We are all aware of Gallstones and Kidney stones . Most of us has a family member who is affected from the body stones. We see them tolerating pain and avoiding things which may cause them pain, taking medicines, taking precautions and even sometimes getting admitted.
To be frank I have seen my mom getting admitted due to kidney stones and we are not really aware of many things related to these stones like we do not know about its cause, symptoms, proper treatment, precautions. We sometimes even follow the people blindly and do whatever they say and this may even worsen the case. So taking all of this in sight, today I am going to give you some relevant information about Gallstones and Kidney stones.
First of all I will tell you about the Gallstones.
Gallstones form into gallbladder and these are not really stones but are the solid material which is formed in the gallbladder .You may not even know about them until they block your bile duct due to which in conclusion you feel pain.
Gallbladder is a small organ below the liver in the upper right abdomen.It is a pouch which stores bile that helps in digestion.
Types of Gallstones:
- Cholesterol Stones: Cholesterol stones form when there is too much cholesterol in the bile. These are yellow-green in color.
- Pigment Stones: These are dark brown-to-black stones consisting of calcium salts of Bilirubin, phosphate, carbonate and other anions. These can also be separated into carbonate and non-carbonate containing group. Bilirubin comes from bile which is a fluid produced by liver and stored in gallbladder.
Causes of Gallstones:
- Genes: Stones are also formed genetically. If your mom has stones then you are at risk of having them too.
- Too much Cholesterol: Having too much cholesterol in your bile can also lead to the stones. These stones may develop when your liver makes more cholesterol than your bile can dissolve.
- Bilirubin: It is a chemical produced when your liver destroys old red blood cells. In some circumstances due to liver damage or some blood disorders, liver produces more amount of bilirubin than required. This results in the formation of Pigment gallstones.
- Concentrated bile due to a full gall bladder: Our gallbladder needs to empty its bile to function properly and when it fails to empty bile, bile is overly concentrated and hence results into the hard stones.
- Obesity: As obesity can raise your cholesterol level therefore it results into the formation of stones.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes have higher levels of triglycerides ( blood fat) which may again cause stones.
- Weight loss: If you lost weight quickly then your liver makes extra cholesterol which my result into the stones.
Symptoms of Gallstones:
- Pain in your upper abdomen
- Pain in your upper back for several hours
- Vomiting may be the symptom
- Bloating, indigestion, heartburn or gas
- Dark urine, clay-colored stools
To find out these stones the following tests are recommended by Doctors:
- Blood Tests: To check out the signs of infections or obstruction and other medical conditions.
- Ultrasound: This is very helpful and used mostly because it makes images of the inside of our body.
- CT-Scan: This includes specialized X-Rays which shows the images of the inner body and includes gallbladder.
- Endoscopic Ultrasound: This involves endoscopy and ultrasound to detect gallstones.
Treatment for Gallstones:
- Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy: This is a type of surgery in which surgeon passes instruments, light and a camera inside the belly through several cuts and views inside the body through monitor.
- Open Cholecystectomy: In this process, the gallbladder is being removed.
- Medicines: If your Doctor feels that the stones can be removed through the medicines and there is no need of the operation then he may prescribe chenodiol, ursodiol or both.
Finally I will tell you about Kidney stones.
Kidney stones are smaller material or masses of salts and minerals that form inside the Kidneys. These may be very small and may be big as a ping pong ball. These may even get out of the body by travelling through the urinary tract and believe me it is very painful.
Types of Kidney Stones:
- Calcium: Calcium stones are made up of calcium oxalate, phosphate or maleate. These are most common kidney stones.
- Uric Acid: Uric acid stones develop when urine is too acidic. Thses are more common in men than women.These occur to people with gout or people going through chemotherapy.
- Struvite: Struvite stones stones are caused due to urinary infections. These are commen in women with urinary tract infections.
- Cystine: Cystine stones may occur to both men and women who have genetic disorder cystinuria. In this type of stone, an acid that occurs naturally in the body leaks from the kidneys into the urine.
Causes of the Kidney stone:
- Lack of water: Main cause of formation of kidney stones is lack of water. Many people does not intake the required amount of water which is 8 to 10 glasses a day.
- Acidic Urine: Due to the lack of water in the body ,there is not enough water to dilute uric acid due to which the urine becomes more acidic and an excessively acidic environment is more prone for the formation of stones.
- Urinary tract infections: In this situation also a person is more prone to develop kidney stones.
- Renal Tubular Acidosis: If a person is suffering from this disease then he is also likely to develop kidney stones.
- High protein , salt or glucose diet can also cause kidney stones.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones:
- Blood in the urine
- Severe pain on sides
- Vomiting or nausea
- Frequent need to urinate
- White blood cells or pus in the urine
- Fever and chills
- Discolored or foul smelling urine
Tests and diagnosis for Kidney Stones:
- Blood tests for calcium, phosphorus, uric acid and electrolytes.
- Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine to analyze functioning of the kidneys
- Abdominal CT Scan
- Examination of passed stones
- Abdominal X-Ray
Treatment for Kidney Stones
- Lithotripsy: Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy uses sound waves to break up large stones. Once they break down they can easily pass down the ureters into bladder and this may require anesthesia and this may even cause bleeding around kidney and nearby organs and bruising on the abdomen and back.
- Ureteroscopy: Ureteroscope is an instrument which is used by the doctor when a stone is stuck in the ureter or bladder. A small wire with a camera attached is inserted into the urethra and is passed into the bladder. A small cage is used to snag the stone and remove it and this stone is then sent for analysis to the laboratory.
- Medications: Pain relief may require narcotic medications and the presence of infection requires antibiotics. Medicines like allopurinol, phosphorus solutions, sodium bicarbonate or citrate.
Prevention of these stones is must. Now here are some tips to prevent these stones.
- Drinking water is the key to prevent stones. Intake atleast 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.
- Intake of water will reduce acidic urine and will reduce chances of developing stones.
- Eating oxalate-rich foods in moderation
- Reducing intake of much salt and animal protein
- Eat regular and balanced meals to prevent formation of stones.
So as promised, I have given you all the information about these body stones and have given you tips to stay healthy. Stay protected, healthy and happy.
Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Hopefully this article will help you guys to stay fit.
Cheers to life!