Modern world trends have made it mandatory for most of us to
treat our taste buds with exotic flavors every now and then. The
proportion of increased appetite to that of the nutritional value
meal has taken a serious curve in the recent years. Whatever
you eat or drink needs to be broken down by your body in order
to make it available for energy production. Also, expelling the
waste out of the body is of prime importance failing which causes
accumulation and increase in toxic that affects the
body. This esteemed job is done by the pair of kidneys, whose
function is to maintain salt and water balance, and filter blood,
removing metabolic waste products from the body and produce
Stones that block the kidney health!
Hard, crystals of minerals formed within the kidney or urinary
tract, causing excruciating pain in the affected, is termed as
kidney stones. Initially smaller than a grain of sand, these
stones can grow up to an inch or larger over time affecting
majorly the people aged 30 to 60. Also termed as Renal
calculi, kidney stones hardly have a single cause and are
mainly known to form when the urine contains more of
crystal forming substances (calcium, oxalate, uric acid etc.)
or lack of substances (in urine) that prevent crystals formation.
Smelly urine: The patient may even see blood in the urine (hematuria). It is caused when the lining in the ureter or tissue is damaged inside the kidney.
Pain: It is the most common symptom of a kidney stone. Pain can range from a mild and barely noticeable ache to intense discomfort. Adolescents are more likely to have pain than young children.
Typically, the pain waxes and wanes in severity. Waves of severe pain, known as renal colic, can last 20 to 60 minutes, although less severe pain can occur between episodes of renal colic.
The area that is painful depends upon the location of the stone, which may change as the stone moves. Other symptoms include frequent urination or burning sensation during urination, fever and chills, nausea and vomiting etc.
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A number of different medical conditions can lead to an increased risk for developing kidney stones. Gout results in an increased amount of kidneys in the urine and can lead to the formation of uric acid stones.
Hyperealciuria (high calcium in the urine), another inherited condition, causes stones in more than half of cases. In this condition, too much calcium is absorbed from food and excreted into the urine, where it may form calcium phosphate or calcium oxalate stones.
Recent evidence indicates that formation of kidney stones is a result of a nanobacterial disease akin to a Helicobacter pylori infection and peptic ulcer disease. Nanobacteria are small intra-cellular bacteria that form a calcium phosphate shell (an apatite nucleus) and are present in the central nidus of most (97%) kidney stones and in mineral plaques (Randall's plaques) in the renal papilla. Increased body weight is associated with lower urinary pH and an increased risk of uric acid kidney stones.
Type 2 diabetics have a higher prevalence of uric acid nephrolithiasis than the general population of patients with renal stones, leading some experts to suggest that renal insulin resistance leads to excessive urinary acidification and uric acid stone formation.
The Metabolic tests may have to be done to look for any defects in your body, which may be responsible for kidney stone formation. This is very important, as it is not only sufficient to treat for the kidney stone but to find out why kidney stone has been formed. The recurrence of kidney stone formation can be prevented. Therefore, an appropriate treatment can be given so that one does not form kidney stones again.
Nanobacteria are small intracelluar bacteria that from a calcium phosphate shell (an apatite nucleus) and are present in the centra; nidus of most (97%) kidney stones and in mineral plaques (Randall's plaques ) in the renal papilla .
Inflamed Bean-shaped organ
The smallest most crucial cellular unit of kidneys, which is
bean-shaped, is a nephron; about 1 million nephrons filter
the blood, regulating the concentration of water and that
of salts in each kidney. Each nephron is a network of looping
blood vessels called glomerulus, which filters blood allowing
excess fluid and wastes to pass through the urine. In a healthy
nephron, this filtration helps in keeping the blood cells and
proteins of the bloodstream intact, whereas any kind of infection
or disease that causes swelling or inflammation of the glomerulus
leads to Nephritis, a general term used for glomerulonephritis.
There are types and too many!
- Interstitial Nephritis
Inflammation in this case occurs in the region outside to that of
glomerulus and involves tubules or interstitium (space within
the tissue or organ) of the kidney. This kind of inflammation
causes swelling of kidneys.
It is a severe, sometimes lifethreatening infection that leads
to renal scarring. This condition is a result of bacterial invasion
either from urinary tract (Urinary tract infection) or via bloodstream,
of the renal tissue. Fever, pain and tenderness in the kidney region
along with nausea/vomiting are evident signs of this type of
- Glomerulonephritis (GN)
These are specific set of renal diseases wherein an immunologic
mechanism triggers inflammation and increases the number of
cells in glomerular tissue, damaging the basement membrane.
Acute Glomerulonephritis causes the onset of hematuria, proteinuria and red
blood cells in urine, accompanied by edema, hypertension and
azotemia (decreased glomerular filtration rate).
- Autoimmune nephritis
Autoimmunity (immune response against its own body) can
severely affect kidneys, like in case of systemic lupus
erythematosus, the body targets its own body tissues,
even kidneys producing common symptoms like fatigue,
fever, arthritis, and conditions like edema, hypertension
or hypoalbuminemia (sign in which level of albumin in the
blood is abnormally low).
Some other types include,
- Potassium-losing nephritis
Loss of potassium causes swelling and vacuolisation (formation
of vacuoles, empty spaces) of renal tubules, progressing to
- Salt-losing nephritis
Abnormal urinary loss of sodium in people with normal
sodium chloride intake, raises symptoms like vomiting,
dehydration and vascular collapse.
- Transfusion nephritis
Transfusions from an incompatible donor, result into
deposition of hemoglobin of hemolysis in the tubules
of kidney, causing inflamed tubules.
- Radiation nephritis
lonising radiation, a well-known treatment modality, damages
kidneys presenting symptoms like glomerular and tubular
damage, hypertension, proteinuria, and sometimes progresses
to renal failure. It can either be chronic or acute, and sometimes
won't manifest until years post exposure to radiation.
Apart from these types, secondary conditions like drug
sensitisation, systemic infection, graft rejection and
autoimmune diseases progress towards causing chronic
nephritis, shrinking the kidneys, lowering glomerular
filtration rate and increasing the risk of kidney failure.
Deal with it - How?
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However, based on other types of nephritis and their complications like,
-Signs of frequent fever, exhaustion and nausea,
-Rash, water retention and swelling
-Pink or cola-colored urine indicating hematuria
-Frothy urine indicating albuminuria or proteinuria,
necessary steps must be taken to detect the type of nephritis,
which further direct the best possible treatment and medication.
Find out the cause for high blood pressure.
Testing of urine is essential to find albumin levels.
Go for a blood test to know more about kidney function.
Go for a kidney biopsy and CT scan.
Kidney is an essential waste clearance provider of the body, letting
it get messed up due to infections or negligence can prove fatal.
Unless it is an irreparable, unavoidable condition (like Lupus),
staying aware of kidney health is a prerequisite. We may boast
about how healthy the heart or our brain functions, and be
mesmerised about it. But without this bean-shaped organ, none
of the organs can think of being supple and work fine!