Kidneys are vital organs located near the middle of the back. These organs resemble a bean and are about the size of a person’s fist. The primary function of kidneys is to filter out bodily wastes from the blood. These wastes, along with excess water, are then diverted to the urinary bladder where they’re held until a person expels them from his body. Sometimes, kidney stones will develop in one or both kidneys. This renal (kidney) disorder occurs when salt and minerals in urine bind together to create a pebble. These tiny balls can be stationary or exit the body through the urethra.
Urine is comprised of a normal balance of salt, minerals, wastes, and other elements. When an abnormal level of any of these elements is present, kidney stones can form. Inadequate intake of water is one of the main causes of kidney stone formation. These pebbles can be extremely painful when traveling from the kidney to the bladder and out of the body. Some symptoms of kidney stones include an inability to find a comfortable seating position, blood in the urine, and waves of pain in the lower back.
Before receiving effective kidney stone treatment, a doctor will need to assess the patient’s medical history to find out the cause of the kidney stones. The doctor may order tests such as a CT scan. He will also ask the patient about family history of kidney stones and test his urine. If a kidney stone is small enough, drinking plenty of water enhances the chance of it exiting the body. In addition, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, limiting intake of calcium antacids, and avoiding red meat as much as possible will assist in treating kidney stones.
For kidney stones that are too large to pass, a doctor may use extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy to break a kidney stone into smaller pieces, so it can pass naturally. A doctor may have to place a small stint in a person’s urethra to keep it open for any kidney stones to pass through. Keep in mind, having one kidney stone often means the presence of additional ones. This means extra steps will have to be taken to eliminate all these pebbles from the body.