Online consultations with MCSC doctors n. a. A. S. Loginov

Urolithiasis

This disease is manifested by the formation of concretions (stones) in the organs of the urinary system. 
Kidney stones are dense mineral deposits formed in the cavity system of the kidney, and consist of mineral or acidic salts.

There are various causes of kidney stones. Kidney stones can compromise any part of the urinary system - from the kidneys to the bladder. Often, stones are formed due to the concentration of urine, which creates favorable conditions for the crystallization of minerals. 
A stone passing through the ureter can cause severe pain (renal colic). It is worth noting that small stones that have departed from the kidneys, as a rule, do not cause irreversible damage to the kidneys. Depending on the situation, you may need to take painkillers and drink plenty of water, which will create the prerequisites for a comfortable passage of the stone through the ureter. In other cases, for example, if the stone does not come out on its own or there are complications, surgical help may be required. 

The doctor may recommend preventive treatment to reduce the risk of re-formation of kidney stones, if the patient is at an increased risk of re-formation of stones.

A kidney stone may not cause any symptoms until it begins to move within the cavity system of the kidney or ureter (a hollow organ that resembles a tube in structure, connects the kidney and the bladder). At this point, the patient may experience the following symptoms or a combination of them:

Severe pain in the side and back below the ribs.

  • Pain that spreads to the lower abdomen and groin.
  • Wave-like pain that fluctuates in intensity.

  • Pain when urinating.
  • Pink, red or brown color of urine.

  • Frequent urination in small portions.
  • Nausea/vomiting.
  • Fever and chills.

The pain caused by the movement of the stone can vary in intensity and localization depending on the part of the urethra in which the stone passes.

The formation of kidney stones often does not occur as a result of one specific cause, although some factors may increase the risk of stone formation. Kidney stones are formed when the urine contains more crystal-forming substances (such as calcium, uric acid) than it can dissolve. At the same time, the urine may lack a sufficient amount of substances that prevent crystal formation, which creates an ideal environment for the formation of stones.

Knowing the type and chemical structure of the stone, it is possible to reduce the risk of repeated stone formation in the future. 

There are the following types of kidney stones:

  • Calcium stones. Most kidney stones are calcium stones, usually in the form of calcium oxalate. Oxalate is a natural substance that enters the human body with various foods. Some fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts and chocolate, have high levels of oxalates. Our liver also produces oxalates. Dietary factors, high doses of vitamin D, bowel surgery, and certain metabolic disorders may increase the concentration of calcium oxalate in the urine. Calcium stones can also form as calcium phosphates.
  • Struvites they are formed in the urinary tract due to infections caused by certain microorganisms. These stones can grow quite quickly and reach large sizes, sometimes without causing symptoms.
  • Uric acid stones can form in people who do not consume enough fluid or who lose too much fluid, those who consume high-protein foods, and those who have gout. Some genetic factors may also increase the risk of uric acid stones.
  • Cystine stones. These stones are formed in people with a hereditary disorder that causes an increased release of large amounts of certain amino acids by the kidneys (Cystinuria).
  • Other stones - rarer types of stones can also form in the kidneys.

Risk factors for urolithiasis:

Heredity and anamnesis of the disease. If someone in your family has urolithiasis, you are more likely to develop kidney stones. Also, if you have a history of an episode of kidney stone formation or multiple kidney stones, you are also at an increased risk of repeated stone formation. 

Dehydration (dehydration). Insufficient fluid intake over a long period of time can increase the risk of kidney stones. People who live in warm climates and those who have hyperhidrosis (increased sweating) have a greater risk than others.

Ration. Certain foods and diets that are high in protein, sodium, and sugar may increase the risk of certain types of kidney stones. 

This is especially true for a high-sodium diet. 

A large amount of sodium in your diet leads to an increase in the amount of calcium that the kidneys need to filter, which in turn significantly increases the risk of kidney stones.

Obesity. High body mass index (BMI), a wide waist, and weight gain are associated with an increased risk of kidney stones.

Diseases of the digestive system and operations on them. Stomach surgeries, inflammatory bowel diseases, and chronic diarrhea can cause changes in the digestive process, thereby negatively affecting the absorption of calcium and water, which in turn increases the risk of kidney stones. 
Other factors. Diseases that may increase the risk of kidney stones include: renal tubule acidosis, cystinuria, hyperparathyroidism, certain medications, and urinary tract infections.

When to see a doctor.

You should consult your doctor if there are any symptoms that are bothering you. Contact your doctor immediately if you are experiencing:

  • The pain is so severe that it does not allow you to sit still or it is impossible to find a comfortable position (the patient "climbs on the wall" from the pain).

  • The pain is accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

  • The pain is accompanied by fever and chills. 
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria).

  • Difficulties with urination.

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