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Types Of Kidney Stones

and other stone-cold facts everyone should know

Big things, like excruciating pain, can comes in small packages – like kidney stones.  Then again, kidney stones actually vary in size, with large ones  that may block the ureter and cause infection creating the most agonizing pain.  

Indeed, kidney stones -- the solid mass formed in the kidney or urinary system when fluids and other methods are not able to flush them out -- can torment an affected individual no end. To think that they could have been prevented by drinking lots of water and eating less of the foods that form crystals.  That realization can really make a person rueful.  There are actually various reasons why kidney stones form. Besides diet and lifestyle habits, some people are simply prone to developing specific types of kidney stones (which may be prevented in majority of cases). By consulting one’s doctor and undergoing health regular health screenings and tests, a doctor will be able to tell a patient what caused the formation of the kidney stone (based on its composition).

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to kidney stones. There are those who deal with only a certain type.  As with most other bodily disorders that may start out simple, things may get complicated and a hapless individual with one type of kidney stone may develop another type. An individual may even endure more than two types. So just what are these basic types of kidney stones?

Calcium stones
are the most frequently experienced among the basic types of kidney stones.  They can be bristly or big and smooth, and consist of  calcium  that binds to oxalate or phosphate. A person’s chance of forming calcium oxalate stones increases when he subscribes to a diet high in animal protein. Certain foods (or even supplements) taken in excess predispose people to form stones/oxalates. Taking Vitamin D beyond the recommended daily intake, for instance, or certain medical conditions like parathyroidism or kidney ailment are more prone to calcium stone formation.

Certain foods, like cooked spinach, chocolates, and peanuts, enhance urinary oxalate excretion. To be on the safe side, some doctors recommend people prone to forming stones to consume 800 to 1,000 milligrams of the dietary equivalent of calcium.  Calcium requirements vary, of course, from one individual to another.

Another type of kidney stone is the uric acid stone, characterized by a brown, soft and smooth appearance. Uric acid stone manifests itself particularly in individuals afflicted with gout or are undergoing chemotherapy. Fad diets like the low-carb plan which heaps protein can elevate uric acid levels that end up in the urine.  Curbing animal protein portions may curb development of uric acid stones.

Another type of kidney stones, the struvite stones, otherwise called “infection stones,”  form when there is an excess of ammonia in a person’s urine.  These large, pointed, curvy and rapidly growing stones caused by bacteria tend to be prevalent among females with urinary tract infection.  Antibiotics may alleviate the effects of sturvite stones. 

Certain individuals develop yellow, crystalline cystine stones, concentration of which may be found in the urine for people afflicted with a rare hereditary condition called cystinuria. Prepubescent kids and those approaching their 30s are oftentimes those who encounter this type of kidney stone. To halt kidney stones in various shapes and composition, drinking lots of water remains one of the best remedies to help flush them out.

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