Friday, 29 July 2016

Rush to a nephrologist for kidney stone problem

Kidney stones can wreak havoc in a person’s life. It is usually accompanied by a slew of other health problems among which ‘unbearable stomachache’ is very common. But before we get deep into the issue, first let’s understand what exactly these kidney stones are.

Kidney stones-medically known as renal lithiasis are tiny, solid deposits of mineral salts and acid that form base on the inside of the kidneys. Usually, these hard deposits are diluted in the urine, but when urine is concerted, the minerals take the form of crystals and stick together resulting into a kidney stone. Though kidney stones are painful, they don’t possess serious health complication. Even if they do, in certain cases, a nephrologist can better take care of them.  

The Problem Indicators

The symptoms may not surface until the stone moves. But when it does, it shows some vital signs including:

  • Discomfort passing urine.
  • Filthy, bloody, foul-smelling urine.
  • A regular urge to urinate.
  • Puking and sometimes nauseating.
  • Pain below the ribs along with groin and lower abdomen.
  • Variations in the magnitude of pain.
  • In case of infection, fever and chills.

Risk Factors

  • Less fluid in the body: Your body is more likely to form stones or urine is more likely to have higher amount of substances if you do not consume enough fluids. Chances of stone formation increases when you live in a dry climate or do physical exercises without replacing lost fluids.
  • In the family: You are more likely to suffer from kidney stones if someone in the family has it too or if you have developed these before.
  • Age and sex: On an average, nephrologists come across patients of the age group 20-70, mostly featuring men. Women are less affected by this problem.
  • Food: We are responsible for what we eat. Keeping this in mind, we need to consume a diet high in calcium and not in protein & sodium in order to stay away from kidney stones.
  • Lifestyle: A lack-lustre approach towards life augments the chances of developing kidney stones. The reason is limited activity causes bones to release more calcium.  
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A change in the digestive pattern of the body is linked with the formation of kidney stones because it hinders with body’s capability of calcium absorption. 


The foremost thing your nephrologist will do is perform a blood test if he suspects kidney stones. This analysis to done to look for excess calcium or uric acid. He may ask you to collect urine to check whether you are excreting larger amounts of stone-forming minerals. Besides, your doctor may conduct following lab tests:

  • X-Ray: X-Ray is most beneficial in visualising kidney stones. The technique helps judge the alterations in the size of the stone.
  • CT scan: This test is regularly used to evaluate acute kidney stones. It can recognise stones regardless of its composition.
  • Ultrasound: It is a safe, secure and painless technique to view the inside of the organs. But sometimes, it can fail to detect stones that are located in the bladder or ureter. 

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