Kidney Stones: Causes and Symptoms

Kidneys perform their most important task of filtering blood in the body. They cleanse the body and excrete its waste in form of urine.

During this recurrent cleansing mechanism some waste chemicals and minerals cling together to form hard, rock-like crystal deposits, called kidney stones.

Kidney stones vary in size and shape. Generally the small sized kidney stones are typically excreted along with urine; however, the bigger ones get stuck, causing obstruction of the ureter.

Causes of Kidney stones
Less water intake: Insufficient water intake is cited as the most important cause of kidney stones. As water dilutes the uric acid, the prime component of urine, not enough water alters the pH level within the kidneys, making it more acidic. An acidic environment is favorable for the formation of kidney stones.

Side effect of some medical ailments: Medical conditions like Crohn’s disease, urinary tract infections (UTIs), renal tubular acidosis, hyperparathyroidism, medullary sponge kidney, and Dent’s disease can lead to formation of kidney stones.

Water fluoridation: Drinking water that contain fluoride can spur the chances of developing kidney stones.

Excessive intake on Vitamin D and Calcium supplements: Optimal Vitamin D and calcium levels can be obtained from a normal lifestyle. However, supplements are available to take care of the shortfall. But too much of vitamin D and calcium can lead to formation of kidney stones.

Symptoms of kidney stones
Kidney stones that flow out in the urine are usually painless and symptomless. But those that move into the ureter and block it can cause following symptoms.

• Pain in the groin area

• Blood stained urine

• Nausea and vomiting

• White blood cells (WBCs) or pus in the urine

• Cloudy or bad smelling urine

• Fall in quantity of urine excreted

• Urge to urinate but inability to do so

• Burning sensation during urination

• Fever and chills in case of super added bacterial infection