I remember going over to a friend’s house for a visit one Friday evening with my wife only to be met by his wife at the door with her finger over her lips.
We slipped inside the house and there was my friend reeking of alcohol passed out on the floor. His wife motioned for us to sit down by her.
She explained to us that he began to have symptoms of passing a kidney stone. He apparently had a major history of stones so as soon as he did he began to drink fast and furious. I was very young and I was unfamiliar with kidney stones but I remember wondering what in the world could be that painful?
Our reference material aptly describes passing a kidney stone as “delivering a baby made of razor blades.”
A kidney stone is a small “stone” that develops from different chemicals or minerals beginning in the kidney. However, it may release to the very small tube called the “ureter.” The pressure as the stone moves down this very narrow tube causes pain, sometimes excruciating pain.
Once the stone reaches the bladder it then filters on out into the urethra which is larger. There still may be some pain.
This is a timely period to examine kidney stones because they are on the rise with respect to incidences. The reason for this is unknown.
The person most likely to get a kidney stone is a Caucasian male over 40 with the possibility increasing as they age.
The kidney filters blood and sometimes the things it filters out causes a stone.
There are two types of stones. One is made of chemicals and another is more frequent made with calcium and oxalate or phosphate.
The formation of the stone is probably related to the amount of these substances in the blood in conjunction with other substances that are as of this time unidentified.
Symptoms of kidney stones include back or side pain, foul-smelling urine, fever or painful urination.
Most kidney stones pass without assistance. Some do get lodged and cause a blockage.
When a stone gets lodged it is usually treated by lithotripsy. This method uses shock waves to crush the stones and then they can pass.
The key protection from developing kidney stones is to drink water.
Some foods help create calcium oxate stones. These would be spinach, peanuts and chocolate. Uric acids would be caused by too much meat.
Kidney stones are able to cause many problems. Luckily they don’t often cause permanent damage.
Drink water and exercise. That is the mantra for preventing many conditions and it includes kidney stones.
“Keep Your Kidneys Clear,” Fact Sheet, NIH News in Health, October 2008 Page 3