It is obvious that the urinary system includes the bladder, kidneys, bladder, ureters, bladder and urethra. The kidneys are two organs with a bean-shaped shape, located in the middle of the back under the ribs. The kidneys convert excess water and wastes from blood into urine. They also maintain a steady balance of salts, and other substances in blood. The kidneys produce hormones that build strong bones and red blood cells. The urinary system is made up of the bladder, kidneys, bladder, urethra, and ureters. The kidneys are two organs with a bean-shaped shape, located in the middle of the back under the ribs. The kidneys convert excess water and wastes from blood into urine.
They also maintain a steady balance of salts, and other substances in blood. The kidneys produce hormones that build strong bones and red blood cells. The bladder is an oval-shaped, cylindrical chamber located in the lower abdomen. It is carried by narrow tubes called ureters. The bladder’s flexible walls are like a balloon and can store urine. When urine is emptied from the bladder through the urethra, they become compressed. Kidney stones are formed from crystals that have separated from the urine and built up on the inner surfaces the kidney. The majority of urine contains chemicals that inhibit or prevent crystal formation.
These inhibitors don’t work for everyone. However, some people develop stones. If the crystals are small enough, they will pass through the urinary tract and be excreted in the urine. There are many combinations of chemicals that can be found in kidney stones. The most common form of kidney stone is calcium with oxalate and phosphate. These chemicals are part and parcel of a person’s daily diet and make up important body parts, such as bones or muscles. An infection in the bladder is a less common cause of stone. This is known as a struvite, or infection stone. The uric acid stones are a bit less common.
Rare are cystine stones. Urolithiasis, a medical term that describes stones in the urinary tract, is rare. Urinary tract stone disease and Nephrolithiasis are two other terms that are frequently used. Doctors may also use terms to describe the location of the stones in the urinary tract. A ureteral or ureterolithiasis is a kidney stone that is found in the ureter. This fact sheet uses the term “kidney stone” to keep things simple. Gallstones are not related to kidney stones. They can form in different parts of the body. Gallstones are not always associated with kidney stones. The number of Americans with kidney stones has increased over the past 30 year for unknown reasons.
Stone-forming disease has increased from 3.8 percent in late 1970s to 5.2% in the late 1980s, 1990s, and now. White Americans are more likely to develop kidney stones that African Americans. Stones are more common in men. As men age, the prevalence of kidney stones increases dramatically. It continues to rise well into their 70s. The incidence of kidney stones in women is highest in their 50s. If a person has more than one kidney stone, it is likely that others will form. Doctors don’t always know what causes a particular stone to form.
Although certain foods can promote stone formation in those who are sensitive, scientists don’t believe that any particular food causes stones to form in those who aren’t. People with a history of kidney stones in their family may be more likely than others to develop them. Stone formation can also be linked to kidney infections, kidney disorders like cystic kidney disease, and certain metabolic disorders like hyperparathyroidism. Kidney stones can also be caused by a rare hereditary condition called renal tubular acidosis, which affects more than 70% of people. Two other rare metabolic disorders that can cause kidney stones are hyperoxaluria and cystinuria.
Cystinuria is characterized by excessive amounts of the amino acid cystine. This amino acid does not dissolve in the urine and can cause kidney stones. This can lead to stones made from cystine. Patients with hyperoxaluria produce too much salt oxalate. The crystals form when there is more oxalate in the urine than can be dissolved. Hypercalciuria can be passed down. More than half of patients suffer from hypercalciuria. Calcium is absorbed in excess from food and then excreted into the urine. Crystals of calcium oxalate and calcium phosphate can form in the kidneys and urinary tract due to high levels of calcium in the urine.
Hyperuricosuria, which is a disorder in uric acid metabolism, excessive intake of vitamin D and blockage of your urinary tract are other causes of kidney stones. Some diuretics, commonly known as water pills or calcium-based antibiotics, may increase the likelihood of kidney stones. This is because they increase the amount of calcium in the body. People with chronic inflammation of their bowels, or who have had an ostomy or intestinal bypass surgery may also develop calcium oxalate stone. People who have had a urinary tract infections can develop struvite stone. People who take indinavir, a drug that treats HIV infection, are at increased risk of developing kidney stone.
Kidney stones are not usually associated with any symptoms. The first sign of kidney stones is usually extreme pain. This happens when a stone blocks the flow of urine. The pain can often start suddenly when a kidney stone moves in the urinary system, causing irritation and blockage. A person may feel a sharp, cramping sensation in their back or side near the kidneys or lower abdomen. Sometimes, nausea and vomiting can occur. Later, the pain can spread to the groin. If the stone is too large for the bladder to pass easily, the pain may continue as the muscles of the tiny ureter wall try to push the stone into the bladder. The urine may contain blood as the stone grows or moves. You may feel the urge to urinate more frequently or feel a burning sensation when you urinate.
An infection could be the cause of fever and chills. If this happens, it is important to contact your doctor immediately. Sometimes, “silent” stone are found during a general medical exam. These stones will likely go unnoticed if they are small. On x-rays or sonograms taken of someone complaining of sudden pain or blood in their urine, kidney stones are more often found. These images provide valuable information to the doctor about the size and location of the stone. The doctor can use blood and urine tests to detect any substance that could promote stone formation. A doctor might decide to scan the bladder using a special test called a CT scan (computed tomography scan) or an IVP scan (intravenous penyelogram). All of these tests will help determine the best treatment. Surgery is rarely necessary.
With plenty of water (2-3 quarts per day), most kidney stones can be moved through the urinary tract. You can often stay at home and drink fluids as well as take pain medication if necessary. The doctor will usually ask you to save any passed stones for testing. You are more likely to develop another kidney stone if you have had multiple kidney stones. Prevention is key. Your doctor must determine the cause of any stones. Your doctor will order laboratory tests including blood and urine tests. Your medical history, occupation, eating habits, and other pertinent information will be asked by your doctor.
The laboratory will analyze any stone that has been removed or saved. This information is helpful in planning treatment. After a stone has been removed or passed, you may be asked to collect your urine. The urine sample is taken to determine the volume of your urine and levels of acidity and citrate (a product from muscle metabolism). This information will be used by your doctor to determine the source of the stone. To determine if the prescribed treatment is effective, a second 24-hour urine collection may need to be done. The best and easiest way to prevent stones is to drink more fluids. Drink enough liquids throughout the day to produce at most 2 quarts of urine per 24-hour period if you are prone to developing stones. People who develop calcium stones were once advised to avoid dairy products and other foods high in calcium.