Kidney stones are salt and minerals often made up of calcium or uric acid. They form inside the kidney and can travel to other parts of the urinary tract.Stones vary in size. Some are as small as the fraction of an inch or some are big. Others can grow to a few inches across. Some kidney stones can become so large they take up the entire kidney. A kidney stone forms when too much of certain minerals in our body accumulate in our urine. When we aren’t well hydrated, our urine becomes more concentrated with higher levels of certain minerals. When mineral levels are higher, it’s more likely that a kidney stone will form. Stones are more common in men, people who are obese, and those who have diabetes Smaller kidney stones that remain in the kidney often don’t cause any symptoms. We might not notice any problem until the stone moves into our ureter which is the tube that urine travels through to get from our kidney to our bladder.Kidney stones are typically very painful. Most stones will pass on their own without treatment. However, we may need a procedure to break up or remove stones that don’t pass.
Signs and symptoms to show the presence of kidney stones.
BACK, BELLY, OR SIDE PAIN
1. Pain in the back, belly, or side
Kidney stone pain — also known as renal colic is one of the most severe types of pain imaginable (Some people who’ve experienced kidney stones compare the pain to childbirth or getting stabbed with a knife. The pain is intense enough to account for more than 1 million visits to emergency rooms each year Usually the pain starts when a stone moves into the narrow ureter. These causes a blockage, which makes pressure build up in the kidney.The pressure activates nerve fibers that transmit pain signals to the brain.Kidney stone pain often starts suddenly. As the stone moves, the pain changes location and intensity.Pain often comes and goes in waves, which is made worse by the ureters contracting as they try to push the stone out. Each wave may last for a few minutes, disappear, and then come back again.
The pain can feel sharp or burning. If we don’t know we have a kidney stone, we might mistake it for a urinary tract infection. Sometimes we can have an infection along with the stone.
2. Pain or burning during urination
Once the stone reaches the junction between the ureter and bladder, we’ll start to feel pain when we urinate our doctor might call this dysuria.The pain can feel sharp or burning. If we don’t know we have a kidney stone, we might mistake it for a urinary tract infection
3. Urgent need to go
Needing to go to the bathroom more urgently or frequently than usual is another sign that the stone has moved into the lower part of your urinary tract. we may find ourself running to the bathroom, or needing to go constantly throughout the day and night .
By – Dr.Rashmi Dhingra
Uttaranchal (P.G.) College Of Bio-Medical Sciences & Hospital