Kidney Stones - Symptoms, Causes, Types, and Treatment

Kidney Stones - Symptoms, Causes, Types, and Treatment

India contributes to 12% of the world’s population at the global level who are suffering from kidney stones. Drinking less water and irregularity in lifestyle can seen among the people who are suffering from any kidney disorder or stone formation.

Majority of the kidney stone cases thrive in the northern part of India. There are more males than females with kidney stones that may be painful and sometimes silent and that can turn into renal failure.

 Medical terminology used for kidney stones is renal calculus or nephrolith which are the solid deposits of minerals and stones. Treatment may vary depending on the type and size of the kidney.

What are kidney stones?

Kidney stones are crystalized forms of minerals, salt and metals existing in one or both kidneys. It may be as small as gravel or sand or big as pearl or bigger than this.

It is a threat to the urinary system as it can stand as an obstacle in the way of urine flow and cause abrupt pain and discomfort.

If proper care or treatment is not undertaken then such crystallized particles may damage the kidney or bladder of the urinary tract.

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Small-sized kidney stones may not reveal symptoms as the bigger ones which may block the urethra from letting go of the urine of the body.

Bigger-sized stones reveal the following symptoms which may be painful and cause risk to life:

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in the back
  • Fever and shivers
  • Blood in the urine
  • Urine generates a bad odor and looks darker than normal
  • Hurting while passing the urine
  • Constant pain in the stomach

Causes of Kidney Stones

People getting affected by kidney stones for different reasons as follows

  • Not drinking enough water and not having enough liquid-based diet
  • Some may suffer due to obesity.
  • Eating salts or sugar excessively or too much fructose.
  • Genetic inheritance

Such risk mentioned above factors tend also to cause gallstone in the gallbladder and intestinal disorders.

Types of Kidney Stones

Kidney stones can be of varied types which can again be traced to different causes.

Certain stones form as an outcome of the crystallization of certain minerals. It can take weeks or months to turn into kidney stones.


A high percentage of calcium in the urine crystallizes and turns into kidney stones.


It is found in Vitamin D and spinach and other vegetables and fruits. Even chocolate and nuts have been the sources of such minerals.

It may take the shape of stones in the kidney if you are not drinking water or consuming fluids as per your body’s requirements.

Other types of stones may be the result of inheriting from family members or developing through infections or in the form of side effects of any medication or surgery. Let’s explore such types of stones also:

Cystine stones

Such stones develop in those people who are suffering from a hereditary disorder, cystinuria. They often discharge specific types of Amino acid through urine.

Struvite stones

It is when the infections in the upper urinary tract turn into stones.

Uric acid stones or gout

Consumption of excess purine substances existing in organ meats and shellfish makes the person suffer excessively from this problem.

Urinary Calculi

If you are consuming medications in high dosages with minimum or no fluid or water intake then in such cases these medications form a cluster of stones inside the kidney.

Diagnosing Kidney Stones

To get a clear idea of the development of kidney stones, the health provider would check the family history and go ahead with the physical scanning and imaging tests.

  • Using the KUB x-ray to verify the size and shape of the kidney stones and also trace their existing location. It is the way of scanning the way down from the kidney to the bladder area. with high resolution device.
  • To proceed with how to eliminate the stone through surgery or medication, the doctor would determine the condition of the kidney through blood examinations and urine analysis.
  • Further, the health provider would proceed with the chemical analysis of the stone through blood and urine tests. This procedure will be conducted after the stone has been extracted to verify the percentages of calcium, phosphorus,, and uric acid in the blood. 

Treatment Options

The health provider would decide the treatment options depending on the level of severity:

  • Initially, you will be recommended to drink a lot of water and thrive on a liquid-based diet rich in fiber and even medications to break the stones into finer fragments and expel them through urine. The doctor might prescribe medicines like Zyloprim or Aloprim to reduce the level of uric acid and increase alkalinity in the urine.
  • In complex situations, surgery or invasive lithotripsy may help in eliminating the larger-sized kidney stones or breaking the stones into small sizes to be eliminated through the urethra.
  • Otherwise, the endoscope will be inserted inside the bladder to remove the the urologist.

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Preventing Kidney Stones

To avoid expensive medical costs for expelling the kidney stones, preventive efforts should be made:

  • Managing your diet and drinking enough water to keep the color of the urine yellow. Control your urges to eat animal protein or anything that may trigger a rise in uric acid in urine. Darker urine color indicates a high percentage of uric acid and that may signal the presence of harmful microbes or stones.
  • Consuming low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese can lessen the chances of the formation of kidney stones by lowering the absorption of calcium and oxalate.
  • Avoid sitting for long periods which may not help in running your kidneys well.
  • Consult any urologist by sharing your medical history and lifestyle which you think may be harming your urinary bladder and kidney or when you may be suffering from back pain or stomach pain.

Home Care and Management

We can keep our urinary system healthy and functional with specific home remedies:

  • Drinking 12 to 15 glasses of water or even more if the kidney stones are too big and give unbearable and painful experience. You can also drink lemon juice regularly whose citrate content will not cause the formation of stones in the kidney.
  • Avoid eating anything high in oxalates which are spinach, beetroots, chocolates,tes and nuts. Limiting the consumption of salty substances, fructose and packaged matter may directly impact the formation of kidney stones.
  • Consuming herbal tea made from organic herbs like nettle leaf, dandelion root, parsley or celery seeds will aid in removing stones and improve the quality of the urinary system.
  • Stop drinking carbonate and caffeine beverages like Coca-Cola or any cold drink with artificial sweeteners and synthetic fruit flavors, tea and coffee. Such beverages would dehydrate your body and cause the accumulation of hard deposits of stones. Avoiding alcohol and nicotine abuse may also lower the chances of dehydration and formation of uric acid.
  • Drinking juice from the extracts of Tulsi leaves blended with honey will stimulate cleansing of the kidney.
  • Consuming Watermelon will keep you moisturized from the inside. Its watery content and potassium will aid in expelling the stones.
  • Performing physical exercise will help in healthy weight loss and eliminating toxic fats.


There is a steady rise in kidney disorders or stones in India and mostly males are affected than females. Those people are affected by the development of small or large-sized stones in their kidney or urinary tract area who are not drinking enough water and are not careful about their diet and lifestyle.

High intake of calcium, salts or any medications and not doing enough exercise may lead to crystal formation in small or large stones. Treatments for expelling bigger stones may be challenging and expensive.

One should take proper care of the kidney from the beginning by drinking enough water, and taking fiber and herbal supplements which may eliminate the stones easily.

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