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Kidneys are one of the most important organs in the human body. They function as a filter to remove unwanted, waste products from the blood. They are also involved in regulating blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and red blood cell production in the body. Their function is compromised with formation on kidney stones. Kidney stones (renal lithiasis, nephrolithiasis) are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys.

The most common symptom of a kidney stone is pain in the loin region or painful urination. Some people may even pass blood in urine in severe cases. If you experience such symptoms contact your doctor immediately. It’s important to get it treated as early as possible. If you want more information on kidney stones and its management, you can find best doctors online by downloading a telemedicine app My live doctors on your smartphone or mobile device. Skim through the list of specialists and book a tele-appointment with doctor in Pakistan right away. 

Kidney stones can form due to several reasons and can affect any part of your urinary tract — from your kidneys to your bladder. Often, stones form when the urine becomes concentrated, allowing minerals to crystallize and stick together in the kidney. 

Patients often complain of severe pain while passing urinating and they aren’t aware that they may be passing kidney stones. It is better to contact your doctor as soon as possible so the stones are recognized in a timely fashion to prevent permanent damage. Depending on your situation, you may need nothing more than to take pain medication and drink lots of water to pass a kidney stone. More severe cases for instance, if stones become lodged in the urinary tract may require more aggressive and extensive treatment. They may be associated with a urinary infection or cause complications. Sometimes surgery is needed for removal of stones and symptom relief. 

Online health services can help you connect to qualified healthcare providers online. Your doctor may recommend preventive measures to reduce your risk of getting kidney stones again.

What causes kidney stones?

There is no definite, single cause of kidney stones, although several factors may increase the likelihood of developing them. Kidney stones form when your urine contains more crystal-forming substances — such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid — compared to fluid. Your urine may also lack substances that prevent crystals from sticking together, making it a favorable environment for kidney stones to form.

Different types of kidney stones

If the doctor can find out the type of kidney stone you have it can help determine the cause and navigate the management accordingly as well. Knowing the type of kidney stone could also help preventing them from forming again. 

Types of kidney stones include calcium stones. Most kidney stones occur in the form of calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate. Struvite stones usually form in response to an infection, such as a urinary tract infection, can grow quickly and become quite large.

Uric acid stones are common in people who don't drink enough fluids or who lose too much fluid, those who eat a high-protein diet, and those who have gout. Cystine stones form in people with a hereditary disorder that causes the kidneys to excrete too much of certain amino acids (cystinuria).

Risk factors

Factors that increase the likelihood of developing kidney stones include:

  • Family history. If a first degree relative in your family has kidney stones, you're more likely to develop stones, too. And if you've already had one or more kidney stones, you're at increased risk of recurrent stones as well.
  • Dehydration. Not drinking enough water each day can increase your risk of kidney stones. People living in warmer climates tend to sweat more therefore may be at a higher risk than others.
  • Certain diets. Eating a diet that's high in protein, sodium (salt) and sugar may increase your risk of some types of kidney stones. A high sodium diet is (too much salt in your diet) may increase the amount of calcium your kidneys must filter and pointedly increases your risk of developing kidney stones.
  • Obesity. Having a high body mass index (BMI), large waist circumference and weight gain may increase the risk of developing kidney stones.
  • Digestive diseases and surgery. Certain chronic health conditions like inflammatory bowel disease or chronic diarrhea can cause changes absorptive process t of calcium and water. Research suggests that gastric bypass surgery has shown to increase the levels of stone-forming substances in your urine.
  • Other medical conditions. Diseases and conditions that may increase your risk of kidney stones include renal tubular acidosis, cystinuria, hyperparathyroidism, certain medications and some urinary tract infections.

Signs and Symptoms of kidney stones

Most kidney stones don’t result in symptoms when they are small and embedded or immobile. However, when a kidney stone dislodges from the kidney and moves around within your kidney or passes into the urinary tract, it can cause moderate to severe pain. At this point along with pain, you may experience the following signs and symptoms:

  • Severe pain at the side of the abdomen or below the ribs
  • Pain may move to the lower abdomen and groin
  • Pain that comes in waves and fluctuates in intensity
  • Pain while peeing
  • Pink, red or brown urine
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Persistent need to urinate but only droplets come out
  • The urge to pee more than usual
  • Fever and chills in case of infection

The pain caused by a kidney stone may vary. For instance, it may shift to a different location or increasing in severity as the stone moves through the urinary tract.

If you have one or more of the above symptoms please see your healthcare provider. If you are unable to do so or are looking for medical advice then find best online physician through online medicine services like My live doctors. Look up your doctor and book a tele-appointment with doctor in Lahore or any city in Pakistan. Data shows that most patients go to the doctor for medical advice or to show their lab reports. If that’s the case then you can share your reports with best online physician and understand what it means. 

When should you see a doctor

Schedule a tele-appointment with online doctor if you have any of the following signs and symptoms 

  • Severe pain that doesn’t allow you to sit still or 
  • Pain with nausea and vomiting
  • Pain with fever and chills
  • Blood in your urine
  • Difficulty passing urine

How to treat kidney stones?

Treatment will depend on the severity of your symptoms and size of the kidney stones. Your doctor may prescribe simple things like drinking more water and some pain killers in mild cases. More severe cases might require intervention for removal of stones or surgery. Whatever the case may be, make sure you chart out a treatment plan with your doctor that works for you. For more info on kidney diseases, please visit