- 1 Kidney Stone Symptoms – Be Informed
- 2 Common Causes of Kidney Stones
- 3 What are the Symptoms of Kidney Stones?
- 4 Home Remedies for Kidney Stones
Kidney Stone Symptoms – Be Informed
Kidney stones are an increasing urological disorder of human health, affecting about 12% of the world population. The condition can cause severe pain and may result in renal failure, so we need to be informed before kidney stone symptoms appear, in order to manage the situation in a timely manner.
Our kidneys function to remove waste and fluid from our blood in order to make urine. There needs to be a balance between the number of wastes and fluids for the normal production of urine. Sometimes, the balance disrupts, and deficiency of fluid in our blood results in the waste build-up that sticks together in our kidneys. These clusters are called kidney stones.
People are generally unaware of the kidney stone symptoms and even more ignorant about the things that cause this problem. This article sheds light on the causes, symptoms, and home remedies that may provide help for kidney stone symptoms.
Common Causes of Kidney Stones
Dehydration is considered a major cause of kidney stones. This results in low urine volume which leads to concentrated urine. Concentrated urine means there is less fluid to keep salts dissolved. Increasing fluid intake will dilute the salts in your urine. On average, an adult should take about 3 liters (100 ounces) of fluid intake per day to minimize the risk of kidney stones.
An inappropriate diet can also increase the chances of forming a kidney stone. Highly acidic diets containing a high amount of animal proteins, salts, sugars and oxalate-containing foods such as spinach increase the chance of the formation of kidney stones significantly. Excessive vitamin D supplementation can also play a role but this is not as likely. While calcium stones are the most commonly found kidney stones; health care providers usually do not advise people to limit dietary calcium in order to lower urine calcium. With that being said, calcium intake should not be too high as well.
High levels of salts also pose a risk for calcium stones. What happens is that the excess salt passes into the urine, keeping calcium from being reabsorbed from the urine into the blood. Reducing salt in the diet lowers urine calcium, making it less likely for calcium stones to form.
Oxalate stones are also very common so oxalate-rich foods can also raise your risk of forming these stones. Always remember that moderation is key so no need to limit yourself if you have a balanced amount of these items in your diet.
Some bowel conditions that cause diarrhea or surgeries (e.g. gastric bypass surgery) can raise the risk of forming calcium oxalate kidney stones. Diarrhea results in loss of large amounts of fluid from the body, lowering urine volume. The body may also absorb excessive oxalate from the intestine resulting in more oxalate in your urine. Both of these conditions i.e. low urine volume and high levels of urine oxalate can result in calcium oxalate kidney stone formation.
Obese people are also susceptible to kidney stones formation. Obesity can alter acid levels in the urine, leading to stone formation.
Kidney stones can also be formed as a result of some medications and also calcium and vitamin C supplements when not in check. Ask your health care provider if you are concerned about your amounts or if your medications have kidney stones as a possible side effect. No need to stop taking vitamins unless your healthcare provider tells you to do so.
Family history also increases the chance of having kidney stones.
What are the Symptoms of Kidney Stones?
People often ask what are the symptoms of kidney stone formation. The following section discusses kidney stones symptoms in detail to ensure a clear understanding of the symptoms. Let’s look at kidney stones symptoms, then some home remedies for the symptoms of kidney stones.
1. Pain in the back, belly, or side
Pain due to kidney stones is one of the most severe types of pain imaginable and is reported to be intense enough to account for more than 1 million visits to emergency rooms each year.
The pain doesn’t happen because of kidney stones but starts when the stone moves into the narrow passage of the ureter causing a blockage. This builds up pressure in the kidney which activates nerve fibers that transmit pain signals to the brain. Kidney stone pain often starts suddenly. As the stone moves, the pain changes location and intensity.
Patients often feel the pain along their side and back, below the ribs. It sometimes radiates to the belly and groin area as the stone moves down through the urinary tract.
2. Pain or burning sensation while urinating
Dysuria is a condition when the kidney stone reaches the junction between the ureter and bladder; the patient starts to feel pain when they urinate.
The pain can be very sharp or burning. If you don’t know you have a kidney stone, you might mistake it for a urinary tract infection. Sometimes you can have an infection along with the stone.
3. Frequent or very little Urination
Having the urge to frequently urinate is another sign that the stone has moved into the lower part of your urinary tract. Urinary urgency can also mimic a urinary tract infection symptom so the patient must consult a doctor for urgent analysis of the problem.
Large-sized kidney stones sometimes get stuck in a ureter. This blockage can slow or stop the flow of urine. The blockage results in very little urination each time you go. Complete stoppage of urine is a medical emergency.
4. Blood in the urine
Blood in the urine is a common symptom in people with urinary tract stones. This symptom is also called hematuria. The blood can be red, pink, or brown and sometimes unnoticeable by the naked eye. Mixed with urine your pee may look almost peachlike in color from the combination of red from blood and the yellow of urine.
5. Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
The urine of a healthy person is clear and doesn’t have a strong odor. Cloudy or foul-smelling urine could be a sign of an infection in your kidneys or another part of your urinary tract. A study found out that about 8% of people with acute kidney stones had a urinary tract infection.
Cloudiness is an indication of pus in the urine. The odor may come from urine that’s more concentrated than normal.
6. Nausea and vomiting
People with kidney stones tend to complain so often of nausea and vomiting.
These symptoms happen because of the nerve connections between the kidneys and GI tract. Stones in the kidneys may trigger nerves in the GI tract, setting off an upset stomach. Nausea and vomiting can also be the body’s way of responding to intense pain.
7. Fever and chills
Fever and chills may also indicate kidney stones. An infection in your kidney or another part of your urinary tract can result in fever and chills. This is a serious complication to a kidney stone. It can also be a sign of other serious problems besides kidney stones. Fever with pain requires urgent medical attention.
Fevers accompanied by an infection are usually high i.e. 100.4?F (38?C) or more. Chills or shivering often occur along with the fever.
Home Remedies for Kidney Stones
The key to prevent and help with kidney stones is staying hydrated and getting enough fluids for our kidneys to function normally. Some fluids that can prevent and even help with kidney stones are discussed below:
There are three liquids rumored to help with kidney stones:
Cranberry Juice: Cranberry juice is known to help in the case of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Drink pure cranberry juice, not cranberry juice cocktail which is mostly sugar and flavoring.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Due to the acidic nature of apple cider vinegar, it can sometimes create changes to your urine through its alkalizing effect, which helps with kidney stones. Adding apple cider vinegar to your water and sipping through the day has many health benefits but if the taste is a block for you then supplements like Apple Cider Vinegar Complex and Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies are an “easier pill to swallow” for many people.
Lemon Juice: Lemon juice contains an abundance of citrate, which can help prevent kidney stones from forming. Several citrus fruits including lemons, limes, oranges, and melons are rich in citrates. Add a slice to your water, your tea or to recipes as a regular part of your diet.
Coffee: Research studies are also suggestive of coffee decreasing your risk of developing kidney stones.
The bottom line is to keep hydrated and avoid soda and other drinks with added sugar or fructose corn syrup. Healthy weight and avoiding salts can also help.