Introduction to Kidney Stones

February 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Kidney Health

Certain deposits in the kidneys harden over time and form stones. They can be of any size. The tiny ones get washed off along with urine while the large ones remain stuck and create a number of problems.

Small sac like structures in the kidneys called the nephrons help the kidneys filter out impurities from blood. They also regulate and maintain electrolyte balance in the body. When these nephrons do not function properly, substances like calcium, uric acid and other metabolic wastes, sediment in the kidneys. These sediments crystallize gradually and come to be known as kidney stones.

Some people are genetically disposed to forming a kind of kidney stone named cystine stone. These people have a tendency to produce more of a kind of amino acid named cystinuria which when crystallized forms cystine stones. They may also form kidney stones named struvite stones as a consequence of urinary tract disorder. These stones are larger than others and have sharp pointed edges. These can cause unbearable kidney pain.

Some kidney stones get dislocated and move through from kidneys, ureters, bladder and finally urethra. The smaller of the stones leave the body with urine. These stones are not harmful in anyway.

The somewhat larger ones trigger the nerve endings in these body parts and cause pain. The pain may last an hour or so. When they scrape away these parts, blood oozes out and is released along with urine. Sometimes the urine is not clear but cloudy which indicates an excess of protein. A pain killer would be enough in such circumstances. Huge kidney stones need to be removed surgically.

Many factors can cause kidney stone formation. Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce kidney stone formation and get rid of them.

Environmental factors can cause kidney stone formation. Hot climates could cause kidney stone formation by dehydrating the body. The dehydrated body fails to wash off or dissolve the kidney stones.

Kidney stone formation can be controlled with the intake of enough water to compensate for water loss in the body. Diet can help those who suffer from this ailment. Protein intake should be regulated for those who have difficulty digesting and absorbing proteins. Overweight people are also prone to formation of kidney stones. They should diet as well as exercise.

Exercise is another way to keep off kidney stone formation. When we exercise, the calcium in the bones gets used up. And when we are inactive, the excess calcium in the bones gets released into the bloodstream. The excess calcium could lead to kidney stone formation. So we need to exercise to maintain and regulate calcium in the body.