kidney stones causes
What is Kidney Disease? All You Need To Know
Introduction Chronic kidney diseases affect around 10% of the Indian population. Statistics show that close to 1 lakh cases of renal failure are reported every year. Kidney disease results from kidney damage, making them unable to carry out their functions. This damage can be caused due to high blood pressure, diabetes or other long-term health conditions. Kidney disease can also lead to other health problems, such as nerve damage, weak bones and malnutrition. What is kidney disease? Kidneys are the organs responsible for regulating your body’s pH levels, salt, potassium, and various functions. They are two bean-shaped organs that are usually the size of your fists. Your kidneys carry out three main functions: filtering excess water and waste out of the blood and creating urine. Kidney disease results from kidney damage, making it difficult for them to filter the blood as they should. Here you will understand more about the function of the kidneys and the causes, symptoms, types and treatment of kidney disease. The longer you wait before treating this condition, the more chances it may result in total renal failure. In this case, you would need to undergo dialysis, a form of treatment that helps filter and purify your blood with the help of a machine. As there is no known cure for kidney failure, the individual will have to undergo dialysis for the rest of their life. Types and causes of kidney disease Here is a comprehensive kidney disease list that describes the different types and causes of kidney diseases so that you know the risk and the mode of action required for such conditions. Chronic kidney disease This is one of the most common types of kidney disease. It is a long-term condition that does not improve over time and can result from high blood pressure. This happens because of the pressure applied on the glomeruli (a network of tiny blood vessels in the kidneys that helps purify the blood). Over a period, the increased pressure on these can cause damage to these vessels, which in turn limits kidney function. Ultimately the kidney function declines to the point where the kidneys cannot carry out their function correctly, causing the individual to need dialysis and, in more severe cases, a kidney transplant. Diabetes is another major cause of chronic kidney disease. In this case, the increased sugar level in the blood causes the blood vessels in the kidneys to get damaged over time. The kidneys cannot clean the blood properly, so the body can get overloaded with various toxins. Kidney stones Another common problem is the presence of kidney stones. This disease occurs because substances like minerals crystallise in the kidneys and form solid masses, also known as stones. When urinating, these stones are often dispelled from the body, but the process can be significantly painful. Polycystic kidney disease This genetic disorder often results in the growth of multiple tiny sacs of fluid known as cysts in the kidneys. These cysts can interfere with the kidneys' optimum functioning, resulting in kidney failure. Note that individual kidney cysts are relatively common among individuals and can be harmless. It is only polycystic kidney disease that can be life-threatening. Glomerulonephritis Glomerulonephritis is a kidney disease in which the glomeruli get inflamed. This is usually caused due to drugs, infections or congenital abnormalities. It usually gets better on its own. Urinary tract infections Urinary tract infections are caused because of bacterial infections in the urinary system. This kind of infection is usually seen in the urethra or bladder. They are easy to treat but, if left untreated, can also cause kidney disease. symptoms of Kidney disease Kidney diseases may go unnoticed as their symptoms are less noticeable than other diseases. However, if left without treatment, it can have severe consequences. Here are a few early kidney disease symptoms. Fatigue Trouble sleeping Muscle cramps Dry and scaly skin Swelling in ankles and feet Poor appetite Morning puffiness around the eyes Frequent urination Difficulty concentrating Severe kidney disease symptoms may include: Nausea Vomiting Changes in the output of urine A sudden rise in your potassium levels Pericardium inflammation Decrease in sex drive Fluid retention Anaemia Treatment for kidney disease Treatment for any kidney disease involves trying to control the underlying cause of the disease. The treatment options include: Medications Your doctor might prescribe several medications in the case of kidney disease based on the cause, these include: Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers help lower blood pressure A phosphate if your kidneys are having trouble eliminating phosphate A diuretic to eliminate the excess fluid build-up Medicines that help reduce cholesterol levels Vitamin D and calcitriol for bone preservation Erythropoietin helps build red blood cells in patients with anaemia Changes in diet and lifestyle Those with reduced kidney function need to preserve the remaining function so that it can last for longer. Here are a few diet and lifestyle changes you will have to make in your diet and lifestyle Make regular doctor visits Manage your blood sugar levels in case of diabetes Avoid the consumption of painkillers as other non-essential medicines Choose a kidney-friendly diet with limited proteins, sodium and potassium Be more active Don't smoke Try and remain at a weight that is healthy for you Dialysis As there is no known cure for kidney disease your healthcare provider will suggest dialysis when you are in the end stages of kidney disease. There are two main types of dialysis: Hemodialysis: In this case, the blood is circulated through a device that helps get rid of excess waste products before the blood is sent back to the body. Peritoneal dialysis: Here a dialysis solution is placed directly into the abdomen with the help of a catheter. This solution absorbs the waste and can be removed using the same catheter before adding a fresh solution. Book Kidney Function Test Conclusion The kidneys carry out the essential job of waste and excess fluid from the body. When your kidneys stop functioning optimally, they can cause several health issues. Regular health checkups and blood tests help to keep track of your health. You should go the extra mile to get blood and urine tests done if you suspect you may have kidney disease. Metropolis Labs helps their customers with at-home sample collection so that you can keep up with your health from the comfort of your home. Metropolis Healthcare assures accurate results within 48 hours of sample collection. Check out the entire list of diagnostic tests provided to find the ones you need.
Kidney Stones: Causes, Treatment and Diagnosis Options
About 50% of the Indian population that is expected to have urinary stones may end up with loss of kidney functions. In fact, every year, more than half a million people have to go to emergency rooms for kidney stone related problems. Book your kidney function test right away, if you have been delaying it for long. Please note this test has got other names as well, such as renal profile test or renal function test. “Renal” means connected to your kidneys. What exactly is a kidney stone? Kidney stone is a solid, pebble-like piece of material that can form in one or both of your kidneys. Urine contains various wastes dissolved in it. Usually, these waste materials are eliminated by the body's filter, the kidney. When the urine is too concentrated or there is too much waste in too little liquid, crystals may begin to produce. Other elements (like calcium, oxalate, urate, cystine, xanthine, and phosphate) get attached to the crystals and together form a solid. This piece will get larger unless it is passed out of the body with the urine. Some stones stay there in the kidney(s), but do not cause any troubles. A few kidney stones are as small as grains of sand, others can be as large as a golf ball. At large, the bigger the stone, the more noticeable are the kidney stone symptoms. Along with your kidneys, make sure to schedule basic health checkup. Check out the full body checkup cost here. What do kidney stones feel like? Symptoms could be one or more of the following: Severe pain on either side of your lower back. The pain often starts suddenly and appears in waves. Vague pain or stomach ache that doesn't go away Blood in the urine Nausea or vomiting Fever and chills Foul-smelling or cloudy urine How are kidney stones diagnosed? 1. Medical and dietary history Have you had more than one stone before? Has anyone in your family had kidney stones? Both of these can up your risk of developing a kidney stone. Also, you may be eating foods that are known to increase the risk of stones or not drinking enough fluids. A deep understanding of your medical, family and dietary history enables your doctor to find out how likely you are to form more stones. 2. Blood and Urine Tests After taking a complete history and doing a physical exam, you may be asked for blood and urine culture and sensitivity test samples. Urine analysis helps check for urinary tract infection or crystals that are typical of different stone types. 3. Imaging Tests Your doctor may want to see inside the urinary tract through X-ray. Imaging tests may be repeated over time to check for stone growth. An imaging like ultrasound or X-ray can be asked if you are having pain, blood in your urine, or recurrent urine infections. 4. Stone Analysis If you pass a stone or a stone is removed by surgery, testing the stone will help identify what kind of stone it is. This helps your doctor to decide the best way to prevent future stones. Apart from blood tests to check that your kidneys are working properly, the levels of substances that could cause kidney stones, such as calcium, can also be checked. What may give you a kidney stone? Low Urine Volume A constant low urine volume that may come from dehydration (loss of body fluids) from hard exercise, working or living in a hot place, or not drinking enough fluids causes urine to become concentrated and dark in color. Concentrated urine means there is a high likelihood of developing stones. Hence, make sure you get enough fluid each day. Daily Diet Calcium is a common element that contributes in developing kidney stones. One of the most common causes is high levels of calcium in the urine. Raised urine calcium levels may be due to the way your body handles calcium. But it does not mean you need to lower the amount of calcium in your diet. It can be detrimental for bone health and may increase kidney stone risk. The idea is to lower urine calcium. One way to reduce your urine calcium level is by decreasing your salt (sodium) intake. Too much salt keeps calcium from being reabsorbed from the urine and into the blood. Lowering salt intake helps decrease urine calcium. Other than this, eating foods rich in oxalate may also raise your risk of forming kidney stones. Obesity Being obese may change the acid levels in your urine, that may lead to kidney stone formation. Medical conditions Certain medical conditions that cause diarrhea or gastric discomfort (such as Crohn's Disease or ulcerative colitis) can raise the risk of developing kidney stones. This may happen due to diarrhea resulting in loss of large amounts of fluid from the body, that lowers urine volume. Continuous diarrhea may also cause imbalance in electrolyte levels. Family History If you have a family history of kidney stones, it is important to keep an eye on symptoms and get tested early on. Watch your kidney health with our carefully curated Kidney function test and ensure all parameters are within normal range. How are kidney stones treated? Treatment depends on various clinical factors including the type of stone, how large it is, and how long you have had the symptoms. A few of the common options include: Stone may pass by itself It is highly likely for smaller stones to pass on their own through urine. No specific treatment is needed in this case. You can wait as suggested by your doctor as long as the pain is bearable and may need pain killers in between, there are no signs of infection. Medication Certain medications, like tamsulosin, make it easier for the stone to pass. Follow your doctor’s advice for medicine dosage. Surgery You may need surgery for kidney stones if: -The stone fails to pass. -The pain is too much to bear -The stone is affecting kidney function or causing infection. Small stones in the kidney may be left alone if they are not causing pain or infection. These days, surgery usually involves small or no cuts), minimal pain and time off work. You can start off with normal activities after about one-to-two weeks. Surgeries to remove stones in the kidneys or ureters may include Shock wave lithotripsy (SWL), Ureteroscopy (URS), Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) at large. Open, laparoscopic or robotic surgery may only be needed if other less invasive procedures fail or seem to not work in your case. Your doctor may ask for certain blood tests and X-rays while you are still being treated to monitor your condition. Talk to your doctor about what is best for you. Also, never forget to ask for tips to prevent stones in future.