Passing Kidney Stones
Ten years ago, I underwent a procedure in a hospital to remove stones in my right kidney. I never really knew I have kidney stones until that day I was brought to the hospital.
It started at about lunch time that day. I first felt pain in my lower back particularly in the right side. I ignored it at first thinking that it was just the usual muscle pain because I have just played volleyball the day before. I just drank a pain killer pill and the pain soon went away. Later that afternoon, the pain came back and two tablets of pain killer didn’t work anymore. I never suspected it was kidney stones until I was already peeing pink. I was already passing kidney stones when I decided to go the hospital.
In the hospital, I was told by the emergency room doctor that I should be confined so I could undergo tests. He said passing kidney stones is not a good sign.
First, they asked me to collect urine for urinalysis. Then they also asked me to undergo several x-ray examinations. The last x-ray they did on me required the injection of die to see clearly where the kidney stones are located. When they discovered where the kidney stones are, they scheduled me to undergo a kidney stone treatment called Ureteroscopic stone removal. This was done in the operating room under general anesthesia. The doctor inserted a fiber optic instrument in the urethra and bladder into the ureter to locate the stones and remove it by destroying it with an instrument that produces shock waves. I felt the procedure was okay because no incision was required. I was already up and going a day after it was done.
I was never interested in knowing what kidney stones are until that time when I already had them. After that moment in my life, I started reading more about it. Here are some of the basic things I learned about kidney stones.
Kidney stones are hard crystal deposits formed when minerals, salts and other substances found in urine are not properly dissolved and excreted from the body.
Not all kidney stones are the same. There are four types of kidney stones depending on how they are formed.
The most common type of kidney stone is Calcium Stone. Calcium stones are usually of the calcium oxalate form. Oxalates, when they combine with calcium, form these crystals. These crystals then get deposited in the inner lining of the kidneys.
Another type of kidney stone is Struvite Stone. Struvite stones are caused by urinary tract infection. When the balance of acids in urine is disturbed by the presence of a bacterium that causes urinary tract infection, crystals composed primarily of magnesium and ammonium are formed.
Uric acid stones are formed because of the high level of uric acid in the urine. A high protein diet increases the risks of having uric acid stones.
Cystine stones result from a disorder called cystinuria. This is a hereditary disease and it is the rarest form of stones.
It is said that when you already had kidney stones, you are susceptible to having them again. Thus, based on my experience, I suggest that regular physical and medical examination be obtained. Kidney stones are silent attackers. You don’t always see or feel any signs and symptoms of kidney stones. Don’t wait till you are already passing kidney stones before you take action.
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