OVERVIEW
Mankind has been afflicted by kidney stones since centuries back. Kidney Stone also referred as Renal Calculi is named as Nephrolithiasis or Urolithiasis as per the medical terminology. According to the recent studies, 12% of the world is affected by Renal calculi at some point of their life. In Indian population, the prevalence rate is 12% out of them 50% may end up with loss of their kidney functions. However, the occurrence rate is more in males compared to females.
Urination helps to remove the toxins along with the liquid waste from the body. During this process, there are chances of formation of solid mass which happens due to the clumping of tiny crystals. These tiny crystals can be referred as Renal Calculus. It may be variable in size and shape. Many factors contribute to the formation of urinary stones. The chemical composition of kidney stone vary from individual to individual depending upon the abnormality.

TYPES
Depending upon the variations in their compositions they are mainly categorized into –

  1. Calcium stones – Calcium oxalate or Calcium phosphate
  2. Magnesium Ammonium phosphate stones
  3. Uric Acid stones
  4. Cystine stones
  5. Drug Induced stones.

Person suffering with kidney stone experience with excruciating pain which is beyond explanation. Apart from pain, people also experience frequent urge to micturate, hematuria (blood in urine), nausea and vomiting. Most of the calculi, flushes out along with the urine but if they don’t life becomes miserable.
Causes
Formation of kidney stones is a complex and multifactorial process. These may include several inherent factors like age, sex, heredity, and external factors such as geography, climate, dietary, mineral composition, and water intake.
• Lifestyle habits and dietary changes such as – excessive intake of animal proteins and salt and diet deficient in citrate, fiber contents.
• Low urine output – inadequate water intake which leads to dehydration and super saturation of the urine.
• Due to recurrent urinary tract infections.
• Genetic predisposition – family history of urinary calculi.
• Anatomical abnormalities –factors such as defects in medullary sponge kidney, pyeloureteral duplication, polycystic renal disease, and horse shoe kidney
• Inflammatory bowel disease and other intestinal malabsorption can also be a triggering factor to kidney stones.
• Due to long term use of Lithogenic drugs: sulfonamides (sulfadiazine), uricosuric agents, which have low solubility and promotes the formation of calculi, and ceftriaxone (high dose on long terms)
• Climate change – Due to the geographic conditions like global warming and seasonal variations can also be a contributing factor to calculi.
• Some of the risk factors also include Obesity, Diabetes and Hypertension as well. Metabolic disorders – such as hypercalciuria (excess calcium in the urine), hypocitraturia (citrate excretion of less than 320 mg per day) and history of gout (defective metabolism of uric acid) can also contribute for the same.

Symptoms
• Sudden onset of excruciating, cramping pain in the low back or side, groin and abdomen. Changes in body position do not relieve this pain.
• Nausea and vomiting are the common symptoms often accompanied with pain.
• May or May not cause bloody urine.
• If associated with Urinary tract infections, then fever and chills also occur.
• Sometimes symptoms such as frequent urination, urinary urgency or incomplete urination can also happen.

DIET
• Drink water throughout the day: Drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water is mandatory for patients suffering from kidney stones. If you dwell in a dry and hot area, more water intake will be required. Drink water until the urine you pass out is clear
• Eat less oxalate-rich food: less intake of okra, spinach, other leafy vegetables, cauliflower, Brinjal, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, nuts, tea, and chocolate should be avoided.
• Choose less salts in the diet.
• Try to take non-animal proteins like legumes or sprouts.
• Avoid milk or milk products. If you are habituated to take, reduce the quantity of intake.
• Continue eating calcium-rich food, but use in moderation.