It is only possible to correctly describe the pain during a kidney stones episode if you have really gone through that experience – especially if you are a man. It is said that ten percent of the world population has had kidney stones, and, the truth to be told, it is easy to get one of those. In this post, we’ll talk about the different types of kidney stones (because that’s right, there is not a single type of them,) as well as their causes and the more general ways to prevent these painful pieces of hell. If you like the content of this blog, please share it with your contacts on the social media. You could help someone else.
The first thing to know about the different types of kidney stones is that their differences depend on their chemical composition (and, therefore, the chemical reactions that formed them in the first place.) Because the human body is essentially chemical, as well as all its processes, the causes of each type of kidney stone are also of chemical nature. Daily habits, diets, and genetic predispositions are the general causes of kidney stones; and when we talk about that, we talk about chemistry. Knowing how to determine the type of kidney stone you got is extremely important both to identify the causes and to prevent the appearance of new stones. So, pay attention!
Calcium Oxalate Stones
Statistically, almost all kidney stones that occur belong to this category. Oxalates are substances that we can easily find in different foods (processed and organic.) Moreover, even our bodies produce them daily in harmless quantities. Where can oxalates be found? Almonds, tomatoes, cocoa, and in some meats, for example. Some water sources also contain them, especially if the soil or walls are limestones (for example, the cenotes of the Yucatan peninsula.)
Oxalate stones are nothing more than pieces of compressed salt produced by the combination of calcium and an organic acid. They are ocher-colored and are characterized by their pointed – painful – crystals. They are not usually big. Their dimensions don’t surpass one centimeter, and, in those cases, they can be eliminated by the urine after hours of medieval agony. When they are larger than the urethra, they should be removed by other means. One of them is surgery, although modern medicine increasingly points to the least surgical intervention, and, therefore, doctors prefer treatments such as lithotripsy, which uses shock waves to eliminate kidney stones by vibrations.
To prevent this type of stones, it is best to take a sufficient amount of drinks, consume a balanced daily diet, and exercise regularly. This will keep your body chemistry in order, and the oxalate stones happily away.
Uric Acid Stones
This substance based on nitrogen is one of the main components of urine, but is present, above all, in certain types of meat, such as beef, pork, and venison, especially in the vines. When these foods are ingested in excess (mixed with alcohol, in addition) you can feel a sand that burns a lot and irritates the urethra when making number one. Well, this is a symptom of uric acid. When the renal system is unable to dissolve it, these excruciating stones are produced. These kidney stones are common in people who don’t drink a lot of fluids, especially when in hot places or during dry seasons.
The best advice in these cases is to drink an adequate amount of water, as well as juicy fruits (watermelon, for example,) and reduce the excess of red meat, tobacco, and caffeine. Patients who have lost a kidney, or the functionality of a kidney, should avoid meats with high purine contents (no matter how fun they are.)
Read also: Cleanse Your Body With These 6 Foods And Get Rid Of Kidney Stones, by Joe Cosgrove
Struvite is an acidic substance composed mainly of ammonium, magnesium, and phosphorus. The appearance of struvite stones is usually a sign of infection of the renal system, and, for this reason, these stones are dangerous. When the urine is infected, an unpleasant odor appears and burns a lot when it comes out through the urethra. These kidney stones are a risk to the health of patients because they may deteriorate the kidneys to the point of making them useless (meaning dialysis, right.) The main problem here is that they may be housed in a kidney and the patient may not feel a nephritic colic, as in the case of oxalates.
It is important to be alert to the colors and smells of urine (check this link.)
This type is not produced by the patient’s eating habits (or of any kind.) In fact, cystine stones are produced by genetic predispositions. When the ingested proteins disintegrate due to an excess of amino acids produced by the kidneys, cystine stones say hi. They may be tiny in size, or up to two centimeters in diameter.
Because this problem is genetic, the only way to prevent it is through medical treatment.
Recommended: Can What You Eat Give You Kidney Stones?
* Featured Image courtesy of dfaulder at Flickr.com