April 22, 2022
Kidney stones are solid deposits formed by the crystallization of salts and minerals contained in urine, with calcium being the most frequent. One or more stones can appear at the same time, affecting the kidneys to the bladder. This pathology is more frequent in men than in women and when reaching the age of 40 the incidence increases considerably; It also occurs in children and adolescents but less frequently. On this occasion, Dr. Augusto Saavedra, a nephrologist at Clinica Ricardo Palma, will give us more information on the subject.
There are modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors:
The most common symptom is renal colic; an intense and fluctuating pain, which originates because of an obstruction in the urinary tract due to stones. This is not relieved in any posture or antalgic position.
Other symptoms are:
Kidney stones are diagnosed by clinical symptoms and urinalysis. In addition, it is possible to know the situation in which the stone is found, the size and the repercussion with imaging methods such as: ultrasound, simple abdominal X-ray and CT urography without contrast. On the other hand, it is important to diagnose the cause of stone formation in order to start the respective long-term treatment.
Although there is no medical treatment to dissolve the formed stone, there is treatment for the cause of the stone formation, which is determined after performing the corresponding blood and urine tests. For this, certain medications will be indicated in addition to some modifications in the diet, such as increasing water intake to at least two liters a day permanently. On the other hand, when the stone already exists and the patient cannot spontaneously eliminate it through the urinary tract, aided by analgesics and other products, it must be removed by some surgical method.
It is important for the patient to be sure that the stone has been passed after an episode of colic or that there is no stone in the urinary tract. Otherwise, the prolonged obstruction can end up damaging the corresponding kidney, until it loses its function.
Dr. Augusto Saavedra
Nephrologist at Clinica Ricardo Palma