What Are Kidney Stones? FAQ

Kidney stones—you’ve heard of them before, no doubt that’s exactly why you’re here, but it’s just that you likely don’t have a lot of knowledge about them. We have developed a short FAQ to serve as your initial guide.

What are kidney stones?

Also known as renal lithiasis, these are stone deposits that can develop in different parts of the urinary tract, such as the bladder and the kidney. These are made from certain kinds of minerals like calcium as well as uric acid and oxalates (the typical culprits). They can vary in size, among other things.

Is there just one type of kidney stone?

No, there are four known kidney stone types. The most common is called calcium stones, which can be either calcium oxalate (which is the more usual) or calcium phosphate).

Cystine stones are genetic while stones can also occur when uric acid is very high.

Struvite stones develop along with infections to the kidney. Because there are many different kinds of stones, the degree of pain, symptoms, chances of reoccurrence, and treatments can also vary.

How long does it take for the stones to form?

Based on some medical information, it may take only about 3 months for the kidney stones to form. However, there are times when they can take more months to a year. Usually, you’ll never know that you have them until you start feeling intense pain, especially around the lower extremity beginning at the lower back.

If you have already kidney stones before, it may take around 5 years before new ones begin to form again. The good news is as long as you follow a better diet and lifestyle, as well as work closely with your doctor, you may prevent them from happening again.

Can children develop them?

Yes, children and teens can develop kidney stones despite their young age. Again, as long as the requirements for their development are present, they can definitely happen. The signs and symptoms are not that much different from those of the adults. Over the last few years, the incidence of renal lithiasis among children seems to increase. This may be attributed to the kind of nutrition or lifestyle they are maintaining.

What are the usual signs and symptoms of kidney stones?

Almost all sufferers realize they have kidney stones when they begin to feel pain in the lower part of the back, where the kidneys are. The pain is often described as severe that they cannot perform their daily tasks or activities anymore. Some of them also pass out due to the pain.

Other signs and symptoms are:

  • High fever (which normally occurs during infection)
  • Persistent urge to urinate
  • Urine that smells foul
  • Dark and/or cloudy urine
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Is it possible pass these kidney stones?

Yes, some people do get rid of kidney stones this way, but this can only really happen when the stones are still small. Otherwise, they can just get lodged in the bladder, kidney, and other parts of the urinary tract. As they get bigger, they can lead to the symptoms we mentioned above.

Preventing Kidney Stones

Who likes to suffer from kidney stones? They can be very discomforting and very unbearable! As early as right this moment now, take the necessary steps to help prevent their formation:

Be more informed about kidney stones.

As they always say, the best form of defense is knowledge. Learn as much as you can about kidney stones, especially how they form and the effects they can have on your body.

Although the Internet is a fantastic resource to research anything including illnesses and diseases, the best thing you could do at the very beginning of suspecting you may have kidney stones is to actually make an appointment with is your doctor or, more specifically, a urologist. You can ask for referral from your general practitioner if you want to see a specialist.

Take sodium in moderation.

Cutting back on sodium completely is not a good idea simply because your body needs it. It’s what keeps your electrolyte in perfect balance. Else, your internal organs will eventually malfunction, and you can go into shock and eventually die.

However, sodium is mainly a trace mineral, which means your body doesn’t need a lot of it in order to function properly. In fact, if you visit this link you can see what the recommended daily intake actually is .

Almost definitely you can’t spend the entire day measuring your sodium. What you can do is to simply cut back. Forget about processed food and stick with whole food. You can also substitute regular salt with spices and herbs as a way to add more flavor. You can even make fresh broth for soups.

You may also have to watch out for sodium too, which can be found in other sources including meat and certain fruits and vegetables.

Don’t go heavy with protein.

Some people these days are going crazy over protein especially when they’re trying to lose weight. It’s a fantastic way to build up muscle mass, which burns more calories than fat. But like sodium, your body doesn’t require a huge amount of protein. Worse, if you’ve been sticking with meat-based proteins, then you know that you’re taking fat along with it.

When it comes to kidney stone formation, proteins such as meats and legumes can cause the formation of uric acid, which can then lead to kidney stones over time. Moreover, this acid can get into your joints, making them more painful to move.

Take the best way to prevent kidney stones: water.

There’s no other well-known effective way to prevent kidney stones than by drinking water. There are even a lot of cases where small kidney stones are eliminated from the body by simply increasing water intake.

Water doesn’t just keep your vital organs like kidney in good condition, it also prevents the buildup of anything excessive in the body and, most of all, toxic wastes.

If you like, you can pair water with lemon. Early in the morning, before you take anything and at least 30 minutes before breakfast, drink water infused with lemon to cleanse the body very well.