Kidney stones, or in medical term known as nephrolithiasis, is made up from excess minerals from the kidney where the urine is formed. Kidney stones can also form in other parts of the urinary tract: ureters, bladder, and urethra. Stones form when there is an imbalance among water, minerals, and salt processed in the kidneys.
There are various minerals that precipitate in kidney stone formation. These are the types of kidney stones:
- Calcium: Most common type of nephrolithiasis are formed from calcium oxalate, which is commonly found in cocoa, chocolate, tea, nuts, seeds, grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Uric Acid: This is found in animal proteins such as meats, fish, and shellfish. They contain purines that increase the acidity level of urine. Uric acid forms when urine is highly acidic. This commonly affects men than women.
- Struvite: This type of stone forms as a result of an infection in the urinary tract, and treatment of the infection can prevent its occurrence. The formation of struvite stone is common in females.
- Cystine: A rare type of stone due to a genetic disorder cystinuria. Amino acid cystine develops into stone instead of going back into the circulation. This type of stone reappears; medication is prescribed for pain and prevention of stone formation.
An individual with kidney stone can manifest the following signs and symptoms:
- Severe pain in the back, belly or side
- Blood in the urine
- Dark-colored urine
- Urinary frequency
- Passing out small amounts of urine
Risks for developing kidney stones:
- Male gender
- High protein, sodium, sugar diets
- Colorectal diseases and surgery
Complications that may arise would depend on the treatment used, the size of the kidney stone and its location.
Complications of a kidney stone include:
- Injury to the ureters during stone removal surgery
- Obstruction of stone in the urinary tract
- Recurrence of kidney stone
- Sepsis after removal/ treatment of large kidney stone
- Bleeding during or after the stone removal surgery
- Severe pain
- Urinary tract infection