Kidney stones, also called nephrolithiasis, are characterized by hard mineral and salt deposits that crystallize into stones inside your kidneys. The deposits can occur in any part of your urinary tract, from your kidneys to the bladder. These stones are a result of highly concentrated urine, which makes passing urine painful as you may be experiencing a blockage. Depending on the size of the stone, your situation can be salvaged by taking plenty of water and some pain medication.
However, if the stones are lodged in the urinary tract and are causing infections and other complications, your doctor may recommend surgery. The symptoms of kidney stones may vary, but if you experience blood in your urine, nausea, and lower back pain, Mount Vernon kidney stones urologists are experts in diagnosing and treating all kidney stones problems. Moreover, if you have a loved one who suffers from kidney stones, here are some risk factors you might want to be aware of;
1. Family or Personal History
Your probability of getting kidney stones is on the higher side if you have a family member who suffers from the condition. Certain genetic birth defects, such as medullary sponge kidney, cause cysts to form in your kidney, heightening your chance of getting kidney disease.
Failure to drink enough water is the leading cause of kidney stones. This causes crystal-forming deposits that the fluid in your urine is not enough to dilute. Since you lose plenty of your body’s fluids through sweat and breathing, it is recommended that you supplement this water loss by drinking about two liters of water daily.
Eating foods with high amounts of sodium increases your risk of getting different types of kidney stones. Diets high in protein can also increase your kidney stone risk. Red meat and shellfish cause a rise of uric acid in the body. The acid may collect in joints to cause gout or crystallize in the kidney to form a stone. Animal proteins increase your urine’s calcium level and cause a decline in citrate, which can encourage the development of stones. It is advisable to take a glass of citrus juice after such a meal to help dissolve any stones that could be forming.
High body mass index, weight gain, and a large weight doubles your risk of getting kidney stones. If you have suffered a single episode of kidney stones, it is possible that the condition will keep recurring, especially because you are obese.
5. Digestive diseases and surgery
According to clinical research, people who have had gastric bypass weight loss operations are more likely to develop kidney stones. Moreover, certain digestive disorders; inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, affect the absorption of water, calcium, and electrolytes, which increase your risk of getting kidney stones.
Sometimes it is possible to have kidney stones and not know, especially if the crystallized stones are small and you have no problem passing urine. However, this might not be the case if your condition gets in the way of you trying to pass urine. Large kidney stones will block your urine flow, and you may experience much pain that might only be eased through surgery. Treatment will, however, vary depending on the size of the stones, and in many instances, your doctor may prescribe painkillers or alpha-blockers to help ease your symptoms.