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Kidney stone is formed due to, the urine chemicals that crystallize in kidney. Kidney stones are small, hard deposits of mineral and acid salts on the inner surfaces of the kidneys. Normally, the substances that make up kidney stones are diluted in the urine. When urine is concentrated, though, minerals may crystallize, stick together and solidify. The result is a kidney stone. Most kidney stones contain calcium. These stones are very tiny when they form, smaller than a grain of sand, but gradually they can grow to a quarter inch or larger. The size of the stone doesn't matter as much as where it is located. Kidney stones form when the components of urine — fluid and various minerals and acids — are out of balance. When this happens, the urine contains more crystal-forming substances, such as calcium and uric acid, than the available fluid can dilute. At the same time, the urine may be short of substances that keep crystals from sticking together and becoming stones. Kidney stones are also prone to develop in highly acidic or highly alkaline urine. Problems in the way the system absorbs and eliminates calcium and other substances create the conditions for kidney stones to form.

Kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of our fist. They're located in back of our abdomen on each side of the spine, and their main function is to remove excess fluid, unneeded electrolytes and wastes from the blood in the form of urine. The ureters carry urine from kidneys to bladder, where it's stored until we eliminate it from the body. The kidney acts as a filter for blood, removing waste products from the body and helping regulate the levels of chemicals important for body function. The urine drains from the kidney into the bladder through a narrow tube called the ureter. When the bladder fills and there is an urge to urinate, the bladder empties through the urethra, a much wider tube than the urethra.

When the stone sits in the kidney, it rarely causes problems, but should it fall into the ureter, it gives lot of pain. The kidney continues to function and make urine, which accumulates behind the stone, stretching the kidney. This pressure build up, causes the pain of a kidney stone, but it also helps push the stone along the course of the ureter. When the stone enters the bladder, the obstruction in the ureter is relieved and the symptoms of a kidney stone are resolved. When a tubular structure is blocked in the body, pain is generated in waves as the body tries to unblock the obstruction. These waves of pain are called colic. Renal colic or kidney stone pain has a classic typical when a kidney stone is being passed. The pain is intense and suddenly. Passing kidney stones can be excruciating. The pain they cause typically starts in the side or back, just below the ribs, and radiates to lower abdomen and groin. Painful as they are, kidney stones usually cause no permanent damage. Those affected cannot find a comfortable position, and many writhe in pain. Sweating, nausea and vomiting are common. Blood may be visible in the urine because the stone has irritated the ureter. Blood in the urine, however, does not always mean a person has a kidney stone. Urinalysis with a microscope may detect blood even if it is not visible by the naked eye.

There is little a person can do with debilitating pain and vomiting other than approaching hospital for emergency treatment. If there is fever associated with the symptoms of a kidney stone, this becomes a more urgent problem, and medical care should be accessed immediately.

For those who have a history of stones, then home therapy may be appropriate. Most kidney stones, given time, will pass on their own, and treatment is directed towards symptom control.

The signs and symptoms of kidney stone:

  • Fluctuations in pain in severity and duration

  • Pain waves radiating from the side and back to the lower abdomen and groin

  • Bloody, cloudy or foul-smelling urine

  • Painful urination

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Frequent desire to pass urine

  • Fever and chills if there is an infection

These factors may increase your risk of developing kidney stones:

  • Lack of fluids

  • Family or personal history

  • Age and sex

  • Diet. A high-protein, high-sodium and low-calcium diet may increase your risk of some types of kidney stones.

  • Limited activity

  • Geographical location

  • Obesity

  • Medications like excess calcium-containing antacids, Indinavir used in HIV can form indinavir stones, Topiramate which is an anti-seizure drug

  • Diseases like Gout, inflammatory bowel disease, High blood pressure, Gastric bypass surgery, chronic diarrhea

If a stone stays inside one of the kidneys, it usually doesn't cause a problem unless it becomes so large it blocks the flow of urine. This can cause pressure and pain, along with the risk of kidney damage, bleeding and infection. Smaller stones may partially block the thin tubes that connect each kidney to your bladder or the outlet from the bladder itself. These stones may cause ongoing urinary tract infections or kidney damage if left untreated.

Prevention is always the preferable way to treat kidney stones. Remaining well hydrated and keeping the urine dilute will help prevent kidney stones from forming. The patient should consume enough oral fluids. While kidney stones and renal colic probably cannot be prevented, the risk of forming a stone can be minimized by avoiding dehydration. Keeping the urine dilute will not allow the chemical crystals to come out of solution and form the nidus of a stone. Making it certain that the urine remains clear and not concentrated will help minimize stone formation.

For people with a history of kidney stones, doctors usually recommend passing at least 2 - 3 liters of urine a day. To do this, you'll need to drink about 14 cups (3.3 liters) of fluids every day or even more if you live in a hot, dry climate.

What should you drink? Water is best. Include a glass of lemonade every day, too. Make your own with real lemons, or use a liquid or frozen concentrate, but avoid powdered lemonade mixes. Lemonade increases the levels of citrate in your urine, and citrate helps prevent stone formation.

In addition, if you tend to form calcium oxalate stones, you may recommend restricting foods rich in oxalates. These include rhubarb, star fruit, beets, beet greens, collards, okra, refried beans, spinach, Swiss chard, sweet potatoes, sesame seeds, almonds and soy products. What's more, studies show that an overall diet low in salt and very low in animal protein can greatly reduce your chance of developing kidney stones.

As a general rule, restricting intake of calcium doesn't seem to lower the risk. In fact, researchers have found that women with a high calcium intake are less likely to develop kidney stones than are women who consume less calcium. Because dietary calcium binds with oxalates in the gastrointestinal tract so that oxalates can't be absorbed from the intestine and excreted by the kidney to form stones.

An exception to this rule occurs when an individual absorbs too much dietary calcium from the intestine. In such a circumstance, restricting calcium intake is useful.

Calcium supplements seem to have the same protective effect as dietary calcium, but only if they're taken with meals.

Role of Homeopathy in kidney stones:
Homeopathy can not help you from problems of kidney stone when it has reached a size where surgical intervention becomes necessary. But homeopathy has significant role to play when stone is smaller in size and it is not causing any enlargement of kidney (hydronephrosis). In such cases where the stone size is small, patients do experience episodes of pain every now and then. Repeatedly they have to resort to pain reliving pills and even antibiotics. Homeopathy can help in such situation. Homeopathic medicines also help in getting rid of minor size stones purely by a regular course of few months. It is the most harmless way of treatment and we are able to save patient from undergoing surgery. Besides this homeopathy also helps in improving the clearing process of the kidney.


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