treatment for kidney stones

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kidney stone

Kidney stones are complex substances made of salt or minerals which gets collected inside the kidney. These stones differ in size from a few inches and can become as large as an entire kidney. People who are obese are at a greater risk. The four common types of kidney stones are calcium oxalate, uric acid, cysteine and struvite. At times smaller kidney stones do not cause any symptoms, and the pain or signs start only when the stone starts moving through the ureter. The primary symptoms are severe pain in the lower back, nausea, fever and chills, vomiting, blood in the urine and stinking cloudy urine. The standard treatment for kidney stones is ureteroscopy, nephrolithotripsy, percutaneous nephrolithotomy and lithotripsy. Portea offers nurses and lab tests to help people get diagnosed and treated for kidney stones effortlessly. 

what causes kidney stones?

A kidney stone is formed when some minerals accumulate in the urine. This occurs when the body is not hydrated enough, and the urine is over-concentrated with lots of minerals. But it is not a definite fact that consistently higher mineral levels lead to the formation of a kidney stone. The stones crystallize and attract other elements in the body and form a bigger stone. This will be difficult to pass out of the body along with the urine and causes terrible pain. 

how to prevent kidney stones?

A combination of diet and lifestyle changes along with medication will reduce the risk of kidney stones. It is a long journey and does not happen overnight. However, if the family has a history of the condition, it is slightly challenging to prevent it. Some of the natural ways to prevent kidney stones are:

  • Drink a lot of water, and this is the best way as it increases the urine output. The colour of the urine will depict the levels of water in the body. If the urine is either clear or pale yellow, it means the body is hydrated enough. Make sure to drink eight glasses of fluids every day so that two litres of urine are passed daily. Substitute water with lemonade and orange juice if you are experiencing symptoms of kidney stones. This is because it contains more citrate that is a practical element to prevent the formation of stones. 
  • Eat foods that are rich in calcium. Though calcium oxalate is a commonly occurring kidney stone, low calcium-rich diets will lead to kidney stones and osteoporosis. Hence calcium supplements like low-fat milk, yoghurt, cheese are the best diets for preventing kidney stones.
  • Consume fewer amounts of sodium as a high salt diet will increase the risk of kidney stones. This is because too much salt will prevent the calcium from being reabsorbed to the blood from the urine. Hence one should reduce sodium intake by reading the food labels carefully. Avoid chips, crackers, canned ingredients and foods with monosodium glutamate, sodium nitrate and sodium bicarbonate.
  • Limit yourself to foods rich in oxalate as few of the kidney stones are made of oxalate. Hence have lesser quantities of spinach, chocolate, coffee, beets, peanuts, sweet potatoes, rhubarb, wheat bran and soy products. Avoiding or restricting such foods will prevent the formation of kidney stones effectively.
  • One simple hack is to intake both oxalate and calcium-rich food simultaneously as they bind together before reaching the kidneys, making it impossible to form stones. 
  • Reduce the intake of acidic animal proteins. So, avoid beef, fish, pork and poultry.
  • Vitamin C causes kidney stones in men or doubles the risk. Therefore, it is suggested that men refrain from vitamin C supplements or foods high in ascorbic acid.

how to get rid of kidney stones?

Some medications are seen to get rid of the condition. They have to be necessarily taken for a prolonged period. Such medications are diuretics, anticonvulsants, steroids, protease inhibitors, decongestants, uricosuric, and chemotherapy. To be more specific:

  • For uric acid stones, allopurinol will reduce the condition.
  • If the kidney stones are calcium, a thiazide diuretic or phosphate will do the job quickly.
  • In the case of struvite stones, antibiotics for a longer duration will treat the condition.
  • For cystine stones, Capoten will get rid of it. 

treatment for kidney stones

The first and foremost step to treat kidney stones is the diagnosis. Uric acid and creatine tests are the essential ones conducted. Portea provides these lab tests, which is done with a small prick to collect the blood sample. Depending on the results, the treatment for kidney stones varies from the type of stone and its size. You might be wondering what is the treatment for kidney stones when the preventive measures fail. They are:

Pain relievers

When the kidney stones are not too big, they can easily pass out without any treatment, but they are painful. To relieve the pain, ibuprofen or naproxen sodium is prescribed by the doctors. 

Alpha-Blockers

Alpha-blocker is a type of medication to relax the muscles in the ureter. It will help the kidney stone pass through urine quickly with less pain. Tamsulosin is the best medication here.

Sound Waves

When the kidney stones are large, their location and size are diagnosed and then treated using a shock wave lithotripsy. They are sound waves to create strong vibrations that break the stones into tiny pieces. These make them eligible to pass through the urine. The ESWL treatment lasts between 45 to 60 minutes and is done under sedation or light anaesthesia as it causes moderate pain. 

Surgery

The percutaneous nephrolithotomy treatment procedure involves surgical removal of kidney stones by making a small incision on the back. Here general anaesthesia is given to the patient and usually takes one or two days to recover. Surgery is done as a last line of treatment when an ESWL fails. You can also take the help of a nurse for kidney stones. Another type of surgery is removing a part of the parathyroid gland as calcium phosphate stones are caused due to the overactivity of the parathyroid glands. 

Ureteroscope

A small tube is used to remove smaller stones with a camera fitted to it. It is passed through the urethra, bladder and then to the ureter. A stent is placed in the ureter as the final step to relieve the swelling and enhance healing. This is again an invasive treatment that requires general or local anaesthesia.

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Age 32, Chennai

My father had a surgery and required regular healthcare services. Portea has greatly helped him with their in-home healthcare services.

Portea has started home infusion of cerezyme 0.8 (cerezyme replacement therapy) of gaucher disease. From past 5years. I have been undergoing ERT at Delhi hospital. But now with the help of Sanofi Genzyme, Portea done our first home infusion of cerezyme. The team which visited our home (Raghvendra sir and pramod) in this thought condition COVID and rainy weather on time and attended us were highly professional. From the very first step till the and of therapy they did everything very well. They took every percuations, share every details with as regarding home infusion of cerezyme , used every necessary equipment (infusion pump) for therapy, monitored us thoroughly. This new intiative for ERT is very nice and impressive. Thank you Raghvendra sir Thanks to portea and Sanofi for this arrangement.

We would like to put on record that we found the services of Nurse Jeesha and Nurse Sridevi to be excellent. They were competent, dedicated and compassionate Nurses who were able to establish a good rapport with the patient and the family caregivers. Your Nursing Supervisor Anthony Michael responded promptly and effectively to our communications. We would be happy to recommend the services of Portea.