Kidney Stones – Definition, Causes and Types

Kidney stones and ureters are one of the most common urological diseases – affecting about 15% of men and 10% of women and left untreated can lead to serious impairment of renal function.

In this section of the website we offer comprehensive, accurate and understandable information about the kidney stones and stones in the ureters as materials published herein are based on scientific information, research and experience of experts in their field. We strive to provide you with reliable information about urological problems – comprehensive, transparent and impartial.Kidney Stones

The stone is a solid, compact mass composed of crystals of various salts, which are excreted in the urine, which is why there are different in composition stones – calcium oxalate, uric acid, phosphate and others. According to their location in the urinary tract, gallstones can be kidney, ureter or bladder, it largely depends on their symptoms. The last important feature is the size which initially is always small – ie. grit which, if not eliminated in the urine, while is still small, is gradually growing and can reach considerable size – 3-4 and more centimeters. The process of growth is slow and usually takes years to reach that size, which is why we recommend an annual prevention through ultrasound at risk patients – those who have or have had kidney problems.

The stones are formed in the renal cavities (cups or pelvis) and while they are localized there, usually there are no symptoms and patients most often may be unaware they even reach very large sizes. Only when caught in the ureter (the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder) and clog can cause so-called kidney failure or colic, which is one of the most powerful body aches.Kidney Stones

Reasons for formation of kidney stones

The stone is a solid, compact mass of crystals of various salts, which are excreted in urine.

Realistically kidney stones may be formed at anyone because the cause is multifactorial and not yet fully understood. Fundamentally, it is the result of an imbalance in the formation of urine, which results in increased separation, concentration and crystallization of various inorganic salts and acids therein. The process is the same, that observed when soluble salt thereof in water – after passage of a predetermined concentration, the salt starts to crystallize.

Types of kidney stones

Depending on the composition of the salts that build up kidney stones they can be calcium (calcium-rich), urate (uric acid-rich), phosphate and the like.

1. Calcium oxalate stones (Vevelit and vedelit)

These are the most often formed stones (approximately 80%) and are found in all ages.

Calcium oxalate stone

The calcium oxalate stones are gray or dark in color with serrated or sharp surface (similar to porcupine) and because they are rich in calcium they are clearly visible on x-ray.

The most common reasons for their formation conditions are leading to increased concentration of calcium ions into the urine – dehydration or primemane insufficient fluid intake, prolonged sweating, some diseases such as hyperparathyroidism, a diet rich in oxalates, prolonged sweating.

 Kidney Stones

2. Urate stones

These are gallstones composed of uric acid, and represent 5-10% of all cases. They are most often dark yellow or red hue.

Typical for them is that they are X-ray negative, which may require additional procedures for visualization and treatment.

The formation of these stones is due to the different conditions that cause increased transmission of uric acid in urine – increased intake of foods rich in purines (some species of fish – herring, anchovies, mussels, chocolate, game meat, offal); gout; chemotherapy with cytotoxic agents and others.

3. Magnesium ammonium phosphate stones (struvite)

This kind of stones are found in about 10% of cases. They are formed under frequently recurrent bacterial infections of the kidneys, which basified urine and rising concentration of ammonium ions in it. The large amount of bacteria turn and serves as organic core, which facilitates the deposition of salt on it.

These stones are found more in women than in men because of the high incidence of urinary tract infections in women. Typical of them is that they grow slowly, without any symptoms and reach very large sizes, as well as to fulfill the cups and renal pelvis of the kidney.

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