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Kidney stones, or ‘Renal Calculus’, are solid lumps or crystal formations composed of dietary minerals deposited in the kidney. In the medical terminology, the condition of having stones in kidney is referred as ‘Nephrolithiasis’. Kidneys are very important organs of the body involved in excretory function. Ideally the urine passes easily through the kidney carrying several minerals and other residue. In case of any imbalance in the residual substances, they solidify to form kidney stones. The size of this stone can vary from being as small as a grain of sand to as large as a golf ball.
The main symptom of kidney stones is sudden and acute pain in groin, abdomen or sides of the abdomen radiating around the hip down to the groin. The pain intermittently increases and decreases in degree and is termed as ‘Renal colic’. The pain at times becomes unbearable and is accompanied with nausea and vomiting. Kidney stones can also lead to passing blood with the urine. In instances of kidney stones coupled with urinary tract infections. The patient might present with fever and chills. In a few cases other sign like difficulty in urinating, urinary urgency and frequency, penile pain and testicular pain are also evident.
Kidney stones are caused due to excessive consumption of calcium, calcium oxalate, uric acid or salt in diet coupled with less fluid intake.Severe dehydration due to less fluid intake, strenuous exercise or hot climate can lead to stone formation. Urinary tract infections and metabolic abnormalities can also cause kidney stones. A diet rich in calcium, excessive sugar, and vitamin D supplements is known to be the most common cause of the disease. Following medical conditions also increase the risk for kidney stones:
High blood pressure
Inflammatory bowel diseases.