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5 miths and trues about kidney stones

Know the most common questions about kidney stones and their answers!

Our kidneys are made up of a small pair of organs located next to the liver. Each is almost 5 inches long and weighs approximately 0.37 pounds, but what they lack in size they make up for in importance.

The "hardworking duo" are responsible for eliminating toxin from metabolism, producing urine, controlling blood pressure and regulating our bone density through vitamin D.

Therefore, it is vital that we take good care of them. However, the excess of information and mistakes on this subject can confuse, causing us to adopt the wrong care or have excessive concerns.

 

Therefore, we decided to clarify here, the top five questions about one of the most common kidney diseases: the renal calculus or nephrolith.

 You will know the truths and lies about this topic, so check out this article to the end!

1. Are kidney stones hereditary?

Well, kind of...
These crystals can form when there is an accumulation of various minerals (such as calcium, uric acid or the oxalate salt) and little liquid to eliminate them.


This result can happen for different reasons such as:
• Excessive sodium, protein or calcium in the diet;
• Little fluid in the body or dehydration;
• Diseases such as Osteoporosis;
• Hypertension;
• High perspiration;
• Obesity.


However, although the formation of stones in children is not something guaranteed, genetic predisposition IT IS an additional risk factor. This happens because certain characteristics of metabolism can be passed on in a hereditary way and favor the formation of stones, such as:


• Excessive excretion of substances such as calcium;
• Intense perspiration;
• Blood pressure;
• Abnormalities that obstruct the urinary channel;
• Congenital diseases.


Therefore, it is more common for people from the same family to have this disease.
If your close relatives have this history, double care with a balanced diet and constant hydration, okay?

2. Can the laser used to break the stones hurt other organs?

No.

When the stone is smaller than 0,6 inches, one of the options that can be adopted for its removal is laser surgery, also known as lithotripsy or urethroscopy.

It is a procedure normally performed under general anesthesia (requiring at least 1 day of hospitalization).

A small tube is introduced through the urinary system, which is guided to the stone. Upon arrival, it emits shock waves directly onto the calculus capable of breaking this formation without damaging nearby tissues. These fragments are then removed with the aid of special tweezers.

Fear about this procedure is common, however, it usually does not leave any marks and your recovery is fast (returning to normal activities in less than 1 week).

3. Can kidney stones turn into cancer?

This is a big myth, because they are two verydifferent diseases. As we explained, kidney stones are caused by an imbalance between the different mineral substances and the water in our body. 

Cancer in this organ, however, originates from a mutation in the cells of the kidney, and with the uncontrolled increase of them, it is possible for a tumor to form. In early stages, this disease does not usually show symptoms, however, as it develops, it is possible for it to appear, for example: 

  • Pain in the lower back;

  • Blood in the urine;

  • Frequent tiredness;

  • Pallor and Fever;

  • Swelling in the legs;

  • Shortness of breathe.

4.Blood in urine a symptom of a kidney stone?

Yes.

If the urine is pink, brown or red, it is one of the possible indications of the formation of stones, as they may be injuring parts of the kidney system.

Other common symptoms are: 

•  Pain when urinating;

• Pain in the lower back radiating to the groin;

• Frequent urination or lack of urine;

• Vomiting;

• Sickness;

• Fever of 38 degrees or more.

5. Does heat waves increase the chances of kidney stones?

Yes, it is true.

As we tend to sweat more during these periods, there is less fluid left for the kidneys to eliminate the toxins and substances that remain in them. This way, the chance of forming crystals increases, so it is necessary that we take extra care with hydration and nutrition at these times (especially if we have any risk factors).

If you know you want foods that help kidney health click here. So, are you already knowing better this "duo of partners" that are your kidneys?

If you have questions about this or any other subject, get in touch! It will be a pleasure to help you!

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