Kidney Stones Symptoms

Your kidneys are one of the most vital organs in the body. While you can live with just one of them, a day without your kidneys functioning at its optimum can lead to chaos within all your body’s vital processes. It regulates your blood pressure and gets rid of toxins from your body, two things that are critical to ensure that your body functions properly. For this reason, any kidney related symptoms should be immediately checked up with your doctor. This could be any pain in the lower back area (which is where the kidneys are located) as well as any symptoms related to urinary function.

One of the most common kidney related conditions are kidney stones. Kidney stones, as the name suggests is the formation of hard stone like, material that forms in the kidney. It could also be present in the urinary tract. According to statistics, about 5% of people develop a kidney stone during their lifetime. This is an alarming figure indeed. However, many people may develop kidney stones but may not even be aware of it as small kidney stones will simply pass via the urinary tract.

Kidney stones that are of considerable size and requires medical attention is detected quite easily as it announces itself to the patient with usually excruciating pain. This is just one of the kidney stone symptoms but there are numerous other symptoms to look for. The cause of kidney stones can sometimes be baffling as doctors have a hard time isolating the reason at times. Genetics are known to play a role in the formation of kidney stones. Your diet can also heavily influence the possibility of developing a kidney stone. There are different types of kidney stones. The type usually depends on the cause. The most common type is calcium stones but there are also other types that can form.

Kidney Stone Symptoms

We talked about pain being a primary symptom of kidney stones but there various other symptoms and warning signs that could indicate the presence of a kidney stone:

  • Pain

As mentioned above, this is the main symptom to look for. The pain is usually located in the area of the kidney. Your lower back, abdomen and the area surrounding as well as the genitals itself can feel very painful. The pain is usually not relieved when you change position.

  • Pain during urination

When pain is experienced during urination, this is an indicator that the stone has traveled or was formed in the urinary system. You will continue to experience pain until the stone is passed via your urinary tract.

  • Frequent urination

Frequent urination is also experienced because the stone may falsely trick your brain into thinking you need to pass urine.

  • Bloody urine

Bloody urine is also a typical symptom of a kidney stone that has caused damage.

  • Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting is a generic symptom that you may experience when having a kidney stone.

Kidney stones that are too large to be passed by urine may have to be surgically removed. They may be physically removed or shock waves may be projected at the stone to break it so that It can be passed via the urinary tract or removed easily.

Best diet for kidney stones

If you or someone you know has ever passed a kidney stone. you probably have an idea of the intensity of pain you have to go through until the stone is thankfully out of your system. While the reasons why kidney stones from are still unclear, knowing the implications of having a kidney stone, we would be looking to prevent it occurring any way we can. Understanding the influence that diet has on your predisposition to develop kidney stones can be quite confusing and complex. Basically, If a person is at risk of developing kidney stones, diet plays a significant role, on other hand if a person does not fall under the risk group of producing kidney stones, diet has little to no effect.

There are numerous risk factors of kidney stones the primary one being a genetic link. Kidney stones tend to be hereditary. For a person whose parents have suffered with kidney stones, the chances of developing a stone can be quite high.

For this person, diet can certainly increase the risk of developing a stone. Other factors include your environment as well as being affected by other non-related diseases. Additionally, people who have had kidney stones in the past are also considered at risk as they may very well develop another kidney stone in future.

For these individuals, following a strict “kidney stone diet” can reduce the possibility of passing a solid object when urinating any time in the near future. To understand the kidney stone diet, you need to have a basic idea of the formation of kidney stones.

 

Kidney stones occur when certain materials crystallize or harden due to some reason within the urinary tract or kidney. Limiting the intake of food that is high in these materials is the principle theory behind the kidney stone diet.

Ironically, these foods are otherwise good for your body. Kidney stones are commonly made out of calcium oxalate (other stones may be made out of uric acid, Struvite or Cystine). Limiting foods that are high in calcium oxalate is an effective method to reduce the possibility of crystallization in your urinary system.

Foods that are high in Calcium Oxalate include spinach, beetroot, strawberries, chocolates and nuts. Another component that should be avoided that is commonly added to virtually all hot foods is salt. Salt increases the possibility of formation of calcium based crystals. Another mineral that should be avoided is Sodium. Sodium in combination with Oxalate contributes to the formation of stones. Sodium is found typically in fast food as well as other processed foods such as sausages.

Protein intake should also be limited. The limitation is only for animal based protein. Plant protein can still be consumed without restriction. Potassium aids the prevention of kidney stones and thus should be increased in consumption. All fruits and vegetables are relatively high in potassium but pay attention to the ones that are high in calcium oxalate.

Finally, keep water intake as high as possible. Being hydrated makes the urinary tract concentrated reducing the possibility of materials solidifying which eventually leads to stones.

Overcoming Kidney Stone Pain

There are several kidney related diseases that have plagued us for a long time. While renal failure and kidney cancer are perhaps the two most dangerous diseases to be diagnosed with, there are numerous others that can cause considerable strain physically and mentally. One disease would be kidney stones. Technically, kidney stones are more of a condition than a disease. A person with kidney stones develops crystallized calcium oxalate stones anywhere in their kidneys or the urinary tract. The stones can also be made with different materials such as uric acid. Kidney stone pain is the most problematic consequence of kidney stones. Besides pain, the condition is otherwise harmless for the most part. The pain can be excruciating and it is present irrespective of the position you are in. You may also experience pain and discomfort when urinating. The pain is sometimes described by males as the male version of child birth to give you a grasp on the intensity of pain experienced. Dealing with kidney stone pain can be quite difficult. If you begin to experience intense pain from kidney stones, the best way to relieve yourself is to pass the stone as soon as possible. While the time should take its own course, there are a few tips that can be implemented to expedite the process. Firstly, water is your friend. Drinking as much water as you can handle throughout the day will allow you to pass the stone faster. While it will keep you rushing to the washroom every half an hour, it will apply pressure on the stone and push it towards the urethra after which your pain will be relieved. When drinking water, remember to drink filtered water as unfiltered water can have waste particles that will cause negative effects and may even cause your kidney stone to grow in size.

Another efficient remedy is citrus juice. Any type would do, but lemon juice would be preferred. Citrus foods promote the breaking of the stone. It acts as a natural alternative to shock wave therapy and helps break down the stone which will allow the stone to pass faster and easier along the urinary tract. Doctors may sometime prescribe painkillers. While it is advisable to avoid them whenever possible, if the pain is unbearable and you’re desperate for relief, It would be a good idea to take your painkiller. Over the counter pain killers are usually ineffective with relieving kidney stone pain due to the high intensity of pain. A doctor would usually prescribe a stronger pain killer specifically for the management of kidney stones. If pain lasts for a considerable period of time, look for alternative treatment options. An efficient, non-invasive option would be shock wave therapy. Here, shock waves are externally administered close to the sight of the kidney stone which will shatter the stone to smaller pieces allowing it to pass more easily. Have close communication with your doctor and follow the above steps to minimize your pain as much as possible.