Kidney stones are one of the most common and most painful disorder of the urinary tract. The medical term to describe stone occurring in urinary tract is urolithiasis. It is also known as urinary tract stone disease and nephrolithiasis. Kidney stone is a hard crystal mass that builds up inside the kidney. Urine contains chemicals which forms the stones and also prevents the stones. When these chemicals doesn't balance each other the crystal formation occurs. As this clump keeps increasing, it forms a stone. Kidney stone can be tiny or very large as golf balls. Tiny stones can travel down through the urinary tract and pass out of the body with urine without being noticed. While large stone moves into ureter and causes extreme severe pain. Kidney stones are usually yellow or brown in colour.
The common cause of kidney stone is dehydration or imbalance of body fluids which makes the urine concentrated along with chronic urinary tract infections like cystic kidney diseases.
Some medications specially overdose of painkillers and certain metabolic ailments like hyperparathyroidism, hereditary ailments such as renal tubular acidosis, hereditary metabolic diseases like cystinuria and hyperoxaluria.
Certain food may also cause stone formation in the kidney.
Other causes are hyperuricosuria, gout, excess intake of vitamin D and blocked urinary tract.
Though most people with kidney stones don't have any symptoms.
Generally the first symptom is sudden severe pain that occurs when urine flow is blocked by stone and when the stone moves in the urinary tract causing irritation.
It is characterized by onset of sharp, cramping pain in the lower back and pelvic area or in the lower abdomen spreading to the groin with nausea, vomiting, Burning sensation, frequent urge of urination, cloudy urine with foul smell, Fever and chills.
Most often kidney stones can be detected by x-ray or sonogram or ultrasound. The diagnostic image provides accurate information about stone size and location. Some blood and urine test also helps in detecting abnormal substance which may cause stone formation.
Another process is to scan the urinary system using computed tomography or IVP i.e. intravenous pyelogram and CT urography.
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