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Kidney Stones - Essay Example

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Kidney Stones Kidney stones, known medically as renal lithiasis, are hard, solid deposits made of acid and mineral salts that form within the kidneys. These stones often form when urine becomes too concentrated with dietary minerals, thus allowing these minerals to crystalize and gather into a kidney stone…
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Kidney Stones
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Kidney Stones

Men, on the other hand, tend to have complications when passing stones, making their condition known to them. Kidney stones are among many medical conditions that do not have a single, definite cause. Though multiple risk factors have been determined, it has been decided that each individual produces kidney stones for reasons that are specific to the individual body. However, it is understood that kidney stones develop as a result of an excess of calcium, oxalate, and uric acid, which is more than the fluid in the urine can dilute. This causes the urine to become too concentrated. The science behind why excess amounts of these minerals form into kidney stones continues to be researched. The risk factors behind the prevalence of kidney stones include a family history of kidney stones, being an adult, being male, obesity, dehydration, diets high in protein or sodium, and other digestive diseases. Since there are different ways for an individual to form kidney stones, different types of kidney stones have been recognized. Calcium stones form as a result of too much calcium oxalate in the body. This substance is common in many food products and is created regularly by the liver, making calcium stones the most common type of kidney stone (McAninch, 2013). Struvite stones form as the result of an infection in the urinary tract, and tend to be among the largest of kidney stones. Uric acid stones form as a result of an individual not drinking enough fluids or else lose too much fluids, causing the urine to consist primarily of minerals but very little fluid. Cystine stones are caused by a hereditary condition during which the kidneys excrete excessive amounts of the amino acid cystinuria. Regardless of the type or cause of the kidney stones, the symptoms are the same. In most cases, especially among women, a kidney stone does not prompt noticeable symptoms until the stone moves around within the kidney or passes through the ureter, which is the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder. The symptoms associated with the movement and passing of the kidney stone include severe pain below the ribs, pain in the groin and lower abdomen, pain during urination, blood in the urine, foul-smelling or cloudy urine, and frequent urination. If there is an infection that has caused a kidney stone to form, the individual may also experience fever, chills, and nausea. The symptoms of a kidney stone may intensify if the kidney stone shifts in location, such as its movement along the urinary tract. Kidney stones are treated based on what type of stone they are, their size, and where they are located within the body. If the individual has a smaller stone, they are often able to pass it without invasive treatment. In most cases, drinking large quantities of water can help to flush the urinary system, allowing the stone to pass, and over-the-counter pain relievers can decrease the intensity of pain associated with passing stones, especially for men. When needed, medical therapy is also available in the form of an alpha blocker, which relaxes the ureter muscles (Rose & Post, 2001) and makes passing the kidney stone easier and less painful. When a stone is too large to pass or threatens to cause damage to the kidney or urinary tract, it may be broken up with a procedure known as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, which involves using sound waves to create shock waves that ... Read More
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