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How to Treat and Prevent Kidney Stones

Kidney stones can irritate the urinary tract and cause pain when urinating. Kidney stones are hard deposits resembling stones formed from minerals and salts in the kidneys that can flow through the urinary tract. Knowing how to treat and prevent kidney stones can help you avoid dangerous complications.

How to Treat and Prevent Kidney Stones

Generally, newly formed kidney stones will be felt when the kidney stone moves or blocks the channel in the kidney, or when the stone flows carried by urine from the kidney into the urinary tract. Symptoms can include pain when urinating, pain around the groin, lower back pain, brown or reddish urine, nausea and vomiting.

Causes of Kidney Stones

Kidney stones can form when the urine contains more crystal-forming substances than the fluid in the urine. Kidney stone formation can also occur when the body lacks substances that can prevent stones from sticking together. This condition can lead to the formation of kidney stones.

Some of the medical conditions that can increase the risk of kidney stones are as follows:

  • Dehydration is a lack of fluid intake in the body. So drinking less can increase the risk of developing kidney stones.
  • Eating foods that contain lots of salt, sugar, protein or, which causes high uric acid can increase the risk of kidney stones. Because some foods that contain this content can make the kidneys work harder in filtering it, so it will increase the risk of kidney stones.
  • Have had kidney stones before or have a family history of kidney stones.
  • Have certain medical conditions, such as a urinary tract infection or hyperparathyroidism.
  • Obesity, having a large body with a large waist size is associated with an increased risk of kidney stones.
  • Having digestive problems or after undergoing digestive organ surgery. Inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhea disorder, or after undergoing digestive tract surgery to lose weight (gastric bypass) are some examples of conditions that can interfere with the absorption of fluids in the body, thereby increasing the level of stone-forming substances in the blood.

Symptoms of kidney stones

Very small kidney stones will not cause significant symptoms. Symptoms of new kidney stones will be felt when kidney stones are large and stuck in the kidneys, move into the ureters, or when an infection occurs. This condition can cause painful pain (renal colic). In addition, some of the symptoms of kidney stones that often occur include:

  • Pain in the lower back and sometimes the pain is felt up to the groin. In a man, pain can also be felt up to the testicles and scrotum. The pain can last for a few minutes or a few hours. Pain may increase when the kidney stone moves to another location in the urinary tract.
  • The frequency of wanting to urinate is increasing.
  • Pain when urinating (dysuria).
  • Urinate in small amounts.
  • Urine is brown or reddish in color.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Fever or shiver, if infection occurs.
  • Feeling restless.

How to Treat Kidney Stones

How to treat kidney stones depends on the size and type of kidney stones experienced by the patient. For small kidney stones with a diameter of less than 4 mm, treatment can be done at home so that kidney stones can be passed through the urine. The treatments that can be done for small kidney stones are as follows:

  • Drink water between 6 to 8 glasses of water every day.
  • Taking pain relievers to relieve pain and discomfort caused when kidney stones pass through the urine. One of the pain relievers that can be consumed is paracetamol.

Meanwhile, for kidney stones that are large or more than 6 mm in size, because they are difficult to pass and can cause bleeding, urinary tract infections, and kidney damage, the doctor will usually recommend the following treatment methods:

1. Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL)

The urologist will break the kidney stone into smaller pieces by directing an ESWL device that emits high-frequency sound waves at the stone's position. By breaking a kidney stone into smaller pieces, it will be easier to expel kidney stones with urine.

2. Ureteroscopy

Ureteroscopy is a procedure to remove small stones that are in the ureter or kidney using a ureteroscope. This tool is in the form of a hose equipped with a camera that is inserted into the ureter where the stone is located to break it into smaller pieces so that it is easily excreted with urine.

3. Percutaneous nephrolithotomy

This procedure is performed using a nephroscope to treat larger kidney stones with a diameter of about 2 to 3 cm, and cannot be treated with the ESWL method. In addition, this procedure is also carried out if there are obstructions or infections that damage the kidneys, or the pain is severe and cannot be treated with medication. The nephroscope will be inserted into the kidney through the outer skin. After that, the kidney stone can be pulled out or broken into small pieces using laser energy.

4. Open surgery

Open surgery is a procedure that is rarely performed. Open surgery is usually done for kidney stones that are very large or have an abnormal shape.

Other surgery to treat the cause of kidney stones may also be done, for example for kidney stones caused by an overactive parathyroid gland. The doctor may suggest removal of the parathyroid glands.

How to Prevent Kidney Stones

How to prevent kidney stones is actually quite simple, namely by running a healthy lifestyle as follows:

  • Drink enough water, which is about 2 to 3 liters every day. This can prevent dehydration and prevent the body's waste products from becoming too concentrated which can lead to the formation of kidney stones. When the weather is hot, it is advisable to drink more water.
  • Don't eat too much calcium-rich foods. We recommend that if you want to take calcium supplements consult your doctor first.
  • To prevent uric acid kidney stones, you should reduce the consumption of meat, poultry, and fish.

However, you should first consult with your doctor before you follow any diet. This is intended to suit your health condition.

Also read articles about: How to Prevent Kidney Disease

That's an explanation of how to treat and prevent kidney stones. Hopefully the explanation above can be useful for you.

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