While the bigger and the more dangerous ones cannot do the same. They need proper treatment or medication. The main treatments which the kidney patients get include:
- Pain killers and medicines can help to cope with the pangs of pain that the patient experiences.
- Medicines which facilitate the passing of urine.
- Sometimes, the stones are huge and unable to pass on their own. Surgical procedures are necessary for their removal. Lithotripsy is a very reliable surgical procedure for removing kidney stones.
You can prevent the kidney stones by a few precautionary measures. Balanced diet is a must thing. It makes sure that one’s body functions properly. Proper proportions of vitamins, mineral and essential salts must be taken regularly.
Apart from controlling diet, exercise is of paramount importance in order to keep you fit and healthy. But the key to preventing kidney stones is water intake. The higher intake of water leads to the better functioning of kidneys. So, there are lesser chances of mineral accumulation resulting in stones.